James Patterson is back and, finally, he takes a risk and deviates from the formulaic stories that have made him a bestselling author time after time after time after time. While You've Been Warned is far from perfect, it does represent a concerted effort by Patterson to test the waters by injecting some science-fiction surreal-type elements into his more traditional themes of murder, sex, and betrayal.
This novel centers
on Kristin Burns, a New York photographer who works as a nanny for a particularly unpleasant woman and her husband (with whom she is having a torrid affair) as she waits for her big break. One evening, she awakens from
a terrifying nightmare only to see some of its elements seep into her daily life. Haunted by the dream and the possibility that it might actually be real, she begins to take photographs of what she sees to try to uncover what it means.
As people and events from her past start to make appearances in Kristinís daily life, she continues to try to disentangle all that is happening around her. Throughout the book, she flashes between reality and the imaginary, and in some instances merges the two. As she struggles to separate them, so, too, does the reader.
Even after completing the book, I am still not sure into which category some of the scenes fall.
You've Been Warned is
a novel that, on the bright side, gives fans something new. It is unfortunate that the book leads to an ending that is not particularly satisfying, but the journey to reach it (and the fact that Patterson took a leap) makes it worth the ride.