I had previously complained about the ads for James Patterson's books using the word 'unputdownable.' I would not have thought they could get worse, but they have.
The latest has Patterson say directly to the camera "New York has never had a great detective hero until Michael Bennett in Tick Tock."
This is a strange comment for a couple of reasons. First, New York has had its share of memorable fictional detectives from Nero Wolfe and Mike Hammer to Bernie Rhodenbarr and Matthew Scudder. The last two are the creations of Lawrence Block, whom Stephen King named the only writer who come close to replacing John D. MacDonald (a quote that still embarrasses Block). Block, who is still putting out books in his seventies, has received wide critical acclaim, particularly for his pitch-black Scudder novels and is one of those writers other writers tend to single out for praise.
Which, in a way, brings us to the second odd point: Patterson's suggestion that he's the man to fill in the gap. Patterson is not one of those writers other writers tend to praise while critics have mostly ranged from the brutal to the Lincolnesque.*
Perhaps Patterson is using this ad as a chance to slap down some of his critics (including Block's admirer, Stephen King).
Or of course this could just be a way of selling more books.
* "People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like."
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