Daily Archives: September 5, 2009

Review: Sail by James Patterson, Howard Roughan

SailMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

As I reflect over my reading, it seems that I read a lot more romantic suspense than straight thrillers these days. In many cases, the things I didn’t like about Sail were what made it a good thriller, and made it not fit in the romantic suspense category.


Since the death of her husband, Anne Dunne and her three children have struggled in every way. In a last ditch effort to save the family, Anne plans an elaborate sailing vacation to bring everyone together once again. But only an hour out of port, everything is going wrong. The teenage daughter, Carrie, is planning to drown herself. The teenage son, Mark, is high on drugs and ten-year-old Ernie is nearly catatonic. This is the worst vacation ever.
Anne manages to pull things together bit by bit, but just as they begin feeling like a family again, something catastrophic happens. Survival may be the least of their concerns.

The book had me on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear what would happen next. There were many twists of the plot that I didn’t expect. The writing itself was fine, not calling attention to itself for better or worse.

I just kept waiting to see who the couple was going to be! I’m more used to books where the plot moves the relationships along, rather than having relationships to hang the plot on.

The characters were interesting, but not deeply drawn. We’re told about the issues the kids are having in their lives, rather than learning about them ourselves. I never really connected with Anne, even though she seemed like she would have been an interesting person. I really would like to read a more character-centered book about Jake– he seemed like he had a lot of potential.

I felt that for much of the book, I was quickly flipping back and forth between “Another really bad thing happens to the Dunne Family” and “We learn more about how really bad the bad guy is”. Again, this is probably what makes it a good thriller. However, I’m more of a character-driven reader, and while I enjoyed much of the experience and could appreciate the strengths of the book, it just isn’t going to be one of my favorites.

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Posted by on September 5, 2009 in books, reviews


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