ORANGE LAKE, NEW YORK
SIXTY MILES NORTH OF NEW YORK CITY
STARTING TO GASP AS she climbed the increasingly steep slope of the tangled hiking trail, Mary Catherine was about to take a breather when the tree line opened. Glancing out over the open ridge, she immediately halted in her tracks, as what was left of her breath was suddenly taken.
Off to the right, the flat lake and majestic foothills of the Catskill Mountains glowed in the soft morning light like a priceless Hudson River School landscape come to life. Mary Catherine stood for a moment, mesmerized by the exhilarating vista, the distant golden hills, the mile-long expanse of silvery blue water, smooth and perfect as a freshly tucked-in sheet.
Only for a moment.
Two geese floating by the near shore of the lake took frantic, honking flight as a large projectile landed in the water beside them with a tremendous, booming slap.
“Youkilis tries to tag from third!” Eddie Bennett yelled as the baseball-size rock he’d just chucked sent violent ripples over the serene water. He dropped to his knees as he threw his arms up in dramatic triumph. “But the Yankees’ new center fielder, Eddie the Laser Beam Bennett, throws him out by a mile. Ball game over. Pennant over. Thuuuuh Yankees win!”
“Mary Catherine!” protested one of the girls from the front of the long, single-file line of children already on the move through the trees farther down the trail.
There were ten of them in all, six girls, four boys. Being a mix of Spanish and Asian, black and white, and ranging in age from seven to sixteen, they were often mistaken for a small Montessori school.
But they weren’t, Mary Catherine knew. They were a family, believe it or not. A large, raucous, often aggravating, but ultimately always loving family. One she found herself smack-dab in the middle of again and again for some reason.
Who was she kidding? she thought as she hauled Eddie up and sent him scurrying ahead of her along the forest path. She knew the reason, or at least the main one. His name was Mike Bennett, the NYPD detective father of these ten crazy kids, stuck back in the city on a case. Which meant she was on riot patrol without backup here at the Bennett family lake house. At least until the weekend.
This latest frenzied fiasco of an outdoor adventure was actually courtesy of the two littlest ones, Shawna and Chrissy: a first-ever Bennett family vacation breakfast picnic. But it was Jane, the Girl Scout, who had turned it into a full-blown nature walk with her Orange County field guide. An activity Ricky, Eddie, and Trent were determined to tease into oblivion at every turn, of course.
Less than a minute later, Mary Catherine watched helplessly as, midway down the hiking line, Ricky Bennett suddenly hopped up on a rock and began making drumbeat sounds with his mouth. It was a rap beat, Mary Catherine knew. The very same one the thirteen-year-old had driven them all crazy with on last night’s two-hour ride up here.
“Uh-oh. Here we go. More dissension in the ranks,” Mary Catherine mumbled as she hurried forward through the column of kids.
Reprinted from the book I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson. Copyright © 2012 by James Patterson. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York, N.Y. All rights reserved
Large Print Hardcover Book : 560 pages
Publisher: Hachette Book Group, USA ( July 09, 2012 )
Item #: 13-613733
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 1.26inches
Product Weight: 19.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
The book was excellent but I was disappointed in the ending, I hope Michael Bennett is coming back, he's my favorite!
Reviewer: Barbara R
I don't see how James can write so many novels and they are sooooo good! I have JUST finished reading this and, wow, it is weird how many of these stories can become movies. This one is definitely deserves to be amovie! Michael Bennett has become my favorite detective!
Reviewer: Jeff R
I just love the new Michael B series from these two authors. They left this one up in the air so I am inpatiently waiting for the next in the series. Hurry up guys !!!
I am a major James Patterson fan and really enjoyed this book. As always an easy, quick, exciting read. I can't wait for the sequel to finish the story!
I love this family! Mike is a fool that does not undertand the love of a good woman.Like many tv characters, he looks elswere for what is in his own house. This novel was open ended, meaning it will be continued on a later work. How long will we wait for the sequile?