Judge and Jury
Judge and Jury has to be the most un-Patterson-novel-like James Patterson novel I've read. The short chapters, with endings that keep you turning the pages, are the only giveaways that this is a work by Patterson. Otherwise, it is a straightforward thriller without any of the surprising twists that the author is known to throw at us.
Nick Pellisante, an FBI agent, has just nabbed mob boss Dominic Cavello, his longtime nemesis. Cavello goes to trial and since many of his former accomplices have become witnesses for the prosecution, it looks like he can't escape justice this time around. But he has hired Richard Nordeshenko, a contract killer, to get him out of prison and Nordeshenko is ready to do whatever's needed to help Cavello escape. One of the jurors at the trial, Andie, is dragged into the game as a result of Nordeshenko's plan and now Nick and Andie have to team up to get Cavello.
Judge and Jury works pretty well as long as you can forget that you are reading a book by James Patterson. It has a detestable villain and a couple of protagonists who easy to sympathize with. It is action-packed and has enough chases, fights and courtroom drama to keep the story moving.
The most surprising thing about the novel is the lack of any twists. Patterson always packs in a twist or two in his books and that has almost become his calling card. Not this time though. Judge and Jury is a straightforward revenge drama where the villain is known on page 1 itself. Considering Patterson's previous novel Beach Road where the one big twist overwhelmed the story itself, the lack of twists here actually helps since it allows more focus on the story.
Like most Patterson books that don't belong to the Alex Cross or Women's Murder Club series, this book too includes a cheesy romance(that seems even more out-of-place than usual). Its characters lack depth and focus is only on moving the story forward. So like those other books, it is an entertaining but unmemorable read.