James Patterson adds another thriller to his line of bestselling books, and this time, fans are treated to the simultaneous unfolding of two situations. The 6th Target begins with a madman on a local ferry who kills and injures innocent bystanders. The first mystery is why someone would go on a killing spree in front of hundreds of potential witness, and the second is his motive for the killings in the first place. When one of the shooting victims is identified as a member of Patterson’s established Women’s Murder Club, Inspector Lindsay Boxer tackles both of these questions with a professional and personal vengeance.
As this investigation begins to unfold, so, too, does another string of crimes relating to the disappearance of prominent children and their nannies. Investigators race against the clock to find the kidnapping victims, knowing the likelihood of their safe return diminishes with each passing minute. A critical piece of missing information in this storyline is the absence of a motive for these crimes, since the perpetrators never leave a ransom note or make any demands.
As an avid reader of Patterson’s books, I have to say that The 6th Target is certainly not one of his best works. While I was enticed by the idea of two stories unfolding concurrently, the absence of a true connection between the two prevented me from turning the pages in the rapid pace to which I have become accustomed. However, true fans will likely give Patterson some latitude with this book, since reading it cover to cover does not require the investment of a substantial amount of time. In addition, fans will likely file this book with the others on their shelves, confident that this novel is just a minor deviation from Patterson’s past masterpieces and, more importantly, that the next book, likely to be published in a matter of months, will more than make up for this one’s shortcomings.