Lifeguard by James Patterson


Author: James Patterson & Andrew Gross

Title: Lifeguard

Genre: Action/Suspense/Mystery

Publication Date: 2005

Number of Pages: 393

Geographical Setting: Palm Beach, FL; Brockton, Massachusetts (suburb of Boston)

Time Period: Present

Plot Summary: Ned Kelly was offered a deal of a lifetime: help steal three paintings worth $60 million and walk away with $1 million in his pocket.  But he and his friends were beat to the chase, and Ned is the only member of the group still alive.  He must clear his name and the names of his friends while on the run from the FBI.  To add to his growing list of felonies, Ned kidnaps FBI special agent Ellie.  Somehow, Ned convinces Ellie of his innocence and she helps get to the bottom of the missing art.

Subject Headings: Palm Beach, Florida; FBI; Art Theft; Brockton, Massachusetts; Murder; Upper Class v Lower Class; Gin Rummy; Car Theft; Pablo Picasso; Paul Cezanne; Jackson Pollock; Red Sox; Betrayal; High Speed Chase

Appeal: Breakneck pace, told in multiple points of view, humorous characters, suspenseful, short chapters, character-centered

3 terms that best describe this book: beach, art, theft

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

A Life of Picasso: The Prodigy, 1881-1906 by John Richardson (Picasso’s paintings become a character, knowing more would help make sense of some of the lesser explained references)

Madness Under the Royal Palms: Love and Death Behind the Gates of Palm Beach by Laurence Leamer (Sordid stories of the real people living in Palm Beach make the conniving characters in Lifeguard more realistic)

FBI 100 Years: An Unofficial History by Henry M. Holden (FBI agent Ellie plays a major role in uncovering the truth)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Dirty Work by Stuart Woods (Protagonist tries to clear her name in a murder investigation)

Silent Joe by T. Jefferson Parker (protagonist seeks revenge for family’s murders)

Tell No One by Harlan Coben (quick pacing and likeable main character)

~Angela Bennett


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