'I'm not on trial.
San Francisco is.'
Book Links: Goodreads
Under the moniker of BookShots, James Patterson's new line of novels comes with a rather alluring tagline:
STORIES AT THE SPEED OF LIFE
The Trial is my first BookShot, and it definitely lives up to its promise. A rocket ship has nothing on the ferocious pace that this short story travels at. Patterson and veteran co-author Maxine Paetro utilise their storytelling talents and cut out the fluff. It's a little on the nose and a tad jarring, but there's no denying the invigorating quality of an action-packed, high-stakes thriller that marches along with reckless abandon.
Synopsis (This time round, I'll be using the blurb that comes with my edition of the book.)
'I'm not on trial. San Francisco is.'
Detective Lindsay Boxer has finally managed to capture the drug cartel boss who has been tormenting her for months. And now he's about to go on trial for his life.
But after threatening to unleash violence on everyone involved in the case, the whole city is paralysed, and Lindsay and the Women's Murder Club are caught in the eye of the storm.
Plot - 3/5 Stars
I'll keep things short and sweet. The Trial is a focused, pulse-pounding tale. It's simple, effective, and fast. It deals out action like candy and thrills like oxygen. Chapters are like consecutive shots of adrenaline.
But be prepared to suspend your disbelief. The Trial takes ludicrous liberties with fiction, and while often gritty, readers looking for an in-depth tale of a cop vs a drug cartel boss should curb their expectations.
We're also home to perfect predictability. No true shocks lie in wait for you; the story very much goes from A to Z, rounding off with a conclusive, but open, end.
Pace - 5/5 Stars
It took me about an hour to finish The Trial.
It's unstoppable, and ideal for those readers who think they don't have the time to pick up a book.
Characters - 3/5 Stars
The area I least like about this short story. All our lovable characters are here, but the fast-paced story overtakes them several times. Lindsay Boxer is our first-person narrator and is most predominant, and while there's an attempt to flesh her out a little, the plot relies on the fact that there have been fifteen previous instalments to the series and that you've read them (at least to get a proper feel for the cast; you don't need any prior experience with the series to read and respect this novella).
Overall, the cast settles on okay.
Writing - 4/5 Stars
The writing, as with everything else, is lightning-quick. Patterson and Paetro cut the crap and keep only what is strictly necessary to set the scene and emotional context. The incredibly short chapters are, for the most part, smooth and transition well into one another, but some readers might find the rapid shift daunting.
Overall - 3.5/5 Stars
The Trial is so close to 4/5 Stars, it really is. I had major fun spending an hour with great authors telling a stellar story. But 3.5/5 Stars seems fair. The novella fully delivers what it offers, but it can feel like the bare-bones of a fuller novel just short of blossoming.
Previous Instalment: 15th Affair
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