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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
After I read the last Alex Cross book I was indifferent to reading any more to be honest. In my opinion the quality of Patterson's books has dropped in recent years, particularly since he seems to be churning out so many of them. Quality, not quantity- Mr P. So, it's safe to say that when a friend offered to lend me this, I didn't really have a burning desire to read it. However, for a bit of quick escapist reading, he's usually a pretty solid thriller writer to turn to- and turn to this one I eventually did, sucked into the Patterson machine once more.

Ridiculously short chapters? Check. Fast-paced plot? Check (probably to do with the short chapters, that one). Terrorism plots, kidnap and /or murder in a big city area? Check. Alex Cross strolling in to save the day with elevated risk/mortal peril towards his own life and family situation? Check. There we have it folks, a James Patterson book in a nutshell.

Forgive me for being so cynical, and I genuinely do love his earlier books- honest. Some of them are undoubtedly some of the best thrillers I have ever read, actually. I just take a Patterson book nowadays with a pinch of salt, which I did with this one. And it's not too bad overall- a terrorism threat hits Washington DC, the President's kids are kidnapped and Cross is called in to save the day. That's about it.

The writing is decent, but not brilliant, not like his earlier books. Character development is only so-so (Patterson seems to take it for granted that the reader will know who is who with the established characters in the series and forgets to elaborate on the newer ones) and I did feel a sense of place about this novel having visited DC in the past. The novel is wrapped up pretty neatly and that is that.

It's interesting that in this novel the infamous `Gary Soneji' case is referenced quite so much. For me, the earlier Cross novels, including those featuring Soneji, far outstrip all of his newer ones (including the ones he co-writes with less famous authors) and though I enjoyed this one enough, this was no exception. Will the newer Patterson novels *ever* have the prestige, infinite readability and brilliance that his earlier ones did? Only time will tell.

All in all, not a bad effort and a good bit of `switch your brain off' reading, but nothing to get too excited about. I only hope that Patterson gets his finger out and puts more effort into making this series better, or at least making it go out with a bang. It pains me to say it, but like the author, Alex Cross just ain't what he used to be. If you are a first time Patterson reader then please head towards his earlier stuff instead (`Along Came a Spider' for example) and you won't be disappointed: trust me.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2011
Almost, in that much like THE TRIAL, which I read not long ago, KILL ALEX CROSS threatens to be excellent but only manages to be average at best. As with THE TRIAL the subject matter is engrossing and the storyline potentially epic but somehow just not given the full justice it deserves. I felt that a lot of the story was just skimmed over and the reader was left to make up the detail themselves. The President's children being kidnapped and an impending terrorist attack are dealt with by Alex as if he is taking a walk in the park rather than dealing with two national emergencies at once. Even the violence seems to have been thinned out and lacking in any emotional intensity.

Another reviewer said that they couldn't put their finger on what was missing, I think I can, time and effort. Patterson's chapters seem to have got shorter and shorter to the point of ridiculousness. I think this is more to add page numbers to the novels than a ploy to speed up the pace. It seems that quantity may have replaced quality, which is backed up by the number of co-writers Patterson seems to be working with.

I love the Alex Cross character and series but found this just didn't make the grade I'm afraid. Maybe it's time for a new direction? Either that or add another 100 pages and fill in the blanks!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2011
I can scarcely believe that I am still buying into the James Patterson brand. His early works were inventive, edge-of-the-seat stories and now there seems to be a formula to the current books. Even my long-term affection for the character Alex Cross is being stretched. Perhaps Patterson should write the books himself, cut down on numbers of titles produced and create rounded characters and fully developed plots with a satisfying ending once more.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Kill Alex Cross is the 18th in James Patterson's Alex Cross series. The action starts immediately with the kidnapping from the Branaff School of Zoe and Ethan Coyle, the children of President Edward Coyle and First Lady Regina. This is followed very quickly by a cyanide contamination of part of Washington DC's water supply and the apparent suicide by cyanide ingestion of a Saudi couple in a hotel room. While Alex Cross manages to question a suspect involved with the kidnapping, he is kept out of the case for the vital first 24 hours. He only learns some time later of communication from the kidnapper: no ransom, just a personal threat to the President. Patterson gives us an interesting, if perhaps a bit clichéd, perspective on life in America from the viewpoint of a Saudi terrorist. As well as the cyanide contamination of the water supply, Patterson touches on Sarin gas and Semtex explosive in Subway trains. Alex Cross seems a bit arrogant first off, but shows hints of the character we came to love in earlier books. The plot, however, is rather anticlimactic, the kidnapper is a lamentably shallow character, and much of the dialogue is wooden: "Tell me what's happened, Ron," the president commanded Director Burns. "Tell me everything, right now." How Cross & co actually located the children is skimmed over; Cross is not involved in the terrorist aspect at all, and this seems to fizzle out; and as for Kill Alex Cross, nothing is mentioned of this until 17 pages from the end. This novel still has Patterson's trademark short chapters, and there is liberal use of exclamation marks, but it feels like Patterson isn't really interested in Alex Cross any more, like he's not putting much effort into a hero who has made him a lot of money and has (or, rather, had) a large following. This mistitled instalment of Alex Cross is a disappointment and not even close to the quality of the early titles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 September 2011
James Patterson delivers another of his usual novels with its usual pace and verve, the small chapters giving the book that immediate page turning quality that has so defined his books.
This novel blasts into immediate action when the President's children are mysteriously kidnapped and no one has any idea who the culprits are.
As usual James Pattersons writing retains its neutral quality when dealing with any subject, from serial killers to Terrorists, he offers both sides of the coin and allows you the reader and his own characters their own thoughts. The reader is given the impression of real life in the characters and this is achieved across a diverse set of cast in the book.

The book is over all an adrenaline fuelled ride. A read designed for young adults and adults alike.

A Fun pool side read

(Parm)
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on 11 September 2013
I think James Patterson has finally killed my desire to read another of his books. I realised a while ago that i wasn't going to buy any of the books actually written by other people where his name appears in letters double the size of the actual author. That whole practice has annoyed me for some time and i have vented on it on a number of occasions.

That said i have have continued to read the Alex Cross books, a series which was still sole authored. They were enjoyable, fast and thrilling reads and i really liked the character. Patterson almost killed any feeling i had for the character with the travesty that was Cross Country and then he followed that up with the rip off that was Alex Cross's Trial which thanks to warnings from fellow fans i managed to avoid reading. However the next couple in the series were decent reads and i thought he was back on track...

That is until i read this one. This book is just lazy and stupid and i was so angry by the time i finished it. The plot is full of more holes than and fishing net and characters make dumb decisions for almost no logical reason. For example i never understood why the CIA wanted Cross on the outside of the kidnap team? It just didn't make any sense...unless it was just a ham-fisted plot device to get him working for the First Lady. And what was the terrorist plot there for...i would posit just because everything has to be about terrorism these days and was making it a huge red herring supposed be a clever twist? Because i never once believed the two stories were connected.

Anyway, the straw that broke the Camels back was the 'extract' of the next great "James Patterson" novel included in the back of the book. We've all got used to these...sometimes i read them and sometimes i don't. What i did object to however was the fact that the extract wasn't even the from the next Alex Cross book (which has been the case previously i believe) or even from a book actually written by James Patterson but rather something written by Mark Sullivan (written in small letters). NOT EVEN A JAMES PATTERSON BOOK!!!! GAHHHHH!

Well done Mr Patterson...i'll not read another Alex Cross book and that means i won't be reading any more books off the old Patterson production line!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2012
Inspired by a recent, browsing only trip to a bookshop, wherein I saw a shelf full of James Patterson's work, I feel I owe the man a word or two.

Dear Mr. Patterson,

I write you to confess.

I have read 7 books from your Alex Cross series, and eh, they're addictive and somewhat unhealthy. The thing is, Mr. Patterson, you have created a recipe - a 2 star product wrapped up in a 4 star `fizz, pop, pow, bang' garb. You then lash it into a literary blender, crank it up to 11 and produce these novels. Of course, you don't need me to tell you this, Jim. Can I call you Jim?

Here is an outline of the recipe taken from the kitchen cupboard de Patterson.

Ingredients:

Alex Cross, forensic psychologist, FBI consultant and whatever you're having yourself.
Alex works more hours than exists in any given day, naturally.
Big Bad = mischief dispatching victims
Supposedly irritating superior (Chief of Dept), police not being given resources, rabble, rabble
Reliable colleague, Sampson, at times not given a lot to do, but each book seems to tell us he is 6' 9". Men and size, eh?
Chapters so short you could barely wipe your backside with them.
Big Bad engages in mischief, said to possess uber-intelligence and is a master at `blending in'.
Alex fancies a woman - a neighbour, school principal, a police colleague, thus at some stage gets teh roide, which usually features the word 'climax'. Seriously, Jim, stop it. You'll drive us all to lust.
Nana and her 'life is like a box of chocolate'-isms
Further Big Bad mischief
*Insert random psychobabble/profiling*

Method:

Mix the ingredients together rapidly. Drop in and knead the following for suspense:

Big Bad is just that evil. Yes, really.
Namecheck a government agency or three
Alex and co. are, at times, put in big danger!!
Get the media to paint Alex as an out of control homicide detective/career about to explode. G'wan.
Introduce betrayal with all the subtlety of unexpected item in bagging area
Ending comes about a la ready meal options of:
Mentally insane/prison/dead/not really dead
Pierce plastic, place in microwave for final portion of book and set phasers to stun!
Kthxbye

If you must know, Jim, I read on a Kindle. Sadly, there is no automatic 'delete this crap' button available on this device and so, I will continue with this addiction. The literary calories are piling up. Can you tell me how I should reduce my intake? They will likely all be digested before the year is out.

Yours, etc.

Addict
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on 17 February 2013
I quite enjoyed this. Unfortunately I started reading them out of order but it didn't matter much. This one had a nice amount of blood and lots of tension. However, I think I'm done with Alex Cross now, this was a bit too samey - anguish about having to leave the family, trying to balance home and work life. Needing to go outside of the normal boundaries and then the end justifying the means.

I enjoyed it to a degree but to be absolutely honest I don't think I'll read any more.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2012
I became used to scooping-up the release of a new James Paterson book but 'Kill Alex Cross' lead me to question whether I will buy another of his future books. No real pace and very disappointing when I consider his earlier work.
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on 13 January 2013
I don't get all the whinning , Patterson has always written books with short chapters underlying plots , murder , threats on himself and his family and friends , his books aren't complicated to follow and are page turners , it does what it says on the tin , taking into consideration you can pick up some of these books for 1p I don't understand some of the negative feedback , I would recommend any of his ( and the ghost written ones ) novels
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