James Patterson’s “I Michael Bennett” with Michael Ledwidge

Forbes lists him as one of the wealthiest men on earth.  Law enforcement lists him as one of the most ruthless drug lords on the planet. 

He is linked to approximately 700 murders in the past 3 years.  His enemies run to the witness protection program at the mere mention of his name.  If they don’t, they end up dead.

 

He has ordered the assassination of U.S. border patrol agents and their entire families.  Even a sitting judge is not immune to his violence. 

 

Police officers who oppose him are shot dead in the streets.  His fellow criminals in the drug business fear and respect him. 

 

His name is Manuel “The Sun King” Perrine.  He is the ruler of the infamous “Tepito” drug cartel.  His escape from a Mexican jail has led to a wild shoot-out on the streets of New York City.  And now, he has ace detective, Michael Bennett in his cross-hairs.

 

With the aid of his psychotic bodyguard Marietta, Perrine has murdered Bennett’s best friend and co-worker, and has escaped custody from a Manhattan lock-up.  He has accomplished this in the midst of a trial that was supposed to send him to the lethal injection chamber. 

 

Detective Bennett, a 20 year veteran of NYPD, has the audacity to challenge “The Sun King”, even to the point of breaking Perrine’s nose during a confrontation.  Doesn’t

Bennett realize who he’s dealing with?  

 

As Michael follows leads of escalating gang activity in NY State, he hears of fellow cops, and even an assistant D.A. being killed.  Even members of his own family are targeted. 

 

Who's stalking who, anyway?

 

Perrine seems to out-fox Bennett at almost every turn.  Surely he must have eyes and ears in high places.  At the end of the day, it's Detective Bennett and his nearest and dearest who become the hunted.  He has continually underestimated the power of the "Sun King".

 

What catches your attention early on is the complete ruthlessness of the villain in this book.  He is nothing more than a murdering psychopath, dressed up in a business suit.  More often than not he will personally end the existence of enemies rather than delegate this unpleasantness to underlings.

 

What's disturbing is the fact that this fiction is almost a mirror image of actual events happening below and near U.S. borders today.  And, in real life, impressionable youngsters, looking for quick cash, model themselves after hardened murderers, just as their counterparts do in Patterson's novel. 

 

Talk about art imitating life!

 

That said I found the book to be a quick, action filled read, like most of Patterson's work.  I don't think it's a great book, but it was good enough to wind up my summer reading schedule.  Patterson fans should feel like they're getting their money's worth. 


Reg (Best Murder Books)

Have a nice fall season!!

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