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James Patterson to complete Michael Crichton's unfinished 'passion project'

Over 15 years after his death, one more Michael Crichton novel is set to be released with help from James Patterson. 

The prolific author will complete an unfinished novel by Crichton, which will be published by Little, Brown & Co., according to The Wall Street Journal. The plot reportedly revolves around the pending eruption of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii, which threatens a cache of chemical weapons that "can destroy not just the island, but the entire world."

Crichton, the best-selling author of novels like Jurassic Park, died from lymphoma in 2008 at age 66. His widow, Sherri Crichton, told the Journal she was compelled after reading a 100 page manuscript he left behind, so she turned it and other relevant material over to Patterson to finish. 

"Michael had been working on this book for years, it was his passion project and centered in the place that inspired him the most, Hawaii," she said. "He had extensive volumes of scientific research, comprehensive notes, outlines with detailed character bios and back stories, even video footage of himself on locations featured throughout the novel, as well as interviews with volcanologists."

Patterson told the Journal he never met Crichton but is a fan of his books. Three Crichton novels have previously been published posthumously: 2009's Pirate Latitudes, 2011's Micro, and 2017's Dragon TeethMicro was also unfinished, but it was completed by Richard Preston. 

The new novel, which wasn't given a title, is expected to be published in 2024.