Could a superstar singer also be a cold-hearted killer?
It’s a trial that has electrified the world. Not only because the defendant is Maggie Bradford, the woman whose songs have captured hearts across the globe. And not only because the victim is Will Shepherd, the internationally admired athlete. But also because people are saying that Maggie has murdered not just one husband, but two.
In Maggie's world – the world of fame and celebrity – things are never what they seem.
If Thomas Harris's psycho-thrillers are the creme de la creme of the genre, then Patterson's (Kiss the Girls; Along Came a Spider) are the skimmed milk--fluid, but low in substance. In his new novel, the author again lays down a narrative line so gripping--an effect achieved partly through a plethora of one-sentence paragraphs, a la Sidney Sheldon--that the reader may not notice, or care, that characterization and originality have fallen by the wayside. Patterson tells his story through two points of view: there's the the first-person voice of Maggie Bradford, who kills her abusive husband in the novel's flashback prologue and has now become a world-famous singer-songwriter (``I love your music, Maggie,'' Barbra Streisand tells her); and there's a third-person narration that is often filtered through the eyes of Will Shepherd, the celebrated soccer star who romances Maggie after her interim lover, an older tycoon, dies of a heart attack. The devastatingly handsome Will likes to hurt women (``there was a distinctly good part in him, but also a bad part''), however, and sometimes even to kill them. Will seems to want Maggie to save him from himself. Using his beauty and charm on her and her children, he wins her hand in marriage. That union sets up a major-league deja vu, two murder trials that aren't quite riveting and a final Big Twist that will only surprise those fresh to the thriller genre. Still, Will's descent into cartoonishness, and various loose threads, will probably not bother readers swept along by this lightweight pop fiction.