Ben Hawkins, ex-cop and now reporter for the Los Angeles Times , hustles across the Pacific to cover a story about missing model in Maui, little knowing that he’s in for quite an adventure that won’t end when the model’s parents end up dead.
The stunning young model, Kim McDaniels, disappeared during a shoot on, waking up bound in the trunk of a car, and becomes the unwilling star of a video sold to a worldwide group of “peepers” who will spend in ordinate amounts of money to watch someone raped and horribly murdered.
Her parents – Levon and Barb – receive an anonymous night phone call at their Grand Rapids, Michigan, suburban home from the killer, initiating a frantic flight to Hawaii, where they desperately try to find their daughter.
Ben earns their trust and embeds himself into their search. Unfortunately, Levon and Barb also become victims of the murderer who calls himself Henri Benoit.
And that’s only the first half of the story.
After returning to Los Angeles, the McDaniels case unsolved but unable to make further headway, Ben is contacted by Henri, who wants him to write an exclusive life story and publish the details of his murders in a tell-all book.
That’s where it gets interesting as Ben and his girlfriend Mandy are roped into participating in Henri’s game on threat of death. Ben, it seems, has no choice but to play along. So he does.
And now, after telling us all of the details regarding Henri and the mysterious people who hired him, Ben relates his story from an unknown village on the side of an unknown mountain in an unknown country. But he is safe. His new wife, Mandy, is safe. And most importantly, his expected son (whom he calls “The Floozle”) is safe.
Swimsuit is another well-crafted Patterson collaboration with Maxine Paetro, his co-author in the “Women’s Murder Club” series. They make a good team. The book is a quick and easy read, and will have you turning the pages, not wanting to stop reading.
Little, Brown and Company ($27.99 list)