Friday, 22 May 2015

Reviewing the evidence time - Cross

Title: Cross (US Link)
Author: James Patterson
Genre: Crime, Blow-y Up-y, Thriller
Series: Alex Cross

A few starting notes:

This is #12 in the Alex Cross series by James Patterson. I'm not going to lie, I hadn't read any of this series before and just sort of dove in at the deep-end.

James Patterson, as most people will be aware, is a pretty damned prolific writer. It's near impossible to even comprehend the ridiculously large amount of books this feller writes. Most of them are in a genre which I have decided to re-name blow-y up-y. I guarantee that it's an excellent descriptor.


Alex Cross - the crime-hunting psychologist loved by many - is tracking a rapist. This particular series of serial rapes may have something to do with the murder of his wife about a decade previously. Giving up on this one is not likely to be an option.

Of course, there's also connections to the mob, an attempt by Alex to re-open his therapy practice, and some psychological issues of his own to deal with.

Best bits:

The short, sharp chapters and cliff-hanger chapter endings are what Patterson excels at. This means you can jam a chapter into a TV ad break without losing the thread of the story. And the pace keeps you interested.

The characters are fairly well-developed, with 'the Butcher' being an excellent psychopath to deal with. It also has explanations of why the hell the Butcher has these...issues, which is refreshing as it rounds the character out beyond a 2D plot point.

Not so great bits:

The plot of this is based around serial rape - there are some pretty damned uncomfortable descriptions of sexual assault. There's also child abuse and domestic abuse mixed in at various points. And plenty upon plenty of descriptions of violence. If this isn't your thing, don't read it.

And let's be honest, this is blow-y up-y. It's not too intellectually challenging.


A well-rounded yet run-of-the-mill thriller. Certainly enjoyable, and I can see why so many rate the Alex Cross books, but I couldn't help but feel I was waiting for something that wasn't there.

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