James Patterson thriller may appeal to movie buffs

Mistress is the first book James Patterson that I’ve read. I chose it because it featured on the bestselling fiction lists and I was looking forward to being engrossed in a good thriller.

Mistress got off to a good start and it’s certainly action packed — surprising me in virtually every chapter — for the first fifty pages or so.

Ben, the main character is a well-heeled journalist with a troubled history that dates from his mother’s murder when he was a young boy. He finds himself embroiled in a frightening and dangerous world as he seeks to find out what happened to his former girlfriend, Diana Hotchkiss.

Ben’s interior monologue is full of references to US presidents and action movies that may entertain readers who share his interests. For me at least, they became somewhat tedious as the novel progressed and I’d have liked to have seen a bit more depth in the characters.

Ben’s investigation is complicated and action-packed and quite visual at times, which might lend itself to exciting screening, but I couldn’t help feeling that here was an idea for a really good story that somehow got a little lost in the telling.

The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson and Martin Dugard

In common with many children of my generation, I went through a phase of being fascinated by ancient Egypt and watched the various movies that were around in the 70s and 80s inspired by Egyptology. So the story of Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen is reasonably familiar to me.

An easy read

The Murder of King Tut is an easy read – ostensibly non-fiction it read more like fiction to me and the best parts of the tale in my opinion are the sections describing the relationship between Nefertiti and her husband, and later between Tutankhamen and his sister/wife.

The Howard Carter story line seemed to lack depth of character while the interjections of Patterson’s own reactions and observations, including those on his femme fatale wife, seemed to add little to the overall telling of the tale.

Short chapters and wide margins make for a quick read. I found The Murder of King Tut enjoyable – a good holiday read but perhaps not to be taken too seriously.