I don’t expect greatness out of James Patterson but I do expect a good time. This book is like a lovely TV movie: not too much brain power required and a fun diversion. I recommend this book for only that reason.
Yet one thing just goes screeeeeeee like fingernails on a cheese grater for me: product placement. The main character refers to her cellular phone repeatedly and exclusively as her 'Nextel.'
Okey dokey. Let's review:
1. Nextel is not a brand of phone. Nextel used to be a wireless communications company and now it is part of Sprint. They were the first (and maybe only, I don’t frankly care) company to integrate digital cellular phone service, two way radio, and text/voice paging. In this and only in this way there is such a thing as a "Nextel" phone.
2. The actual Nextel phones are made by our friends at Motorola and Blackberry.
So why use the term Nextel without even mentioning that it's a freaking cellphone?
I can think of many reasons why not:
1. Twenty years from now there might not be a Nextel. Shoot, it's already part of Sprint so in twenty minutes there might not be a Nextel.
2. It automatically dates your book. Why refer to a specific brand name?
And the reason why:
Someone is getting paid to endorse this product in a book by a Best Selling Author.
Will I someday read my kids the story of the eternal war between arachnid and child only to have them see a picture of the lovely Ms. Muffet eating from a tub of Lucerne Cottage Cheese?
Will the baby bear have a bed that is "just right" because it's a Sealy Posturepedic?
Does this really happen?
Tell me a story.
Oh and go get a Carl Hiaasen book, you'll be glad you did.