I don't know what this book is about, and I have never read one word written by James Patterson, or the co-author of this book, Maxine Paetro, but having viewed the cover...I dunno--I'm a little, uh, bothered?
The title is Swimsuit, so why not just have a pic of a swimsuit; why does it have to be a woman in it, a woman missing much of her arms and legs, and especially her head? (This is not a criticism of James Patterson, since I have no idea if he was involved with this book cover, but I do know that the book is centered on the death of a model.) Here's a quick synopsis:
Syd, a breathtakingly beautiful supermodel on a photo shoot in
, disappears. Fearing the worst, her parents travel to Hawaii to investigate for themselves, never expecting the horror that awaits them. HawaiiLA Times reporter Ben Hawkins is conducting his own research into the case, hoping to help the victim and get an idea for his next bestseller. With no leads and no closer to uncovering the kidnapper's identity than when he stepped off the plane, Ben gets a shocking visit that pushes him into an impossible-to-resist deal with the devil.
A heart-pounding story of fear and desire, SWIMSUIT transports readers to a chilling new territory where the collision of beauty and murder transforms paradise into a hell of unspeakable horrors.
Fragmenting the female form creates an object out of what should be a person--her facelessness creates anonymity of the object which is her body. The arch of this object also suggests a sexuality, and again, it's linked to violence with the tag line "It's to die for," which I assume is meant to refer to the swimsuit, but again, we see the fragmented body of a woman--the bikini she's wearing is an afterthought.
Images where the body of a woman is fragmented are problematic because they're suggestive of objectivity, as well as violence (I guess that last is appropriate for this particular novel, but I can still find fault with it seeing as how that intention does not negate that it's sexist).
Update: CC has written a post of her own on this book cover, which takes this post a little further, including how fragmenting female bodies is rampant throughout art history. I strongly recommend that you check it out.