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4.3 out of 5 stars140
4.3 out of 5 stars
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'Cross' is the latest episode in a long running series about Alex Cross, a psychologist who's been a police detective, FBI man and now is operating freelance. It's an entirely by-the-numbers thriller. Doesn't miss a beat. It clips along at a good pace, is written in easily accessible English, and builds up the level of threat and tension as the bad guy's vendetta takes shape -- and Alex Cross has to unravel the mystery and solve it.

The bad guy is irredeemably bad (sadist, rapist, murderer, hitman for the mob) while Alex Cross is impossibly heroic (loving father to his young family and loving grandson to his wise-but-spiky grandma). The supporting cast are all present and correct (police detective chum who has Alex's back at the vital moment; love interest where things don't go exactly to plan). Plus Alex Cross suffers the emotional baggage from a previous trauma (could this killer be the same man who killed Alex's wife all those years ago?)

The chapters are kept clipped and brief, and almost all of them end on a mini-cliffhanger so you're compelled to keep turning the pages. Even though I recognise the style and device and don't particularly like it, I found myself belting through the chapters, staying up later than expected; carried along by the drive of the plot.
And that pretty much sums up the effectiveness of Cross. It's not an intellectual or philosophical debate. It's a chase-the-bad-guy flat-out romp. Easy to read. The perfect book for an airplane or train ride. You don't need to have read any of the others in the series to enjoy it.
It's not literature, but it's entirely enjoyable pulp fiction.
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on 23 December 2007
this was my first actual read of an alex cross novel although i watched the movies along came a spider and kiss the girls and loved them although this may have been because of morgan freeman who now does seem a little old for the alex cross with three small children ! and that brings me to my problem with this book that i COULD NOT get out of my head ! in the book when maria is shot - janelle is 6 months old having been born in the hospital 6 months previously - now it also mentioned she was pregnant when shot - BUT i cannot understand where did the third child ali appear from it has been racking my brains throughout the whole book - i cannot seem to do the numbers - can SOMEBODY explain how he can have a daughter 6 months old - wife shot - and another child appears later - I AM TOTALLY PERPLEXED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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It may be a little known fact, but James Patterson has written more best selling titles in the past five years than Dan Brown, J.K. Rowling, Tom Clancy and John Grisham put together. He is one of a handful of authors whose sales have been growing over the past two years, even though best selling fiction sales in general have been declining.

This is another of Patterson's novels featuring the FBI Agent Alex Cross. A tried and tested formula on the part of the author and one that always goes down well with the reader.

Alex Cross was a shining star in the Washington Police Department when an unknown killer gunned down his wife in front of his eyes. But any thoughts of vengeance or justice had to be put on hold while he raised his kids. His wife Maria was never far from Alex's mind and his thoughts of tracking down her killer have haunted many a long night. Can Alex give himself some peace of mind. Has the trail gone cold after all this time. When a case comes up that triggers a connection to the death of Maria, Alex believes that at long last there is a chance of justice for his beloved wife.
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on 30 January 2010
One of the most gripping books i have read. if you are looking for detective or crime books, this is definitely the book for you. the sequel 'Double Cross' is also a great book
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on 3 September 2007
I normally love the Alex Cross books by James Patterson, however this one really didn't rock my boat.

I just can't see how it would be possible to be intimately involved in the investigation of a series of rapes that very well may involve the same person you believe may have killed your wife and at the same time continue to run your own professional practice and operate as a single father of three children. Really there just aren't that many hours in the day. It really just didn't ring true for me at all.

The symbolism, rituals and trademarks explored in some of the other killers that JP has written about were'nt really present with The Butcher and I thought that was a shame. He really just seemed to shoot a lot of people and then use his butchery skills post mortem.

For me this book lacked the real psychotic element and page turning urgency that JP does so well and the story seemed almost to exist as an explanation for Maria's shooting and as an enabler for JP to move Alex Cross on - perhaps to some kind of new serious relationship.

The final pages clearly are there to set up the next installment and I'll buy it. I love Alex Cross, Sampson, Nana and the whole cast of regular characters but I do hope I get something more akin to Cat and Mouse, Roses are Red or Four Blind Mice next time around
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on 26 September 2007
I read this book in a couple of days, which is fast for me, basically because I've come to love Dr Cross over the course of his books but otherwise i might have struggled. The story IS very messy and there's not the usual depth there. As a previous reviewer stated it's as if he is trying to cram far too much into the story and yet it can drag in parts too. Perhaps James Patterson is spreading himself too thin at the moment with all the co-writing efforts too. Still have high hopes for the next one though..... 'double cross'
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on 27 September 2007
Like many I have followed the Alex Cross novels with enjoyment and interest. He is one of the top charactor creations in this genre in my opinion.

However James Patterson, I believe, needs to spend a little more time on the Alex Cross novels. He is an undoubtedly hot author but this book compares unfavourably against the initial books in the series.

A lot of readers were looking forward to this book, one of the key enjoyments of previous novels was the relationship content between Alex and his family and with Sampson which allowed the reader to get a greater profile of Alex Cross through this plot dynamic.

These relationships are underutilised in Cross and also the Butcher as a charictor is under drawn.

It is a good and enjoyable read and I would recommend it, just not as good as I was hoping for.
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on 3 January 2008
The Alex Cross series is a hugely popular one, and has had several extremely entertaining novels. Particularly early on in the timeline, with books such as 'Along came a spider' and 'Kiss the girls', which are two examples of James Patterson's terrific suspense and story-telling. These books really define the term 'page-turning'.

But the last 3-4 books in the Alex Cross series have been poor: too pedestrian, lacking ambition, and told badly. I was glad to see that 'Cross' is an improvement from these. Patterson has made the story more interesting again. Specifically it is the first book to deal with the murder of Alex Cross' wife, which happens before the books even start. This new angle makes for an interesting story and a decent read.
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on 16 July 2010
the Alex Cross books are brilliant,but you need to read them all starting with the very first.His family life continues to enthrall and you imagine them all growing up and getting older and developing along with the story lines.
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This is the twelfth book of the series about Alex Cross and many of the characters from previous books are here. The former police detective and FBI agent has now seamlessly started to work as a psychologist (doesn't this require some years training?) as well as working freelance helping the police. From earlier books in the series we know that Cross' wife was shot and died in his arms and he was left to bring up three very young children, helped only by their formidable grandmother. All this, plus his other commitments, has been criticized as an unbelievable workload, but it is no more unreal than numerous other thrillers. When he is asked to help catch a brutal serial rapist/murderer and hired killer for the mafia, Cross agrees. The death of his wife is still foremost in his mind, so when during the investigation it emerges that the killer may be the man who murdered his wife, the sense of urgency increases as the pursuit becomes personal.

There then follows a series of extremely brutal events when the suspect, nicknamed the Butcher, carries out contract murders, unpaid revenge killings of mafia members, as well as engaging his `pastime' of raping young women. At the same time he lives what appears to be a quiet, stable home-loving family life, although when the investigation closes in on him he effortlessly moves his family around the East Coast (another unbelievable part of then plot?). Finally, of course, the confrontation occurs and Cross has to face his nemesis.

When you start any James Patterson thriller you know exactly what to expect: a formulaic style of fast- moving action presented in a huge number of absurdly short chapters to encourage the reader to keep turning the pages. It may not even have been written by Patterson himself because, like the great painting masters of old, he apparently operates a `studio' system, where assistants work up outlines and plots he supplies (how else could you produce so many books each year?). It not does produce great literature and is not always successful (I thought `Private London', for example, was dire) but it suits this book. Ultimately trash, it is good trash and fine for a mindless read when you have nothing better do. If you've enjoyed the series so far then you will probably enjoy this one too.
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