James Patterson's Alex Cross series used to be my favourite. But I think I'm going to say it's now the Mike Bennett series. The last couple of Alex Cross books have been overly violent in my opinion, going for the shock and awe component.
I find the Bennett series entertaining without being offensive.
Children of wealthy New Yorkers are being kidnapped. There is no ransom though - instead the kidnapper gives the children a test. Pass - you live. Fail - lights out. How high is their social awareness of the world's plight?
The 'villain' of the last Bennett book was the Teacher - obsessed with social niceties and politeness. This time around it's social injustices and the state of the world.
I listened to Worst Case in audio format - as I will for all future Bennett books. The character of Mike is read by Bobby Canavale. I can't imagine a more perfect narrator - his voice is all New York, it's quick, rough and expressive. The 6 disc set also features two other readers - Orlagh Cassidy as the female Fibbie who's on the case with Mike and John Glover as the bad guy. Glover was particularly effective - his calm, clipped modulated voice made the kidnapper seem even more menacing. Cassidy was a good reader as well, but I just never warmed up to her character - I'm rooting for M.C. - the Bennett nanny.
True to form, Worst Case is short, snappy chapters, ending with cliffhangers, persuading you to listen to just one more chapter. The plot isn't overly complicated and there's a fun secondary plot involving Mike's love life. A thoroughly entertaining listen.