What draws you to a book? For me, it is the cover which is why I found myself agreeing to review the ARC of 12 Months To Live by James Patterson and Mike Lupica.


The cover is a thing of beauty. Inky blue canvas with holographic steely font, with a few faux bullet holes in them makes this book one of the most exciting on my bookshelf. I will feel sorry that I’ve finished it, because I was really enjoying looking at the pretty book.


Did I enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed its attractive cover? Are the characters traditional James Patterson creations, considering he shares a byline with Mike Lupica?


Here are my thoughts on 12 Months To Live


I am familiar with James Patterson’s work and I’m a big fan of his Alex Cross series, so I was looking forward to reading his latest novel. 

12 Months To Live James Patterson Mike Lupica
A thriller perfect for a Halloween read is 12 Months To Live James Patterson and Mike Lupica


By James’ own admission, 12 Months To Live is the ‘best novel he has done in years.’


I have not read any of co-author Mike Lupica’s work, so I was intrigued to know more about the writing style.


The plot centres around a hotshot attorney who is simultaneously battling cancer and a case involving the mob. Add unsavoury characters, gunshots and twists aplenty and you have yourselves the making a thriller.


At first I wasn’t sure what to make of the writing style, as it is something I have not found in the medium of novels. The sentences are punchy throughout and chapters are often a few pages long. 


This is not a bad thing. In fact, I found this made the book even more readable and extra user-friendly.


I am currently reading another book for my book club called The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins, which was written in 1859. The makeup of this book, which consisted of long chapters, filled with equally lengthy paragraphs, differs vastly from 12 Months To Live.


Perhaps this is a reflection of people’s attention span in 1859 versus 2023. It feels like there is a greater struggle for authors in present day, to keep readers hooked thanks to distractions such as social media, Internet and everything in between. Perhaps the only to capture people’s attention is with shorter sentences and compact chapters. 


12 Months To Live is one of the fastest books I have read this year. Mind you, I’m not generally a fast reader, and since I finished this in around three days, it saying something about how quickly I became engrossed by the story.


It is a little tricky trying to review a thriller and avoid giving spoilers away, so I will focus on characters and favourite parts of the book.


The main character Jane is likeable and the supporting cast of Jimmy and Dr Ben are real and rather lovely. 


There are a few favourite parts including when Jane comes up against her client who has very, very questionable morals. It was nice to see her squirm as she was uncomfortable with potentially helping a murderer evade justice.


I loved fellow private investigator Jimmy’s stubborn, hard-nosed tactics. The fight and courtroom scenes in particular were excellent, in that they transported me, with a magical whoosh, from my home in Derby, to the Hamptons where numerous scenes unfold.


12 Months To Live is a rip-roaring thriller which makes the perfect Halloween read. I can’t believe I read it in such a short space of time, and I can’t wait to explore more of James’ more recent work.


For more information about James Patterson and his work visit his website by clicking here.