It's been several years since James Patterson penned When The Wind Blows, and in his latest mystery, he revisits the characters from that stunning thriller. Rescued from the School, a horrific laboratory, six avian/human children— Max, Matthew, Icarus, Ozymandias, Peter and Wendy— are involved in a custody battle. Originally told their children were stillborn, their parents are battling FBI agent Kit Brennan and Dr. Frannie O-Neill for custodial rights.

These beautiful, genetically engineered children are portrayed as unique in both their ability to fly and their unusual physical attributes— wings and hollow bones, for example. And though Frannie and Kit understand the kids' needs better than their biological parents, the court initially awards custody to the birth parents. But Max, the ethereal blond leader of the others, believes that danger still lurks for the unusual children.

Though not as suspenseful as many of Patterson's novels, his latest keeps a brisk pace, as Kit, Frannie and the children try to discover their pursuer's whereabouts before they are ensnared in his net. Despite the reduction in suspenseful moments, the fanciful concept of genetically altered children is foreboding, providing this novel with an eerie sense of reality given the current strides made in genetic research. (Jun., 384 pp., $27.95)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick