The Black Book

The Black Book

Large Print - 2017
Average Rating:
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Being a cop runs in Billy Harney's family. The son of Chicago's Chief of Detectives whose twin sister, Patty, also followed in their father's footsteps, there's nothing Billy won't give up for the job, including his life. Left for dead alongside his former partner and a district attorney, Billy miraculously survives. But he remembers nothing about the events leading up to the shootout. The investigation leads to an unexpected address -- an exclusive brothel that caters to Chicago's most powerful citizens. There's plenty of incriminating evidence on the scene, but what matters most is what's missing: the madam's black book. Now shock waves are rippling through the city's elite, and everyone's desperate to find it. Billy suspects the black book contains the truth that will either set him free ... or confirm his worst fears.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2017
Edition: Large print edition, First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780316464161
0316464163
Characteristics: 546 pages (large print) ; 25 cm
large print,rda
Additional Contributors: Ellis, David 1967-- Author

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p
PJD
Sep 13, 2017

Loved it! The little bit of comedy interspersed added to the enjoyment of reading it.

b
B00kL0ver
Sep 11, 2017

Almost bailed on this a quarter of the way in, but stuck it out and glad I did. It definitely gains momentum about halfway in.

b
ba4bes
Aug 26, 2017

Indeed ... an excellent read ... fast a furious.

t
trcookIIImddmd
Aug 13, 2017

Avoiding the boredom of some of the windy critiques from the mindless hoi-poloi, this is one of Patterson's better tales, no doubt due in no small part to the trained mind of his coauthor.
A good whodunit that misleads right up to the end.

m
mswrite
Jul 29, 2017

"It's not that you can't remember. It's that you don't want to." This is what Detective Billy Harney's therapist tells him as she tries to help him recall the days and hours that led up to his near-death shooting and the shooting deaths of his lover, Amy, and his estranged partner and ex-lover, Kate.
The Black Book is the twistiest crime thriller I've read in a long time, so cleverly plotted that somehow I did and yet did not see the shocker ending coming. (I had my suspicions about one character but never in a million years considered another one.) The chapters are brief and well paced, which keeps you turning the pages, eager (or dreading) to know what's going to happen next.

u
USAF1969
Jul 12, 2017

Looking at the reviews a lot of people liked this book. Me too!! Great story line with enough great characters with intriguing baggage to keep you guessing. Have to admit though when I finished the book - great ending by the way - I found myself still a little disturbed by the Harney family dynamics. Hmmmm.

j
jimg2000
Jul 05, 2017

Had given up on JP's book mill except those co-authored with David Ellis. Surprised to learn that JP declared: “The Black Book is the best work I’ve done in twenty years.” While I enjoyed this book, its cliched dialogue and lawyer jokes, well enough but my vote goes to "Invisible 2014" as the better crime thriller. Both are loaded with twists and surprises but fewer coincidences and blind spots in "Invisible."

s
StLouisPhantom
Jun 21, 2017

This is one of James Patterson's best.

b
bixbyjim
Jun 08, 2017

Very good book. It didn't sound like Patterson because Patterson didn't write it, David Ellis did. He's written several, going back to 2001. The library has several of his.

YOLANDE P ROGERS Jun 07, 2017

Patterson is back. Great read.

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Quotes

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j
jimg2000
Jul 05, 2017

Her father pulls Patti back into the main room. The officers all stop what they’re doing and stare at father and daughter as if they were museum exhibits.
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“What do you call a clairvoyant midget who escapes police custody?” ... “A small medium at large,” said Billy.
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He kept it simple. It came down to three words for him—Do your job. Any consideration beyond that made you lose your edge. It blurred your focus and made you less than the cop you were supposed to be.
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“Miss, how old are you?” “Twenty-two,” she said, her voice shaky. He didn’t really want to, but he cuffed her as well. “You’re twenty-two like I’m the king of Spain. ...”
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“Wanna go meet the manager of this place? She makes Heidi Fleiss look like a Girl Scout.”
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I said, ‘All lawyers are assholes!’ This other guy comes up to me and says, ‘Hey, that comment really offended me.’ I said, ‘I’m sorry. You’re a lawyer?’ And he said, ‘No, I’m an asshole.’”

j
jimg2000
Jul 05, 2017

She finds the elevator and stabs at the button so many times she’s sure she’s killed it.
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The connection between my injured brain and my mouth is like the signal I receive on my phone when I’m driving through the South Side. Sometimes it works; sometimes it’s fuzzy; sometimes it completely disconnects.
===
For every video someone took of a cop being too aggressive, there were ten they didn’t take of cops who had to chase an offender down a dark alley or go through the door on a domestic disturbance with no idea whether someone had a hand cannon waiting for them. It was very easy to judge a cop but not so easy to understand one.
===
I just came from a cemetery. I was paying my respects to an old friend. On the way back to my car, I saw a tombstone that said, ‘Here lies a lawyer and an honest gentleman.’ And I thought, y’know, that’s really great. I didn’t know they could fit two people in one grave.” Lawyer jokes: it was like shooting fish in a barrel.

j
jimg2000
Jul 05, 2017

The U of C was a beacon of prestige, a globally renowned institution with state-of-the-art facilities surrounded by one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city. Some of the world’s finest minds came here to teach and study, to probe the limits of science and mathematics and law and medicine, but they required security escorts back to their cars so they wouldn’t get mugged.
===

“He’s doing the Bill Clinton shuffle. ‘It’s just a sex thing. People elected me to do a job, and I’m not gonna let ’em down.’ Like he’s doing it for us.”
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I’m so hungry I could eat the crotch out of a leper’s undies.”
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With a brain injury, he said, it’s like real estate. Location, location, location.
===

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You’ll probably never remember the shooting or the events that immediately preceded it, he said. It’s called retrograde amnesia.
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“I had information that that brownstone was a brothel. They weren’t going in there to play bingo.”

j
jimg2000
Jul 05, 2017

“What do you hope to get out of it this time?” “I hope to get out of here, period,” I say. “No offense. But I don’t need a shrink.” “Why don’t you think you need a shrink?” I look at her. “Do you just ask questions? Do you ever make affirmative statements?”
===
“You know how many Poles it takes to screw in a lightbulb?” I ask. “Three. One to hold the bulb and two to rotate the chair he’s standing on.” “You know how many cops it takes?” she replies. “Three. One to screw it in and two to violate the civil rights of a black guy standing nearby.”
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You have a serious blind spot.” “I don’t see that,” I said. She leaned in nice and close, her mouth next to my ear. “That’s why they call it a blind spot.”
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Reynolds was so green I wasn’t sure he was even toilet trained yet. Nice kid, but he didn’t know detective work from needlepoint.
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It felt like an old-school Agatha Christie novel: One of the people in this room is the thief! One of you took that little black book.

j
jimg2000
Jul 05, 2017

“A guy named Jerry gets out of the shower at his country club,” I said. “The cell phone by his locker is ringing, and he answers it. ‘Honey,’ the woman on the other end says. ‘I just saw a fur coat I’ve been dying to buy. It’s five thousand dollars.’ Jerry says, ‘Wow. Five thousand for a coat—that’s a lot. But go ahead; it’s okay.’ She says, ‘Well, since you’re in a good mood, I just passed a Mercedes dealership, and there’s a new model I just love. But it’s a hundred and fifty thousand.’ Jerry says, ‘A hundred and fifty grand for a car? Jeez, I guess so. Sure, go ahead.’ She says, ‘You’re the best, honey,’ and hangs up. Jerry hangs up the phone and puts it down. His buddies at the gym say, ‘Jerry, we had no idea you had that kind of cash.’ Jerry says, ‘I don’t. I’m flat broke. By the way, any of you know whose cell phone this is?’”
===
Confrontation is never my first choice. But sometimes you can’t avoid it. And a Boy Scout is always prepared.

j
jimg2000
Jul 05, 2017

When I pushed through the door, the wind smacked me. It was so cold outside that a lawyer would have his hands in his own pockets.
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“He’s not my boyfriend,” she said. “No? Does he know that?” “He does now.”

===
Crime on the West and South Sides was pandemic, but nobody blamed it on the breakdown of families or unemployment or bad schools—it was always the cops’ fault.
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“I’m a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”
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Patti comes through the back door carrying a salad in a huge glass bowl. None of the men will eat it, unless maybe Patti draws her firearm, which is always a possibility.
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Losing your memory is like misplacing something, except not only can you not find the thing you lost, you also don’t even know what it is you lost. So you drift through the fog, hoping you’ll bump into something and recognize it when you do.

j
jimg2000
Jul 05, 2017

“I’m not playing this game.” “No,” she called out to me. “You’re playing her game. And you don’t even know it.”
===
“A guy walks into a store and says to the female sales clerk, ‘I’m looking for a pair of gloves for my wife, but I don’t know her size.’
The sales clerk, a real good-looking lady, says, ‘Here, I’ll try them on.’ She sticks her hand inside a glove and says, ‘It fits me. Is she about my size?’
The man says, ‘Yes, she is about your size, so that’s very helpful, thank you!’
The sales lady says, ‘Anything else?’
The man says, ‘Yeah. Come to think of it, she needs a bra and panties, too.’”
===
Stewart once told me, when we got around to discussing funerals—a morbid topic but an unavoidable one at the time—that funerals weren’t for the dead, they were for the living, to give them an outlet to grieve. But I wanted to tell myself that I was doing this for him. I didn’t want to be here, but I owed it to him.

j
jimg2000
Jul 05, 2017

When a lawyer pays you a compliment, look up. There’s probably a guillotine poised to drop down on your neck.
===

The place dies down when I walk in. Something out of a movie: the music stopping, conversations braking to a halt in midsentence, like the abrupt screech of the needle lifting off a turntable.
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Even if jurors might not do it themselves, they can understand the sting of betrayal and the temptation to act on it, to kill the person who stole your lover from your arms and shoot the cheating bastard, too. It’s been the stuff of movies, of songs, of novels for a reason—everyone can relate to it on some level.
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After all, we caught these defendants in various states of undress with young women. They had no plausible defense at trial—nobody was going to believe that they snuck into a discreet high-society sex club to play Parcheesi with scantily clad women.

j
jimg2000
Jul 05, 2017

“Okay, so that didn’t go so well,” which was like saying the Titanic’s maiden voyage had some rough patches.
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From his perspective, this was just a little gloss on the truth, a harmless twist, to prevent a miscarriage of justice—and, more important, to protect me. Always looking out for me.
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Two different law enforcement agencies investigating the same damn thing, not saying a word to each other.
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“Promise me you’ll be careful. People have been killed over this.” “Careful’s my middle name,” I said.
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Chicago—the ability to escape the concrete jungle and be so close to a beach and a massive body of water; the way the roiling lake waters and car traffic on the outer drive produce their own combination of sound, their unique symphony.
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Like all those mobsters who spend their entire lives robbing and intimidating and killing and when they finally get hauled into court, they’re bent over in wheelchairs and using oxygen tanks.

j
jimg2000
Jul 05, 2017

I can see from the way the jurors react to her words, from the nasty glances they shoot in my direction, that I already have one foot in the grave. And each juror is holding a shovelful of dirt.
===

…but how do you unring that bell? Pretend you didn’t hear that, members of the jury—wink, wink: even though we all know you did!
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“The first, a screening test—a preliminary test, if you will—is called the Ouchterlony test, or OT for short. That test tells us whether the stain is blood. And if that test is positive, I’ll do a Hematrace test to confirm that the sample is blood and that its species origin is human.”
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You need a Venn diagram to keep track.
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My body utterly depleted, desperate for rest, but my brain malfunctioning, as though wires have been crossed, thoughts still careening about, memories and fantasies, flashbacks and concoctions, fact and fiction, the past rushing forward to the present and mixing together like dirt and water, an indiscernible sludge—

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