Books & Reviews 📚

Book #99: The Thomas Berryman Number

It starts with three terrifying murders in the South. It ends with a relentless and unforgettable manhunt in the North. In between is the riveting story of a chilling assassin, the woman he loves, and the beloved leader he is hired to kill with extreme prejudice.

The winner of the Edgar® Award for Best First Novel, THE THOMAS BERRYMAN NUMBER marked the debut of acclaimed and bestselling author James Patterson. No other novelist writing today has created more enduring fictional characters, including legendary Alex Cross from the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years.

I went back to where it all started for the world’s biggest and best-selling author: 1976. James Patterson was a relatively new author when he debuted with The Thomas Berryman Number.

I felt disconnected from the story. I read it like I normally would read a JP book, but I felt as if I had wandered into a rambling reporter’s world and his musings and I didn’t like it at all for it skipped around a lot. There’s never any suspense, the plot made no sense and the ending was lame. I had issues keeping up with several characters. 

The story had its moments, but it was too excruciating and complex to follow sometimes. It was too slow and a letdown. 

Bottom line: it was not JP’s best work and it shouldn’t even be in print in this reading age. Regardless of what some reading enthusiasts may say, JP’s writing matured and developed over time, but I had a hard time calling this book a thriller so I settled for mystery for that’s what it feels more like.


No one was memorable. They were all boring.


The cover is gold! The fonts and colors collaborate nicely! It’s a 5/5.



THE YEAR HE and Ben Toy left Claude, Texas – 1962 – Thomas Berryman had been in the habit of wearing black cowboy boots with distinctive red stars on the ankles. He’d also been stuffing four twenty-dollar bills in each boot sole. By mid-July the money had begun to shred and smell like feet.


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2 thoughts on “Book #99: The Thomas Berryman Number”

  1. Had he not published this book though, he may never have pursued writing and honed his skill. I had read an interview where winning that award made him think “I guess I’m a writer now.” What a life-changing experience that must have been.
    I think all of our lives we can learn and improve our writing. I often tell myself to hurry and put my pieces out there before too much time has passed and I’m embarrassed about the level a piece was written at. In a funny way, I hope to always feel that way. It’ll be a good indicator that my writing is still improving. So if I don’t hurry and put it out there, it may be lost to other people and it could have been someone’s favorite story. Isn’t that sweet to think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we can learn to improve our writing all our lives, but I wouldn’t put out just any book out there. JP doesn’t write his own books now, though, but I do agree with your statement.

      Liked by 1 person

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