James Patterson recently hit the million mark in number of Kindle books sold. He is the second author to do so. The other author is Stieg Larsson, the author of the Millenium Trilogy. The trilogy beginning with the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been a huge hit internationally. I thought the book was good, but a little wordy. As a computer geek, I must say I was quite impressed with Lisbeth Salander’s hacking skills. The impressive thing about Larsson is that he only wrote three books that were all published after his death. James Patterson has written sixty-five and counting.
Patterson is best known for his Alex Cross series. I’ve read a few of them and thought they were good. The latest, Cross Fire, will be released on November 15. My favorite series is the Women’s Murder Club series. The newest book in that series is the 9th Judgment. Lindsay Boxer, a member of the San Francisco Police is the protagonist. She and three other friends, a journalist, a lawyer and a medical examiner all work together to solve some rather sinister murder cases. I like the camaraderie and laid back writing style in this series. Somehow that seems to take the edge off the gruesomeness of the murder cases. There is also a bit of romance and humor involved.
Patterson also writes a number of stand alone books including The Postcard Killers, Private and Don’t Blink. I didn’t realize how many books he’s been able to publish this year alone. From the publishing dates, it looks like he releases a new book every two months. That is impressive considering most authors can publish one about once or twice a year.
He also has written a few books that completely out of character for him in terms of plot and character. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas and Sam’s Letters to Jennifer were more what you would expect from Nicolas Sparks than James Patterson. He deviates from his writing even more with a golf theme in Miracle on the 17th Green. It is a quick, inspirational read and has great reviews. So there is something for everyone.
The murders in Patterson’s books are extremely gruesome. I wouldn’t recommend reading them while you’re home alone at night. Some of the murder plots are a bit over the top and unrealistic so I try to tell myself that and it helps.
This week we have seen a new standard set for eSook sales, specifically those for Amazon’s(NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle. Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, which we recently mentioned in a review of the Kindle Editions, has now sold over One Million copies for the Kindle alone. This comes just weeks after James Patterson’s amazing announcement that he had hit over a million eBooks in general between all formats. All three of Larsson’s books are among the Top 10 Bestselling Kindle Editions of all time, according to Amazon, have places on the New York Times and international Bestsellers Lists, and have met with rave reviews seemingly everywhere they have been encountered.
This only serves to emphasize for us how the shifts in the way the publishing industry operates are going to effect us as time moves on. First we have Kindle book sales overtaking hardcovers, now we have authors managing to sell in the millions of copies range. It is becoming increasingly clear that while print is far from dead, there is little chance for the traditional model to reassert itself. As time goes on and more authors find themselves members of this exclusive group, we can only hope that the achievement will continued to be noted, both for these authors and for the eBook industry in general. It can’t be seen as anything but truly impressive.
The trilogy follows financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and brilliant young private investigator Lisbeth Salander as they seek to solve several intense, mind blowing murder mysteries. In Dragon Tattoo, they get an assignment to solve the mystery of a nearly 40 year old murder case involving 82 year old Henrik Vanger’s beloved great niece, Harriet. Throughout the process, Blomkvist does his research in exile on Vanger’s vast estate. The pair uncover a great deal of corruption within Vanger family and about Salander’s own past.
The Girl who Played with Fire follows the duo again as Salandar is accused of murdering a couple in their Stockholm apartment based on her previous violent tendencies, and the presence of her fingerprints on the murder weapon. The trilogy goes out with a bang in Hornet’s Nest as Blomkvist works to figure out who harmed Salander in a previous circumstance and murdered Salander’s father, a longtime asset to the Swedish Secret Police.
The reviews for the whole trilogy are very positive overall. There are some dissenters who say that Blomkvist’s character is not fully developed, and that the Swedish words are kind of distracting. I’m currently reading Dragon Tattoo, and I echo what a lot of reviewers and peers have said in that it is a bit boring for the first hundred pages because of financial jargon and other plot set up. After that, it starts to pick up and then you can’t put it down. I also highly recommend the Kindle version over the paperback because the paperback is bulky, and the print size is tiny. So be patient, put on your seat belt and get ready for a wild ride.
So what do you think? If you’ve read any of these books, do you think this trilogy is as good as the hype surrounding it suggests?