Sail by James Patterson and Howard Roughan

Reviewed by L.D.Y.

Hardcover, 388 pages, 2008

Rating: 9/10

Reason for Reading: I’ve read a few of Patterson’s books a number of years back but took a break when they seemed to be getting a little too fluffy for my tastes…but enough time has passed to try again.

Synopsis: Katherine Dunne is disappointed to leave her new husband on shore but hopes that taking a trip on a personal boat with her former brother-in-law and three kids will bring them together again, a feeling they haven’t had since her first husband passed away four years ago. A disaster strikes and they’re going to be forced to work together if they want to live, especially when it seems that all the disasters at sea aren’t so natural…

Why you should read this book: I couldn’t tell you who did what in this collaboration, and that must be a good thing with such a seamless, quick-paced suspense novel. We rapidly meet the characters, see their problems and like them enough to care and then all the action kicks in before you know it. It keeps you interested without being overly complicated which is bound to make this a big hit with anyone looking for a summer read. I was also happy that the overall writing style seems to have a little more life to it than the last novels of Patterson I read, so it feels more like a novel than something cranked out assembly-line style. The quest to survive at sea combined with the possibility of murder make Sail a bit of a modern, darker Swiss Family Robinson that’s sure to delight.

Why you should avoid this book: This is the sort of book where most chapters are two or three pages, so maybe try something else if you’re looking for something more involved or complicated in a suspense novel.

Opening paragraph:

Easing through the marina’s sapphire-blue water at a leisurely three-knot clip, Captain Stephen Preston took a long pull off his Marlboro Red, casually flicking the ash into the cool island breeze. Then, after waiting for just the perfect moment, he punched the horn of his forty-six-foot Bertram Sport Fisherman until everyone on the dock stopped to look.

Fabulous quotes:

To think I almost took their advice and started my own little record of our journey. Good thing I didn’t. I surely would’ve thrown the damn diary away by now. That, or burned it. After all, how many entries in a row can begin with I want to kill my kids!
We’ve been out to sea for six days now, our first port in the Bahamas is only a couple of days away, and it’s been nothing but SOS for the Dunne family.
Same. Old. Shit.

The day’s first ray of sun hits my face, waking me up as it has every morning since we handed on his godforsaken island in the middle of who knows where. Only this time the feeling is different, and I can sum it up in one word.

Also recommended: The Empty Chair by Jeffery Deaver; 47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers by Troy Cook; Watch Your Back! by Donald E. Westlake.

Also by this author: Patterson: Sunday at Tiffany’s; Maximum Ride: The Final Warning; 7th Heaven; Double Cross; You’ve Been Warned; The Quickie; Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports; The 6th Target; Step on a Crack; Cross; Judge & Jury; Maximum Ride: School’s Out Forever; Beach Road; The 5th Horseman; Mary, Mary; Lifeguard; 4th of July; Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment; Honeymoon; London Bridges; santaKid; Sam’s Letters to Jennifer; 3rd Degree; The Big Bad Wolf; The Lake House; The Jester; Four Blind Mice; The Beach House; 2nd Chance; Violets are Blue; Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas; 1st to Die; Roses are Red; Cradle & All; Black Friday; Pop Goes the Weasel; When the Wind Blows; Cat & Mouse; See How They Run; Jack & Jill; Miracle on the 17th Green; Hide & Seek; Kiss the Girls; Along Came a Spider; The Midnight Club; Season of the Machete; The Thomas Berryman Number
Edward Roughan: Honeymoon; The Promise of a Lie.

Author’s website:

Fun tidbit: Patterson does little mini-reviews of movies on his website if you’re also looking for a good movie.

Would I read more by this author? Probably, I just wasn’t crazy about his ‘Women’s Murder Club’ series.

&#169 Lisa Yanaky 2003-2008

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