Cover Image: Blowback


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Every new James Patterson book claims to be the author's "best thriller in years," although depending on the coauthor, his works seldom rise above average. In case you didn't know, James Patterson doesn't write his co-authored books. According to his memoir, James Patterson by James Patterson, he constructs the plot and characters, creates a detailed outline of 70–80 pages, and then hands it on to his coauthor to write. Blowback, his latest thriller, is co-written with frequent collaborator Brendan DuBois (The Summer House, The First Lady, and so on), and the cover slogan is "An American President Goes Insane." That one sentence alone suggests that the novel's fictional president is probably inspired by the 45th President of the United States.

The concept of Blowback is simple: freshly elected US President Kegan Barrett orders CIA agents Liam Grey and Noa Himel to organize an undercover task force to eliminate anybody on his "kill list" whom he deems a danger to his presidency. Sounds familiar, right?

I won't go into further specifics regarding the story. To put it simply, this is a dull read. After a few chapters, the storyline soon grew uninteresting, and I skimmed the last remaining pages to finish the book and write my review. There's not a single likable character that can be found in this too lengthy novel. 512 pages? That is going too far. In contrast to Stephen King, George R. R. Martin, and Diana Gabaldon, who can write fascinating, lengthy epics on their own, James Patterson can't write epics of this level, even when working with a co-author. If at least 150 pages of unnecessary dialogue had been cut from Blowback, the novel may have been much better.

Once more, breaking my golden rule, I read a few reader reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I'm perplexed as to why this book has received four or five stars and sugar-coated reviews. Even if it's not completely terrible, it only deserves two stars at most, and I'm being very generous. Writing is a skill that Brendan DuBois does have, and he makes the most use of it with Mr. Patterson's thinly laced plot. But you need real thrills if you're going to create a suspense novel about a corrupt president, and I couldn't find any in Blowback.╌★★✰✰✰

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Blowback, by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois.. What an absolutely freaking amazing book. I was in complete aww, from the so many unbelievable twist and turns of important events that happened in this thriller. Believe me, you will be holding your breath or develop whiplash from the multiple surprising, oh my gosh moments that hit you from out of no where. I loved that the book starts out with throwing you into the thick of things from the beginning.
President Keegan Barrett has an agenda and he is determined to see it through. Liam and Noa are two bad a** operatives you will absolutely love. The writer did a wonderful job with their character. Liam and Noa are introduced just enough about their credentials and how imperative they are to events in the book, but by their actions you will see how important that they are to the story. Liam character has a little bit of a dry humor, but it’s his no bulls**t attitude that makes him standout more in the book along with his knowledge of being an operative.
The man was absolutely flawless in the action scenes. I was having a Jack Ryan or Reacher moment during the fast pace takedown moments as time was ticking down to the last minute. Noa wasn’t bad herself. I believe she has ice for veins. The woman moves through the book like a ghost. You will be rooting for her character all the way.
I thought she was fantastic and I so hope to see her character in another book. I almost forgot Hannah’s character. She was like Merlin to me in this story. I was like “yes, Hannah is their! Thank you!
The number of chaotic events that clash together for an ultimate show down are to many to discuss. You will have to trust me on this and just read the book. I love the high impact from the many astonishing moments throughout the book. For me the book reads with so many realistic events that has you gripping the book as you beg to know more. The bada** operatives will keep you turning the page as you scream from within, wanting to know what will happen next.
I love that the writer researched their facts of to back up the important information in the story. I love the mystery, intrigue, suspense and the thrilling moments of the book. I give this book two snaps and a, (between Noa and Liam, I couldn’t figure out who was Woodward or Bernstein). Until next time my fellow readers… read on!
@hachetteus #Hachettebooks @Netgally #BetweenTheChapters @Goodreads @Bookbub

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This book picked up steam as it went. A great page turner and lots of action. Beware the off-color humor within. Recommended!

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Just imagine…a psychopath is elected President of the United States. Yeah, just imagine………Been there, done that, and this is not the book about it.

I’d sort of abandoned reading Patterson a few years ago. As his books became more prolific, it seemed the writing got lighter and lighter. But, I couldn’t resist the description of this one.

The President of the United States, Keegan Barrett, has become unhinged. He has a kill list of enemies of the United States and sets up a back channel network to destroy them and bring the country on the verge of a world war. It is up to some CIA agents and the new director of the agency to try to stop him. And, by the way, the Vice President is in a comatose state due to poisoning and the majority leader is under fire due to a made up scandal,

This is a cautionary tale about what could happen when a narcissistic paranoid sociopath focused on destroying his perceived enemies is placed in a position of power. Keegan believes divine providence made him the president; he operates like he owns the country. Sound familiar? However, Keegan eats egg white omelets for dinner and “stays off Twitter and doesn’t claim to be a stable genius.” He works to obliterate foreign enemies rather than enabling them.

A little fantastical? Maybe not…….

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What a book. I loved this new James Patterson book. It had lots of twists and turns. It kept me interested the entire time. It's not a cookie cutter version of his other books, it's different, but amazing. So glad I was able to receive this book to review.

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I have read lots of James Patterson novels. However, this is my first Brandan DuBois novel.

Positives: Good character build. Edge of your seat plot twists.

Negatives: Took me a while to get into the story. Too much happening all at once. Not sure who the target reader is supposed to be.

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This story blew my mind wide open!!! It scared me senseless! Keegan Barrett has become President of the United States after a career as Director of the CIA. After being in office for a few months he begins to become the puppetmaster to get to his ultimate goal, total domination. He creates a secret CIA group using agents Liam Grey and Noa HImel to covertly start taking out all the people and groups that have done what he perceives a grievance against him. It doesn't take long for them to begin to realize something is wrong with his plan and they pull in people to help them get the evidence on the President. Will they save the Vice President and get the evidence on the President in time to save the United States from World War III? Read this book but be prepared.

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A president who's mentally bonkers? Wow, what a concept! Kudos to the authors for a timely topic that showcases what can happen when the leader of the free world's power is totally unchecked. U.S. President Keegan Barrett doesn't have orange hair, nor is he inclined to throw ketchup at walls - but he does believe the only way to get "them" is for him to get them first.

He's got a diabolical plan that starts with a loyal-to-the-core assistant and formation of two teams of CIA operatives - one domestic and one foreign - led by Noa Himel and Liam Grey; they're charged with carrying out the President's direct orders, which are kept secret from all the other government leaders because a) Barrett doesn't trust anyone and b) he's the only one who's right. If everything goes the way he's sure it will, he'll end up a dictator who's admired and revered; after all, he deserves no less. If millions of people's lives are disrupted - and death arguably is the biggest disruption there is - everyone who's left will agree he did it all for love of country.

Also loyal to the core are Liam and Noa - that is, until they're not; nasty things happen (some of which they're ordered by the President to make happen) that lead them to the smell of a rat - a rat with two legs who acts suspiciously like the man they've sworn an oath to obey no matter what. Gradually, the light dawns; but now that they can see where the path they're on leads, what can they do to prevent the biggest disaster the world has ever known?

Worse, the whole thing is a ticking time bomb; it's not just a matter of stopping the President, but stopping him fast. And when his word is everyone's command, the whole thing turns into a James Bond "Goldfinger" countdown that, of course, keeps readers on the edge of their seats (well, it did me, at least). Some parts are predictable, others elicited a few gasps and the whole thing is a fast-paced adventure. Many thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for allowing me to read and review a pre-release copy.

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This is another hit for James Patterson. The story revolves around a power hungry but insane President Keegan Barrett and 2 CIA operatives that get caught up in his shenanigans. The story has a lot of dirty politics and intrigue. We all have wondered what America would be like if there were no barriers to really getting stuff done. President Barrett decides for himself to remove all the barriers to fulfilling his plan. At first his plans seem sort of reasonable and that is what brings the 2 CIA operatives Liam and Noa into the fold. They knew that what they were doing was against the rules/regulations but President Barrett explains how they are only bending/delaying some of the rules instead of smashing them to bits. They quickly realize the error of their ways in believing in the President. The action really picks up as they have to figure out to stop the President and prevent a war.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an advance reading copy in exchange for a real review.

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This is a typical James Patterson thriller, with lots of edge-of-your-seat action, strong characters, fast-moving plotlines, and realistic, scary outcomes. President Bartlett is a very popular President, handsome, charming, and dedicated. Although he is single, there are no hints of improprieties or unacceptable behavior. In short, he seems almost perfect...until he isn't. Terrific, fast read. Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for providing an ARC.

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This is my first James Patterson book that isn't for grade school children. I know but this grade schoolbooks are so much fun to read to kids.

Blowback is a very on the nose of current political climate with a narcissistic President believes that he is doing everything to protect the country he loves. US President Keegan Barrett CIA agents to take down his enemies as the people around him are getting sick.

After the first 1\2 of the book starts off slow filled with backstories and information on all the important characters that will play major roles in the story. After that the action, mystery start to come to life keeping readers hooked. Even with a few too many plot holes this story will keep readers ready for what is next with these two authors. If this book had been written 5 or 6 years ago, I would have called it silly idea. However, at times this story hits very close to home.

Thank you to Netgalley for an advance copy of Blowback by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois.

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First-time Patterson reader here. I was looking forward to sampling this popular author. I was a bit disappointed. After a clunky first third full of overwrought physical and background descriptions of even minor players, this book got down to business and had me hooked, even with a stunningly unbelievable plot (no matter how many comparisons are drawn to TFG). What I find hard to reconcile with reality in thriller plots are any conspiracies that involve more than a couple of conspirators and any criminal mastermind that has seemingly unlimited access to reliable minions. At least this story relied mostly on the latter.

The important characters, mainly the key protagonists, did finally come to life (somewhat in spite of their introductions) and helped me keep everything straight in the labyrinthian plot. And the stakes and action were ramped up very effectively to keep me turning pages. Ultimately, I have to agree with others that the outcome is as forgettable as most TV movies. Seemingly important plot threads did not live up to their promise. And the stakes, while onerous, didn't seem and more long-lasting than any non-lethal gunshot wound in a TV Western.

My TBR includes a couple of other Patterson titles. I still look forward to reading these. But I can only recommend this title as a disposable beach read.

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Blowback by James Patterson is a political thriller that it is very easy to see happening in today's world. Characters are believable as is the scenario.

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With all of the travel I've had as of recent and a few personal life heavy things, I decided I needed another escape book. This is how it always happens: I tell myself, you will read said escape book before bed and then do your literary work during the day, but then the escape book always tempts me back to it because you want to know what happens next.

This one features a president gone off the rails (and is post-Trump, and unfortunately, minus the violence, felt awfully believable; I've gotten to the point where I listen to the news about the January 6th hearings or the FBI raid on Mar-a-lago, and I think, welp, that's interesting, but he's still not going to face any of what he's done--to me, if you can elect a man who declares he can grab women by the p----, then I have lost all hope), which is a fun premise, and I do love a good White House page-turner, but there were too many pieces that weren't fully fleshed out: why Liam and Noa? Why Pope? I never really got how President Barrett made his selections for people to trust (or pretend to trust). And the climax felt a little like it was sputtering out, though, truthfully, also believable. Someone that narcissistic and paranoid might believe his actions were that surefire.

This Patterson was fine and served its purpose though it's also utterly forgettable.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

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5 stars for sheer entertainment value with action that never stops and a plot that draws you in from page one and keeps those pages turning.

US President Keegan Barrett is on his own mission for the country he professes to love so much.

The problem is he mentally unwell: paranoid to say the least and narcistic not to mention psychopathic tendencies.

People including his own staff are dying all around him.

Did Barrett order it?

How can Noa, Liam and others stop him.

Twists and turns keep the lights on and the pages turning.

Blowback will entertain you and scare you all at the same time.

Thanks to NetGalley and Little Brown and Company for exhilarating read.

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an e ARC of this book.
Excellent James Patterson. Intrigue involving a president gone rogue. Unfortunately it is believable. Well developed characters and a plot that keeps you reading.

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The newly elected president is popular. The former head of the CIA has dragged his feet in pushing for his successor's nomination, the Vice President's health is impaired by unknown toxins, and vicious rumors are swirling around the Speaker of the House. All this is part of the bigger picture for President Keegan Barrett as he sends several CIA teams on clandestine missions to destroy his enemies. Is he keeping the country safer or is this a personal vendetta? The president is playing a dangerous game with the country's enemies and stopping him will be difficult. This is a complicated story with lots of real-life politics and layers of relationships, ugliness, and dirty politics. Great characters that we could likely see more of and a fun read for political thriller lovers. Thanks to #NetGalley#Blowback for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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Blowback is the kind of thriller that kicks off seemingly set in an alternate universe until pieces start falling in place and it begins to feel like it may very well be happening behind closed doors in our world. James Patterson and Brendan DuBois’s team-up blends old school politics with cutthroat espionage and sociopolitical climate to give you an incredulous thriller that’s just the right amount of insane to be actually true.
When the US President blatantly orders CIA agents Liam Grey and Noa Himel to assassinate supposed enemies of state, Grey is excited to jump at the opportunity. Himel however feels a tingling discomfort at the breach of conduct. Soon however, both Grey and Himel find themselves at the crossroads of morality when confronted with undeniable proof of wrongdoing at the highest seat in US power hierarchy. With an unhinged and paranoid Commander in Chief destroying the sanctity of the Constitution, both CIA assassins must smartly work their way out of the mess alive while putting an end to the catastrophe in-making.
Patterson and DuBois hit the ground running with a quick and brisk introduction to the characters before developing them gradually through actions rather than words. The narrative blasts out waves of paranoia from the very first chapter as the sense of impending doom swirls around the settings and dialogues. While the mission for both Grey and Himel remains mostly the same, the authors spend equal amounts of time building their foundations for readers to appreciate and enjoy them even when the going gets tough. Before you know it, the narrative erupts in a blaze of well-written shootouts that continue in one form or the other throughout the story.
At the same time, the authors emphasize the political-thriller-intrigue of the story without siding with either faction. The political aspect is rooted in the abuse of power while underdogs go against the current to right the wrongs. You can’t help but cheer for the protagonists and bite your nails in tension whenever they’re cornered. That’s when the unexpected alliances and betrayals shock you more ferociously than you would anticipate.
Blowback has the essential ingredients to match up to great political thrillers with a little bit of craziness sprinkled in there to make it a notch better.

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An American President Goes Insane

Sound familiar? Well, it should because now we know it can happen.

He’s America’s most brilliant president ever. He’s also a psychopath.

Keegan Barrett, former director of the CIA, has easily transitioned to the Oval Office. Only six months into his term, h comes up with an off-the-books plan to use the CIA on home soil to get rid of his enemies. And he is ruthless. The type of ruthlessness that comes from thinking you are the smartest person on earth and no one can stop you.

With no one to keep him in check, he orders two agents, Liam and Noa, to carry out his plan. No questions asked. Only they aren’t quite comfortable with their roles and when the President finds out there will be hell to pay. Unless they can find a way to outsmart the psycho in the oval office before the blowback destroys the country.

I really enjoyed this one! Very on topic for right now. It’s scary because we now know it is possible!

NetGalley/September 12, 2022, LBC

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Slow at the beginning with what seemed like different stories and plotlines.. Does come together but the book is not a favorite. Never really cared about the characters.

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