In his latest non-series book, his main character, Matt Bannon, is a struggling artist living meagerly in New York City. He comes from a generational family of Marines on his paternal side. Maternally he's inherited the traits of a talented, creative, caring person. In order to not disappoint his parents, he enlists in the Marine Corps and becomes a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. Upon his discharge he begins a life as a struggling artist.
Matt, next chapter in his artistic life, begins to brighten when he meets a beautiful art instructor, falls in love, and gets the opportunity to enroll in her prestigious school. His world is rocked when he accidently stumbles upon the assassination of a dirty diamond dealer by a smoke and mirrors professional hit-man called The Ghost.
The plot gets convoluted when the Russian mobster who hired the hit wants the bag of diamonds returned to him that Matt stole from the murder scene. Nathaniel Prince and his incestuous daughter, Natalia, are forces to be reckoned with. Prince orders the services of The Ghost to find the diamonds at any cost.
Like any successful mob kingpin, Prince's power structure is well insulated. His orders are channeled through his long-time childhood friend and mob-captain, Chukov; a despicable derelict who will stop at nothing to save his own hide. Chukov in turn, has a pair of New York's finest who he orders to find the bag of gems and the thief. This thickening plot takes on the appearance of a guppy swimming in a sea of sharks.
Matt is no guppy nor minnow. Unknowns to all the villains involved, the past and present events will be more like sharks swimming with several other sharks in a blood-frenzy.
This is one of Patterson's more suspenseful novels. It is Hitchcockian in style and storyline. Anyone fortunate to have this book be their first cast into the James Patterson pool of popular prose will undoubtedly be hooked.
Three years on, the world still turns. Kevin Garvey isn't sure what happened, but he is now mayor of Mapleton. His wife has left him for a sect that refuses to speak and uses cigarettes like talismans. His college age son worships at the feet of a new age guru, Holy Wayne, who encourages others to give him all their money while he marries multiple times. And Jill Garvey, the daughter in high school who always got straight A's, is struggling for the first time.
This is a story of trying to find meaning in a world where the rules have changed. Do you become wanton and greedy because it doesn't matter anymore? Or do you become extremely devout in the hopes of a second rapture? Each of the family members chooses a different path to the new normal. These are ordinary people living in extraordinary times. Author Tom Perrota explores what leads each of them to the path they are on.
At the heart of the story is Kevin Garvey, grieving husband and father. While his children and wife remain alive he sees the distance growing between them until they no longer contact him. Knowing he has lost his wife he still wants to keep in contact with her and with their son. Will he lose his daughter Jill also? The struggle to save what isn't lost is at the center of this story. Kevin Garvey struggles, as everyone struggles in this new world, but in the end he is rewarded with a little piece of salvation.