When the Wind Blows
by James Patterson
#1 Best Seller in 1999
# Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
# Publisher: Vision (October 1, 1999)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0446607657
# ISBN-13: 978-0446607650
# Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
PRICE : IDR 55.000,- (NEW)
Reviewed by Dianne Day (http://www.bookreporter.com)
Using his trademark short chapters and simple declarative sentences, James Patterson takes on new content in WHEN THE WIND BLOWS. He’s still writing a thriller, a kind of suspense novel, but this is not one of the Alex Cross tales with which he’s been so successful in recent years. Perhaps he’s riding the crest of a wave that will inundate us, around the year 2000, with a certain kind of book — you could call it “a millennial thriller.”
The plot and characters of WHEN THE WIND BLOWS read like a three-parter for the X-FILES. In the Scully role we have Frannie, who like Scully does medical stuff including autopsies (Frannie, however, is a veterinarian; this turns out to be crucial to the plot); instead of Mulder we have Kit. Now it just happens that baby foxes are called kits, and Mulder’s middle name is Fox. Is this a coincidence? Hmm.
Frannie finds — shall we say — a Child With a Difference in the woods.The child’s name is Max. Max is fourteen and she is being hunted like an animal (remember, Frannie’s a veterinarian) by some very bad people from whom she ran away. Max has a brother who is exactly like her but a few years younger, and he is being hunted too. Kit — whose real name is not Kit, but Frannie doesn’t find this out for quite a while, just as she doesn’t know for quite a while whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy — is renting a cabin from Frannie while he pursues something the FBI doesn’t want him to pursue (they think he’s on vacation), which means of course he could lose his job if not his life; eventually Kit’s obsession leads to those very same bad guys who are hunting Max and her brother. Will any of our good guys survive? It’s touch and go to the very end, while you keep turning the pages.
James Patterson is a genius. He writes this book with the brief chapters and short sentences, with characters we sort of know already and a plot so predictable it’s transparent — but these are not shortcomings. Not the way James Patterson does it. His genius lies in the fact that out of such seemingly simple stuff he can and does construct a book that is almost impossible to put down. You think you know what’s going to happen, and yet you have to keep turning those pages in order to find out if you’re right or not. These characters you somehow sort of know already, including one who’s so unique you can’t possibly know her and yet somehow you do, are irresistible. You really, really care what happens to these people — especially to the ones who are…not…really…quite…human. Whatever they are, they are children, and so you care all the more.
After reading WHEN THE WIND BLOWS people may want to ponder a bit upon the skill of the man who put together all the elements that kept them involved for those hours. Other less picky people will just read it for the surface entertainment value and the trace of a moral lesson the book contains. Either way, it won’t matter to Patterson: the cover letter that comes with the review copy mentions an advertising/promotion budget of one million dollars. WHEN THE WIND BLOWS will be a best seller. It can’t miss.