Tag Archives: Alex Cross

Book Review of “Cross Country” By James Patterson

Cross Country

By James Patterson

 

A thriller by James Patterson featuring the forensic detective Alex Cross.

 

The plot revolves around the cold-blooded murder of Ellie Cox (Alex’s friend / first real love) and her family by a criminal known as “Tiger”. Many people are brutally murdered by this horrendous person and Cross takes it upon him to catch “Tiger” and deliver justice to Ellie and others murdered by him. His quest lands him in Africa.

The grim reality of this new country though depicted well (to a certain extent) is very graphic in nature. The corrupt government officials in Nigeria arrest, jail and torture Alex for three days before the CIA can come to his rescue. He witnesses some of the most horrible situations and conditions of the people of Africa, far beyond anyone’s imagination. The dire situation in Darfur and the diamond mines of Sierra Leone are boldly portrayed by the author.

Though Alex comes across as smart detective in most of his books, in this one it feels like he walks into lame situations without giving it any thought. How did he simply fly over to Africa tracing a murderer without any political or government assistance?! Why does he end up landing his family into trouble and pain?

The gruesome murders, the contrived situations, and a loose and somewhat complicated plot did not satisfy me as a reader.

Patterson’s short chapters ending with a cliffhanger made it easier to finish the book but the poor action did not keep me engrossed like before.

 

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Book Review of “Sam’s Letters to Jennifer” By James Patterson

Sam’s Letters to Jennifer

By James Patterson

 

*Spoiler Alert*

I do like some emotion stirring read, sometimes. But this one felt like an over-doze!

I don’t know if I should be doing this – but Sam in this case – is Samantha – Jennifer’s grandma.

The story begins with Jennifer moving back to her small town to take care of her grandmother who is injured in a fall and is now in coma. To give you a bit of Jennifer’s background – she loses her husband in an accident and undergoes a miscarriage too. Apart from her family, the only person Jennifer can count on and is close to, is her grandma – Sam.

So, as Jennifer is getting accustomed to her community life, she happens to come across Sam’s letters that reveal a part of Sam’s life which Jennifer never knew. The letters, addressed to Jennifer, were placed in her room in Sam’s house. In them, Sam discloses certain aspects of love that she wants Jennifer to experience and appreciate. The letters disclose the secret love life of Sam.

During this time, Jennifer also happens to reconnect with her childhood friend Brendan. And things move beyond friendship – as fated! But there is more to Brendan’s life that what meets the eye!

The novel comprises two love stories. It is fast-paced read; and quite a departure from Patterson’s regular mystery/thriller shockers but it does have suspense – almost right till the end.

The character of Jennifer is very relatable – one who has loved and lost and is scared to walk the same path again. Brendan is a free-spirited man with no inhibitions. And Sam who has found solace in accepting love in this “secret” sorta way.

This book shows an extremely emotional side of Patterson – an unexpected profile. There are quite a few heart-stirring moments that would appeal to the soft at heart – somehow I could relate to them only a wee bit.

I’d say it is a one-time read if you are the emotional sorta person. It focuses on love, relationships, family and faith. I think I like Alex Cross’ series more than emotional reads.

 

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Book Review of “I, Alex Cross” By James Patterson

I, Alex Cross

By James Patterson

 

A typical James Patterson, fact-paced, action novel – I, Alex Cross is a quick read with short chapters.

This suspense-mystery-thriller opens with Alex getting the news of his estranged niece’s gruesome murder. She is ground up in a wood chipper and found in a plastic garbage bag in the back of a car. She was a hooker involved with a sex club, and entertained rich and famous clients like judges, congressmen and highly affluent politicians. The investigation with intriguing twists and turns leads Alex to the White House and finally to the President’s husband.

And then there is the equally emotional sub-plot of Alex’s grandmother- Nana, bringing in a humane touch to the inhumane murders happening around. Nana falls ill land is rushed to the hospital. Alex now swings between finding his niece’s killer and being by his Nana’s side.

The highly engrossing mysterious plot is spiced with bad/raw language, sexual content, and violence. With a lot of action, drama and suspense with clear prose, the author paints a thrilling picture of terror. Alex’s character is very well balanced. Very humane, witty, and sharp. Patterson’s honest portrayal of relationships is heart-warming. His bold imagination show his knack of building up consistent suspense and thrill for the readers.

A highly captivating page-turner.

 

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Book Review of “Mary Mary” By James Patterson

Mary,Mary

By James Patterson

 

In this book by JP, we see FBI Agent Alex Cross enjoying a vacation with his family in Disneyland when he is called for work.

A famous actress has been shot dead outside her home in Beverley Hills. And the serial- killer might be a woman. And “she” is after such “Hollywood” type mothers for some reason known only to her, of course it is all revealed only towards the end. And the clues left behind are totally twisted and confusing, naturally.

Shortly after the murder, a Los Angeles Times editor receives an email describing the murder, and signed, Mary Smith. More killings are threatened, and sure enough, they happen, with similar emails sent to the same editor. Mary also kills “men” and sends out emails “before” the crime happens, to break the pattern. Somehow there is an arrest made, but Alex isn’t sure it’s the right person. Soon he finds himself being targeted as well.

A cold case of 20 years before and some brilliant detective work by Cross leads him to the real killer.

Amidst all the work fiasco, Alex is fighting a custody battle for his younger son. Could life give him any more lemons!?! Yes, it could and surely does. A journalist, stalking Alex’s personal matters, keeps distracting Alex’s attention. And his newest relationship with San Francisco police detective Jamilla starts to face the grunt of it all.

It is a fast-paced read that is pretty entertaining, mysterious and full of suspense. The flow and pace is maintained throughout. The plot is neat and the twists and turns gripping.

It is interesting how the book opens with the thoughts of a killer. It gets you hooked from the every first line.

This is a thriller sure, and you’d notice a bit of character development too. Good or bad – you decide. I could feel a cop’s perspective and thought process. Alex is amongst those dedicated cops who’d give their lives for an investigation to reach its fruitful end.

I liked it for its quick, breezy readable quality.

 

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Book Review of “Double Cross” By James Patterson

Double Cross

By James Patterson

 

This one was a fairly simple and fast-paced murder mystery, but definitely not worthy of being called the “classic Alex Cross series”.

Alex has a new girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, and life seems to be going on smoothly for a bit. But not for long.

Kyle Craig (a villain resurrected from a previous novel) breaks out of a super-max jail in a rather interesting and unusual way to seek his revenge from Cross.

Another criminal, under the acronym DCAK (District of Columbia Audience Killer), is on a killing spree but ensures that his executions have a sizeable audience. So much so that he sets up his own web site and live video feed to air his artistic carnage.

This pair of killers seek Cross’s attention and blood!

Alex and Bree get on with the investigation. And what follows is the formulaic Patterson style of action and predictable twists. The quality of Patterson’s writing seems to have dipped immensely in this one.

Thankfully the short chapters make is easy to flip through the book fast.

I wonder why Alex doesn’t show his care/concern for his family as much as he claims to. His family always falls in the line of danger…unprotected!

There seems very little (rather no) character development. The antagonists and protagonists always seem to have enough funds (and ease) to travel the whole world it seems.

There are some high points in the story – but they are covered by contrived plots and the lackluster climax.

Just because I’m a JP fan I picked up the book, but felt cheated and miserable after reading this one.

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Book Review Of “Alex Cross’s Trial” By James Patterson and Richard DiLallo

Alex Cross’s Trial

By James Patterson and Richard DiLallo

 

This one is no typical Alex Cross investigative thriller. This one is about the racial injustices in the South during the early 1900s. In fact, it is more of a memoir written by Cross for his children based upon third-party journals and family oral histories concerning the trials and tribulations of Abraham Cross, a great-uncle of Alex’s, and Ben Corbett.

It’s the early 1900s. Racism is on the rise. Equality is an unknown concept.

Ben Corbett – a Spanish-American war veteran and an idealistic attorney who has garnered a national reputation for taking on tough cases involving civil rights issues, returns to his hometown (Eudora, Mississippi) after six years, summoned by President – Theodore Roosevelt. The President wants Corbett to seek the aid of Abraham Cross (Alex Cross’s grandfather) in Mississippi, and together, investigate the outbreak of burning and lynching of minorities.

Alex Cross, along with his granddaughter Moody, shows Ben the extent of the hate-filled assaults reigning in their town. It seems hard for Ben to come to terms with the reality and the grave situation of gruesome murders, intimidation and injustice vented out on the blacks of the town. Lynching, torture and mutilation have become a sport enjoyed by his boyhood classmates and neighbors, while the former slaves cower in their quarter, hoping to avoid death by becoming invisible.

The tension between Ben and the white residents start rising. Ben aims to discover the truth behind it all. But will he be able to digest it?

The gripping twists and turns in the story revolving around murder, love and bravery engross the readers completely. The graphic descriptions of the racial injustice and atrocities are shockingly drastic.

Patterson and DiLallo take their readers back in to the dark time in history digging out facts that were forgotten. Patterson’s impressive style of writing and creating suspense, intrigue and thought provoking subjects makes him the master writer of all times. The characters evolve with the story and bring in the revelation that the author aims.

An easy fast paced read. Highly recommended.

 

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Book Review of “Sundays At Tiffany’s” By James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Sundays At Tiffany’s

By James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

 

What happens when an ace detective-based-thriller/murder mystery writer teams up with an author who writes for children? A mediocre novella that looks, feels and reads like a love story with very typical characters and plots.

James Patterson fans who love Alex Cross might be a bit disappointed with this one.

The story is about Jane Margaux, a lonely little eight-year-old girl and her imaginary friend Michael. Jane’s mother Vivienne is a successful Broadway Theatre producer with time only for her production and social gatherings. Jane’s father is busy vacationing with his new wife and only visits Jane to bring in more disappointment. Given this setting, who wouldn’t have an imaginary friend to be by their side through thick and thin?

Michael is about 30 years old, witty, funny and handsome and Jane’s only support.

But he bids her a sad adieu on her ninth birthday with a thought that she would forget him.

Twenty three years down the line, Jane is seen as a successful producer about to turn one of her musicals into a movie. The play (Thank Heaven) is dedicated to her imaginary friend Michael.

Vivienne, the controlling mom, tries to dictate terms for the movie and Jane’s handsome actor boyfriend Hugh McGrath is using her to grab the lead role. When Jane denies him the part, her forever messy life is further distraught.

She wishes to have Michael back in her life, desperately! She visits one of her favorite childhood haunts in New York City only to see a man resemble Michael. But he disappears as quickly. Was it her imagination or is Michael for real?

Sunday At Tiffany’s is a fast fluff read, not remarkable. Yes, relatable in some instances but highly stereotypical in some. It is a bit of cheesy romantic novel with a nice twist in the end.

I felt that the authors could’ve worked a bit more on the detailing though.

Jane (as a kid and an adult) is likeable, so is Michael. Jane’s insecurities and self-discovery have been well etched.

This book somewhat reminded me of The Velveteen Rabbit, where the boy’s love makes the rabbit real. Charbonnet’s fantasy and Patterson’s mystery prowess unite for some light entertainment.

 

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