Have you ever picked up a book expecting great things and then experienced a huge disappointment? Well, that was my experience with Bloody Valentine by James Patterson (the author of the Alex Cross series) with K. A. John. Bloody Valentine was most definitely not one of Patterson’s best. The book was published by Arrow Books in 2011.
On Valentine’s Day Jack Barnes, a wealthy restaurant owner, woke up filled with great joy as he went over the plans he made for him and his second wife, Zee. His first wife died in a tragic accident when the castle that he bought for her burned down with her inside. Zee experiences a bizarre and elaborate death as her heart is ripped out of her body while she was still conscious. As a sick joke, Zee’s heart was sent to Jack Barnes as a Valentine’s Day gift. The cops get involved interrogating all the residents in the Barnes’ apartment building. They go through the motions collecting evidence, interrogating suspects, analysing evidence including video footage and come up with almost nothing.
Patterson could’ve revealed the murderer in a less melodramatic, cliché way. The story itself had little depth. It felt like Patterson just went through the motions. He did, however, have me guessing who the murderer was as I tried to identify the red herrings, false positives and real clues. It was the first James Patterson book I read so I am not familiar with his style but the book does not come close to the works of crime writers such as Dame Agatha Cristi, Dick Francis, John Grisham, and even James Patterson himself.
So, if you are looking for an easy mystery to solve, for practice in identifying positive clues and red herrings, or just something to waste your money on, then this is the book for you.