THE QUICKIE, the new novel co-written by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, literally has something for everyone. Action? Check. Suspense? By the carload. Romance? Yes. Erotica? Let’s just say that it’s not limited to the cover. Mystery? You’ll be scratching your head throughout.
Lauren Stillwell is an NYPD homicide detective, and her husband Paul is a wildly successful hedge fund broker on the fast track. However, he has been neglecting the home fires and their marriage is going nowhere. Lauren observes Paul entering a hotel with a beautiful woman while he is supposedly having lunch at his office. An infuriated Lauren gives in to temptation and has a fling of her own with Scott Thayer, an undercover police officer involved in a narcotics operation. This “quickie” is brought to an abrupt end when Paul confronts and kills Scott as Lauren watches, horrified, from Scott’s apartment window.
The situation only gets worse from there. Lauren and her partner, Detective Mike Ortiz, are placed in charge of the investigation into Scott’s murder, even as Lauren --- while trying to protect both Paul and her own reputation --- attempts to cover up her husband’s involvement. At first, her plan is looking good. A criminal who was the subject of Scott’s undercover operation is blamed for his death; no one appears to know about Scott and Lauren’s involvement; and perhaps best of all, Paul is unaware that Lauren was present when he murdered Scott.
Yet, there are other problems, even as Lauren and Paul seem to experience a renewal of their relationship. It appears that everyone involved has secrets and knows both more and less than is immediately obvious. The result is a series of mysteries and revelations that continue practically to the book’s last sentence.
THE QUICKIE is a seamless collaboration that combines Patterson’s trademark page-turning, rapid-fire prose with Ledwidge’s sharply-honed ability to combine lot, character and surprises. Given that the conclusion of this thriller opens the door for another series from the duo, fans should have much to look forward to next summer.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 23, 2011