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Friday, August 11, 2023



“The book’s final paragraph is yet another twist – linked to his father. Book number four is no doubt a required read to solve this added mystery.” (Review by Christine E Hann)

Escape is the third book in The Black Book Series written by Patterson and Ellis. Not having read the first two books, I wondered if the book could stand alone or needed the first two for context. 

Happily, Escape proved to be an engaging, fast-paced read, although some background to the characters might give better insight into where the main character is at. 

The novel is much of what the reader would expect from Patterson and Ellis himself if you check out reviews of his other books.

The series and this book feature Chicago Detective Billy Harney, who works in an elite unit focusing on high-publicity crime cases which tend to stir the public’s interest. Harney is a widower, whose father is an imprisoned Chicago Police Officer and whose twin sister is also a member of the police force. His character is that of a hard-working honest man, who believes in justice for the wrong-doers he is looking for. You can’t help but like and admire the man as you turn the pages.

The book opens with Harney and his partner Carla desperately searching for a kidnapping victim, before she becomes yet another one of her sadistic kidnappers’ fatalities. Sadly, the kidnapper is a step ahead, and Harney loses his partner in the race to save the victim. The plot becomes mixed and complex with our detective looking to catch the kidnapper, who is also his partner’s killer. Focus is hard for him to maintain, especially when there is also an urgent case regarding a major street gang that is busy infiltrating all aspects of Chicago’s life. In the mix is a very shady billionaire, who thinks he is above the law, just to add more pressure to what are already complex, and yet somehow interlinked cases.

Interestingly, Harney’s father is also part of the plot, calling from prison, and seemingly one step ahead all the time. Making you wonder what his part in all the wrong doings really is, and where his intel is coming from. Why is he suddenly so interested in his son? The book’s final paragraph is yet another twist – linked to his father. Book number four is no doubt a required read to solve this added mystery. As usual, the good guy wins, and gets his man - or is it men, despite some fraught action and narrow escapes. There is lots of good action in this fast-paced thriller from the duo, making for a great weekend read.


The Authors: James Patterson & David Ellis

James Patterson is an American author and philanthropist, a prolific and popular author, who is known for his thriller and suspense novels. He has written over 140 books since 1976 and has sold over 400 million copies world-wide. He holds the New York Times #1 best seller record.

David Ellis is a Justice of the Illinois Appellant Court – in 2014, when he was sworn in, he became the youngest serving Justice of the first District of Illinois.  He is the author of ten crime novels, which have been translated in ten languages worldwide. This is his ninth collaboration with James Patterson. The author lives outside Chicago with his wife and three children.

Some of the other books written by the authors: James Patterson – has written several series, amongst them: The Alex Cross Series and The Detective Michael Bennet series, as well as numerous standalone books of varying genres. David Ellis:  Line of Vision, The Hidden Man. Escape is the ninth collaborative work between the two authors. - Christine E Hann


Escape is published by Penguin Random House UK – 2022:  ISBN: 978-1-52-912540-5