by James Patterson, Andrew Gross

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High risk, high reward: a $5 million heist is the perfect job for Ned Kelly. But when it all goes horribly wrong, he discovers a world of secrets and sabotage.

Working as a lifeguard at a luxurious Florida resort, Ned Kelly meets the woman of his dreams. It feels perfect in every way-except that she's used to caviar and Manolo Blahniks, and he's used to burgers and flip-flops. So when Ned's cousin offers to cut him in on a fast break-and-enter job, he can't turn it down. The risk is high, and the reward is even greater-$5 million.

But the robbery goes devastatingly wrong. Forced to run away from his town and the woman he's fallen in love with, Ned knows that only distance and secrecy can save his life. But who is pursuing him? The FBI? Whoever sabotaged the heist? Or is it all somehow tied in to his new love-and his oldest enemies?

Discover a vivid and nail-biting crime thriller from "one of America's most influential authors" (New York Times). You won't be able to put it down.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446617611
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 07/25/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 92,067
Product dimensions: 4.12(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.


Palm Beach, Florida

Date of Birth:

March 22, 1947

Place of Birth:

Newburgh, New York


B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971

Read an Excerpt


By James Patterson Andrew Gross

Little, Brown

Copyright © 2005 James Patterson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-05785-1

Chapter One

"DON'T MOVE," I said to Tess, sweaty and out of breath. "Don't even blink. If you so much as breathe, I know I'm gonna wake up, and I'll be back lugging chaise longues at poolside, staring at this gorgeous girl that I know something incredible could happen with. This will all have been a dream."

Tess McAuliffe smiled, and in those deep blue eyes I saw what I found so irresistible about her. It wasn't just that she was the proverbial ten and a half. She was more than beautiful. She was lean and athletic with thick auburn hair plaited into a long French braid, and a laugh that made you want to laugh, too. We liked the same movies, Memento, The Royal Tenenbaums, Casablanca. We pretty much laughed at the same jokes. Since I'd met her I'd been unable to think about anything else.

Sympathy appeared in Tess's eyes. "Sorry about the fantasy, Ned, but we'll have to take that chance. You're crushing my arm."

She pushed me, and I rolled onto my back. The sleek cotton sheets in her fancy hotel suite were tousled and wet. My jeans, her leopard-print sarong, and a black bikini bottom were somewhere on the floor. Only half an hour earlier, we had been sitting across from each other at Palm Beach's tony Café Boulud, picking at DB burgers-$30 apiece-ground sirloin stuffed with foie gras and truffles.

At some point her leg brushed against mine. We just made it to the bed.

"Aahhh," Tess sighed, rolling up onto her elbow, "that feels better." Three gold Cartier bracelets jangled loosely on her wrist. "And look who's still here."

I took a breath. I patted the sheets around me. I slapped at my chest and legs, as if to make sure. "Yeah," I said, grinning.

The afternoon sun slanted across the Bogart Suite at the Brazilian Court hotel, a place I could barely have afforded a drink at, forget about the two lavishly appointed rooms overlooking the courtyard that Tess had rented for the past two months.

"I hope you know, Ned, this sort of thing doesn't happen very often," Tess said, a little embarrassed, her chin resting on my chest.

"What sort of thing is that?" I stared into those blue eyes of hers.

"Oh, whatever could I mean? Agreeing to meet someone I'd seen just twice on the beach, for lunch. Coming here with him in the middle of the day."

"Oh, that ..." I shrugged. "Seems to happen to me at least once a week."

"It does, huh?" She dug her chin sharply into my ribs.

We kissed, and I felt something between us begin to rise again. The sweat was warm on Tess's breasts, and delicious, and my palm traveled up her long, smooth legs and over her bottom. Something magical was happening here. I couldn't stop touching Tess. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to feel this way.

Split aces, they call it, back where I'm from. South of Boston, Brockton actually. Taking a doubleheader from the Yankees. Finding a forgotten hundred-dollar bill in an old pair of jeans. Hitting the lottery.

The perfect score.

"You're smiling." Tess looked at me, propped up on an elbow. "Want to let me in on it?"

"It's nothing. Just being here with you. You know what they say: for a while now, the only luck I've had has been bad luck."

Tess rocked her hips ever so slightly, and as if we had done this countless times, I found myself smoothly inside her again. I just stared into those baby blues for a second, in this posh suite, in the middle of the day, with this incredible woman who only a few days before hadn't been conceivable in my life.

"Well, congratulations, Ned Kelly." Tess put a finger to my lips. "I think your luck's beginning to change."


Excerpted from Lifeguard by James Patterson Andrew Gross Copyright © 2005 by James Patterson . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Lifeguard 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 145 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished this book and i love it to the exsremes.:) <3
Sherri_Hunter More than 1 year ago
I love Patterson. Even when his books aren&rsquo;t his usual nail-biting, edge of my seat, have no food in the house or clean underwear because I&rsquo;m ignoring my domestic chores books. Sadly, Lifeguard is one of those books. It was just OK for me. Ned Kelly is a likeable character and I felt a lot of empathy for him and what he goes through in this story. Unfortunately, Ned doesn&rsquo;t seem capable of making smart choices. Not when he falls in love, not when he agrees to help his cousin with a burglary, not when he goes on the run, not when he kidnaps an FBI agent, and not when he nearly gets himself killed on more than one occasion. I was very disappointed with the FBI agent, Ellie. She came across as a little flaky at times, though she could be quite tenacious at times. Her area of expertise is stolen and forged artwork but she jumps into a murder investigation with both feet, despite repeated admonitions from her supervisor to stay out of it. What I didn&rsquo;t find believable is how she willingly went with Ned when he kidnaps her and then is helping him until he lets her go. OK, so she isn&rsquo;t trained in violent crimes, but she is still an FBI agent, so why wasn&rsquo;t she putting up a tiny bit of resistance? Thrown into this story are a lot of supporting characters that I had a very hard time keeping track of and how relevant they were to the story. So, instead of the heart-pumping suspense I have come to anticipate and expect when I pick up a Patterson book, I got a mostly mediocre story that is just OK. If you are looking for depth and substance when you pick up a book, give this one a pass. If you are looking for a fluff mystery to read on the beach or during your lunch break, this will fit the bill.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was good! i would let people know about it, but i would not rave about it. I have in the past raved about patterson's books, because he is a great author and would tell anyone that likes suspense to read him. I did like this book, but did not love it.
readafew on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lifeguard was an interesting fast paced thriller. It's not very believable, however it is fast paced with a decent story going on behind it. Ned Kelly is a lifeguard in Palm Beach, though he has been many different things prior to that. Minor felon, High School Teacher and College Hockey Star are all hats Ned has worn at one time or another. After Ned went to college he left his life of crime behind him, or did he? His best friends are handed a cushy B&E job to steal some paintings for a collector from a private residence, and they are even given the security code. Ned's job isn't even on site, he gets to run around town and set off Burglary alarms to help keep the small police force busy and away from the mark's house. Ned does his part perfectly, but something goes terribly wrong on the other end, many people get killed and things just keep going downhill from there for poor Ned.Overall it's got a good pace to keep your attention, I listened to this in the car during my commute and it helped the time slip by. If you're a James Patterson fan it's about average for him not poor or exceptional.
SonicQuack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With the usual breakneck speed, Patterson delivers twists and excitement in his usual narrative style. Make sure the brain is parked for this one, since the central theme (a mismatched buddy movie concept) requires a staggering leap of faith. That aside, the novel is great fun, with plenty of interesting (although somewhat stereotypical) characters and the pace never drops below a sprint. Offering easy reading for a few hours, Lifeguard is simple and fun.
Heptonj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not the usual characters from these two authors but an excellent read all the same. The hero/villain is not as street-wise as he thinks.
DavidLErickson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the better books I've read of patterson's. The protagonist, his petite FBI girlfriend and most of the cast were realistic and the story line intriguing. There were enough jumps and twists to keep me turning pages.The only real bump in the narrative was the way Mr. Evil (Stratton) died. Yeah, I know they had to have a darn good reason to plug the lowlife, but it just seemed way to contrived for me. I'd much rather had seen him arrested and locked up for life than die the way he did.Having lived in the area covered by the novel (Palm Beach), it was visiting a friend. I felt the portrayal of Palm Beach life was spot on. And I didn't guess who Stratton's inside man was until he was revealed, having been led astray by the red herring (Detective Lawson). Good job that.
gma2lana on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy a quick read by James Patterson, this book moved along for me for the most part, I think it stalled in the middle but picked back up again to a decent finish.
fishhook7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I often find that when an author I enjoy pairs with someone as they transition out of novel writing I don't care for the result (as with Cussler). However, I liked the result in this case just fine.James Patterson has always been someone I enjoyed reading but I don't know if I ever felt more strongly about any of his books. So, it's been a long time since I've been in the mood to read one of his books. (A little insight, I have to be in exactly the mood to read a particular book. So there are books on my to-read shelf that have been sitting there waiting for the perfect time for many years.)Back to the book, there were plenty of twists and turns to make this interseting and plenty of heartache and heartbreak to make this a psychological thriller. However, I think that's a little too intense of a word. I found it a very quick, easy, and enjoyable read.
Djupstrom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun, easy, beach read. Predictable plot. Nothing fancy.
Kat327 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The FBI agent sounded as immature as Ned and I couldn't take their corny diaglogue. I had to force my way through this book and was not thrilled with the ending. I am looking for a good author and was very disappointed. I will though give Patterson another try.
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of Patterson's better efforts of late. My only complaint is that I think the scheme is a little over complicated. Towards the end I felt like I needed a notebook to keep track of who was double-crossing who.
wispywillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got started with James Patterson with Kiss the Girls, which was a decent book. There was a second one I read that I was less impressed with. This one is one of the worst books I've ever read. Actually, I did this one on audiobook--and the sound effects and music did not improve the story, but just showed how cheesy it actually was.No more James Patterson for me. Ever.
skinglist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I quite liked this one, and everytime I thought I knew who it was, typical Patterson kept me guessing. One memo to Patterson, they don't need to fall in love in every book :)
DF1A_BrindleyF on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ned Kelly does not have the ordinary life. His first hope at love is murdered on the same night his four best friends are brutally murdered. At first it was a chance of a life time art heist for his friends and himself to come into five million dollars. Yet the heist was set up by someone unknown under the name of Gatchet. Ned seeks to avenge his friends and prove his is not the murderer. Or is he?
Jthierer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A few too many coincidences for my taste, but they moved the plot along well enough.
debavp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't know if I've ever looked closely at all the blank and half pages in a Patterson book, but I figure on this one I could knock at least ninety of the pages off the 393 total as such. Again, another quick beach read. Nothing overly thrilling, but still enjoyable. Empty calories as it were, and a truly ridiculous fairy tale ending. If he'd just stopped at mention of the will it would have been a much more befitting and enjoyable end to the story.
Kathy89 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Complicated mystery involving art theft, murder, distrust, set-up among the wealthy of Palm Beach. Love story when the art expert from the FBI starts investigating the stooge set-up for murdering the art thieves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Curls up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was one of those books you can't wait to finish, but don't want to finish at the same time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If this was written by two authors, I don't think they proofed each other's writing. For an example; Ellie was described as having short hair and then she, "puts it up in a ponytail"? Hard to believe story.
swlittlewing More than 1 year ago
I am a new fan of James Patterson and have read 5 books in 3 weeks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago