It felt like forever since I’d read a book when I was gifted Blindside by James Patterson on my birthday. (Sept. 20, so write that down 😉 Just kidding… or am I?) Anyway, I decided to procrastinate on my busy schedule by reading this book between my meetings, classes, assignments, etc. and have enough of an opinion on it that I decided to write a review. Feel free to click on the link to read the blurb, I will however be jumping straight into my thoughts!
Blindside is not a YA book, and our protagonist is a middle-aged man, Micheal Bennett, who is also a father of 10 (all or most are adopted, I think). Detective Bennett reminds me A LOT of my fav: Detective Murdoch from the Canadian TV show, Murdoch Mysteries. And it’s not only because their both handsome, Catholic, brave, and family-oriented… okay well, maybe it is. Basically, Detective Bennett is the classic “good guy” and “family man” which is good in real life I suppose, but very boring to read about. Therefore, there was not a lot of character development in HIM. With the “bad guys” however…
Moving on to the mystery! The story starts with one homicide scene and leads to a series of events which ends up with Bennett in Estonia on a missing persons’ case. There was not much of a mystery about the book because we know the “bad guy” from the very start, and so I think the label of “thriller” fits much better with the overall tone of the story. There are amazing action scenes in Blindside, as well as a lot of suspense and plot twists. There is none, however, of the clue-searching, witness-interviewing, and suspect-spying that I like. All of that to say that I did enjoy the plot immensely. It was fast-paced, full of fun commentary and interesting situations. Mainly, it was fast-paced and that’s exactly what I needed to read as a break from history textbooks.
My main gripe with this book is the family sideplot. I like authenticity and every. single. family. scene. in this book felt so CONTRIVED and artificial. I don’t care how beautiful or kind a family is, you can’t expect 10 kids to magically get along and say all the adorable, helpful, and encouraging comments a father needs to hear. Even Mary Catherine (Bennett’s fiancée) felt one-dimensional and fake. I wanted some family drama and sad/funny authentic family dimensionality but instead got the happy family cliché scene on repeat. How was that even APPROVED by editors, is my question.
Other than that, I did really enjoy reading Blindside. It offered a fun and fast-paced read, I learned a lot about the NYPD (and its relationship with the FBI) and I even laughed. 6/10