This appears to be the first James Patterson book I’ve read, and I see why his bio in the back of the book is so over the top, starting with “James Patterson has created more enduring fictional characters than any other novelist writing today.” If Invisible is representative of all his books, he’s really good! The twist was really well done.
Looking through today’s lens of not having achieved the promised equality between men and women, this jumped out at me:
You could be the most generous and loving father, the most charitable of men, but if your buddies knew about those photographs of barely legal Asian girls you’ve downloaded to your computer, they’d remember that above all else—you’d be the pervert, first and foremost—so you keep it a secret. You could be a faithful wife who would never cheat on your husband, but if he know that you touched yourself in the shower while thinking of the grade-school principal or some movie star, his opinion of you would change, so you hide it.Pages 149–150 of my copy
Men have to look at child porn for people to turn on them, but women just have to masturbate? That passage comes from one of the killer’s journal entries, so I really hope that it’s chosen intentionally to shock, and not Mr. Patterson’s opinion.
Speaking of the killer’s journal, the journal entries are interspersed among the normal chapters and set in a sans-serif font, which I find really jarring in a cheap paperback. It might work on nice smooth white paper, but on rough, yellowish, paperback paper it’s weird to me.
These are minor complaints for the moment. I will likely read more James Patterson. The plot kept me hooked and the reveal was superbly executed.
Did Tom Clancy actually write this? I’m not sure, but I can’t find any other author listed. Night Moves is the only book I have read from the Net Force series. The book was written in 1999, and is set in 2011 – the “future” where computers, and especially Virtual Reality, are way more advanced than they are today in 2018, and people use really cringe-y computer slang to go with their cringe-y VR worlds and “hacking” by doing things like walking through a VR jungle.
The storylines of Alex Michaels and John Howard’s son, (I don’t remember, and didn’t write down, his name), could be completely cut from the book. Michaels, the alleged leader of the Net Force team, spends the entire book struggling with his romantic entanglements, (which even the book, written before the turn of the millennium, admits would make heads spin in PR – never mind the current environment around sexual harassment in the workplace). He doesn’t do anything to move the core story forward. As for Howard Jr, a high school student and competitive boomerang thrower, he throws boomerangs with names that were probably cool in 1999 and tries to figure out which girl he should go for – that’s not the Clancy I came for!
There’s the core of a decent story here, between hunting down a former Russian operative in the Nevada desert, to tracking down a bad actor with a supercomputer, and a billionaire English lord who likes black powder, but it hasn’t aged well, and has more storylines than desired.
There’s a nugget of wisdom near the end that applies to anything needing self-motivation, which is a lot for us self-employed remote workers:
Make yourself work a little bit every day, if for no other reason than to stay in the habit of working.
As someone who easily drops out of work mode, sometimes entirely, and sometimes for certain projects, so this is something I will apply everywhere, not just to cleaning.
I started UFYH before reading Marie Kondo’s book, and despite having dramatically different opinions about a few things, (MK: “You must do everything at once!”, RH: “Doing a little bit is better than nothing at all!”), the core advice about the central problem of “I have too much stuff and it’s everywhere” is the same: get rid of as much as possible. While Marie Kondo goes deeper into a method of letting go of evaluating what you need to keep Rachel Hoffman very strongly suggests that the right answer to stuff everywhere is less stuff, not better storage, and spends more time on dealing with other people in the space and the cleaning part that becomes more possible and easier after purging.
Having read Black Beauty as a child, for some reason I thought Beauty was going to die and was ready to cry, so I was pleasantly surprised, although it felt like the story should have continued to his death.
Like The Sigma Protocol, which I re-read recently after forgetting I had already read it, the Matarese Circle, (spoiler alert), deals with corporations reaching beyond their intended level of political power. It’s kind of tiring, (maybe because it’s not so far-fetched anymore).