Run for Your Life by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

January 4, 2013

Plot summary (from the publisher): A calculating killer who calls himself The Teacher is taking on New York City, killing the powerful and the arrogant. His message is clear: remember your manners or suffer the consequences! For some, it seems that the rich are finally getting what they deserve. For New York’s elite, it is a call to terror.

Only one man can tackle such a high-profile case: Detective Mike Bennett. The pressure is enough for anyone, but Mike also has to care for his 10 children-all of whom have come down with virulent flu at once!

Discovering a secret pattern in The Teacher’s lessons, Detective Bennett realizes he has just hours to save New York from the greatest disaster in its history. From the #1 bestselling author comes RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, the continuation of his newest, electrifying series.

Warning: Spoilers below!


  • Like most of Patterson’s books, this was a quick, turn-your-brain-off read.
  • Mary Catherine, the Bennett nanny, is a very likable character — probably the best in the entire book. She’s calm, competent, and gives off this vibe that she can do practically anything, from nursing all the Bennett children through the flu by herself to finding the best carpet cleaning Durham NC has to offer. Plus, the writers are clearly setting up a potential romance between her and Michael, which should add some depth to the home scenes.


  • All the careful listing of The Teacher’s brand-name clothing and accessories got to be extremely tiresome after a while. I guess it was okay the first time, to help readers imagine the character, but after that it was just padding the word count.
  • So a Cessna gets shot out of the sky by an Air Force jet and one of the passengers (the hero, of course) manages to survive? Okay.
  • Why was this book called Run for Your Life? That doesn’t fit the story in any way, shape, or form.
  • What was with all the focus on the Bennett children and the flu epidemic in their home? All the chapters about vomiting, medication, and cleaning were a waste of time.
  • The Teacher’s motivation was thin at best. He wanted to teach the assholes of the world a lesson because his brother committed suicide after an extramarital affair went wrong? Fine, but why change his mind at the end and forget about his main target, his brother’s former in-laws? True, Bennett was along for the ride by that time, but that’s only because the Teacher dragged him into it. The whole thing made little sense to me.
  • What was the point of bookending the story with the hostage negotiation scenario? Did Bennett get a demotion or something because of his role? I must have tuned that part out.


There’s not much to say about Run for Your Life by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. It’s a by-the-numbers Patterson-and-coauthor book, which means it provides a modicum of entertainment at a relatively low cost in terms of time and brain engagement. I give it 2 stars out of 5.

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