Review

You've Been Warned

by James Patterson and Howard Roughan

If
you're wondering what James Patterson is up to --- what with
publishing a great number of books in a given year --- then YOU'VE
BEEN WARNED, co-written with Howard Roughan, provides a clue. This
stand-alone work, which rests upon the bedrock of a perplexing
mystery, is quite different from his Alex Cross novels, which in
turn are a world away from the Women's Murder Club books.
There's the Maximum Ride series, aimed at young adults
(who need an incentive to get their fingers wrapped around a book
instead of a game unit). And then we have his other stand-alone
efforts, such as THE QUICKIE, THE LAKE HOUSE and SUZANNE'S DIARY
FOR NICHOLAS, all of which are different from YOU'VE BEEN
WARNED.

Patterson has said, unapologetically, that he sees his job as a
writer as propelling the story forward with each and every
sentence. This he does, and quite well, in all of his novels for a
number of different audiences.

Which brings us to YOU'VE BEEN WARNED, as enigmatic a book as
Patterson has ever produced. Kristin Burns is a twenty-something
woman living in New York and is in love with her boss, Michael
Turnbull, a successful banking executive. There's nothing wrong
with that, except for the fact that Kristin is a nanny for
Michael's children and Michael is inconveniently married to the
thoroughly unlikable and unlovable Penley. Though she's quite fond
of the little ones, Kristin doesn't want to be stuck in a job like
this her entire life; she would like to be a world-class
photographer and Michael's wife, though not necessarily in that
order.

Kristin's major problem --- besides being involved with a gentleman
who, as Patterson and Roughan subtly let us know, isn't going to be
making any changes on the home front anytime soon --- is that her
life seems to be coming unraveled. Some of her pictures have
acquired an unusual transparency; she's having bizarre nightmares
that have her screaming, even when she's awake; she witnesses an
odd crime scene at a hotel that apparently never happened; and
strangers are coming up to her on the street, warning her away from
Michael. Things become weirder and, in a way, more dangerous. Then,
before the book ends, they get really bad.

Patterson and Roughan give some fairly strong clues as to where
YOU'VE BEEN WARNED is going, but even if you guess the conclusion
of this fast-moving work early on, you won't feel cheated. Part
mystery, part erotica and part thriller, this is a Patterson novel
with something for everyone.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 24, 2011

You've Been Warned
by James Patterson and Howard Roughan

  • Publication Date: September 10, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-10: 0316014508
  • ISBN-13: 9780316014502