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You've Been Warned    by James Patterson & Howard Roughan order for
You've Been Warned
by James Patterson
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, Audio, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

James Patterson and Howard Roughan, who co-authored the black widow thriller Honeymoon, now bring fans something different again in this psychological chiller, You've Been Warned. Yousuf Karsh's quote at the beginning tells us that 'Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness' and that certainly applies to the lead in this novel, passionate photographer Kristin Burns, who has a 'killer wink'.

Kristin lives on the edge, in a lifestyle that seems precarious to say the least. While she waits for her big break as an artistic photographer, she works as a nanny for anal-retentive Penley Turnbull. Kristin loves Penley's two stepchildren, Dakota and Sean. And she's enjoying Fatal Attraction type quickies with their dad, Michael, anticipating that some day soon, he'll leave is wealthy wife for her. A dodgy existence indeed. But why does Kristin also wake screaming every night from a terrifying nightmare? Her neighbors are complaining and threatening eviction. And what's with the multiple murders at the Falcon Hotel that reflect her nightmare exactly (aside from the small detail of the body bag that moves on its own)?

As Kristin moves through her days and nightmares - taking photographs that have transparent elements to them, and taking solace in her darkroom - other odd things happen. She's followed by strange characters - from aggressive NYPD officer Detective Frank Delmonico to the guy with the ponytail who tells her that it's not too late and to watch herself, and reminds her 'You've been warned.' Kristin starts seeing her long dead father. And Penley sets her up with a blind date. What's with that? Kristin begins to feel like she's going crazy, and wonders if Penley is getting suspicious. Kristin uses her camera to try to get to the truth, but will she get to the answer before events catch up with her?

Patterson's versatility and talent for horror - ably supported by Howard Roughan's own skills on the dark side - are showcased in You've Been Warned. Readers are pulled through the novel by Kristin's vulnerable appeal, and by curiosity about how it's all going to end - and they won't be disappointed.

Audiobook Review by Mary Ann Smyth:

Here's another rousing novel from James Patterson and Howard Roughan, a combination you can always count on for unusual and gripping drama. Kristin Burns is a free-lance photographer working as a nanny for a wealthy family, the Turnbulls, to make ends meet. Life is perking along just fine with one glaring exception her love affair with her employer, Mr. Turnbull. She wishes his wife were not in the picture.

Kristin is being stalked by whom she does not know. Also she is beginning to see things that just shouldn't be happening. Catastrophe is on the horizon but Kristin is too tied up in her own life to look at the big picture.

As always with these authors, the audiobook is action packed, with lots of excitement and suspense. It is read by Ilyana Kadushin, who has many entertainment credits to her name. She manages to capture Kristin's complete absorption with herself and yet define the young woman's fear as the story progresses. You've Been Warned offers three and a half hours of breath-stopping entertainment.

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