LIKE THE LUXURY CO-OPS and five-star French eateries located in Manhattan’s Silk Stocking District, Benchley East Side Parking was outrageously exclusive. Tucked side by side and bumper to bumper within its four temperature-controlled underground levels beneath East 77th Street were several vintage Porsches, a handful of Ferraris, even a pair of his-and-hers Lamborghinis.
The out-of-the-box midnight blue SL550 Mercedes convertible that squealed out of its car elevator at three minutes past noon that Saturday seemed tailor-fit to the high-rent neighborhood.
So did the lean forty-something waiting by the garage’s office when the sleek Merc stopped on a dime out front.
With his salt-and-pepper Beckham buzz cut, pressed khakis, silk navy golf shirt, and deep golden tan that suggested even deeper pockets, it was hard to tell if the car or its driver was being described by the purring Merc’s vanity plate:
“With this heat, I figured you’d want the top down, as usual, Mr. Berger,” the smiling half-Hispanic, half-Asian garage attendant said as he bounced out and held open the wood-inlaid door. “Have a good one, now.”
“Thanks, Tommy,” Berger said, deftly slipping the man a five as he slid behind the luxury sports car’s iconic three-pronged steering wheel. “I’ll give it a shot.”
The fine leather seat slammed luxuriously into Berger’s back as he launched the convertible with a high-torque snarl down East 77th Street and out onto Fifth Avenue.
The crisp, almost sweet smell of Central Park’s pin oaks and dogwoods fused harmoniously with the scent of the hand-stitched leather. At 59th Street, the park’s treetops gave way to the ornate fairy-tale facade of the Plaza Hotel. Moments later, along both sides of the upscale boulevard, glittering signs began to flick past like a Vanity Fair magazine come to life: Tiffanys, Chanel, Zegna, Pucci, Fendi, Louis Vuitton. Outside the stores, swarms of summer Saturday tourists took pictures and stood gaping as if they were having trouble believing they were standing in the very center of the capital of the world.
But the world’s most expensive avenue might as well have been a dirt road through a shit kicker’s cornfield as far as Berger was concerned. Behind the mirrored lenses of his Persol aviators, he kept his gray eyes locked level and forward, his mind blank.
It was his one true talent. In his life, every victory had come down to singleness of purpose, his ability to focus, to leave out everything but the matter at hand.
Even so, he felt his pulse skitter when he finally arrived at his destination, the New York Public Library’s main branch on the west side of Fifth Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets. In fact, as he slowed, he felt his adrenaline surge, and his heart begin to beat almost painfully in time with the car’s indicator.
Copyright @ 2011 James Patterson
Rugged New York City Detective Michael Bennett comes roaring back in Tick Tock, the new page-turner from incomparable thrillmeister James Patterson.
Vacationing on the Irish Riviera—better known as Breezy Point, Queens—with his grandfather, his ten adopted kids and Mary Catherine, the nanny whom he’s growing very fond of, Detective Michael Bennett has no complaints. But fun in the sun, not to mention romance, isn’t in the cards when a bomb threat followed by a rash of coldly calculated murders sends Manhattan into chaos, and he’s called back to investigate.
The common thread between the killings seems to be Bennett himself, since the perp has left notes addressed to him at each crime scene. And they all say the same thing: “For Lawrence.” Working with FBI agent Emily Parker, a former colleague who’s not shy about her feelings, proves almost as troubling for Bennett as the baffling case. Yet a pattern soon emerges suggesting the vicious crimes are copycats of infamous killers from the past…and finding out “why” is of the essence. For as the clock ticks on, time is running out for Bennett’s family, still at the beach, alone and vulnerable…waiting for him to return.
Hardcover Book : 416 pages
Publisher: Hachette Book Group Usa ( January 24, 2011 )
Item #: 13-314208
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.94inches
Product Weight: 15.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I love Michael Bennett and his wonderful family! This is my favorite character of all time. And I love James Patterson's books, never been disapointed in one yet.
I am a big Patterson fan, but not so much when he introduces a second author. Let's get back to the good stuff that he used to write. I have limited my reading of him. There are just too many books in one year to hold my interest. Sorry, let's get back to the old Patterson.
Reviewer: Pat H
I have missed the family of 10; glad to read about them again.
Why doesn't patterson turn out less books and make them more like the ones he originally wrote to become famous?? This is the same old stuff--gory killings and super stud detective. I'm not buying any more with double authors.