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on 14 January 2001
I read this book in a day, couldn't put it down.. The short chapters were frustrating, 128 chapters in a 200 plus page book - come on JP, The books good, especially if you've read earlier JP books with the story of Alex Cross. However the ending is not plausible, it's a shock but after reading earlier works you'd expect some kind of pointer from the earlier Novels. I was frantically guessing who the mastermind was, not a chance - come on James get real or at least give a good explanation in the next one. Very enjoyable book though
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on 26 April 2004
This is by far and away the best Alex Cross book to date - I have read allof them and the twist at the end of this one was THE most unexpected turnof events!
I would say that you have to read the previous books tofully apreciate the explosive revelation at the end of thisone.
Violets are Blue was a little disappointing, but what do youexpect when he keeps on turning them out at this rate?
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on 14 November 2001
I have to admit James Patterson can certainly hold your attention. His story moved at an excellent pace and had good plotting, at least to start off with. What is annoying though is the use of chapters. He keeps them way too short - how can a chapter possibly be two hundred words, for example? The huge number of chapters, and blank pages in between, led to a very short book. Did anyone else notice this? This book couldn't have been more than 50,000 words.
I have to agree with other readers, the ending is clumsy. The very final part is not bad, but the build up to it is not well handled.
- All in all, a bit of an odd book.
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Caution: This book contains much graphic slaughter of the innocents and the guilty. If such things offend you, avoid this book. Also, Mr. Patterson likes to use vulgar language to provide a sense of colloquial English that may also put off some.
I'm serious about stopping before the last two pages. In fact, cover them with a sheet of paper so you don't accidentally see anything on it. Reading the last two pages of Roses Are Red will reduce the attractiveness of this story to you, and eliminate most of the potential pleasure you can experience in Violets Are Blue, the next Alex Cross novel. The last two pages of Roses Are Red simply should have been edited out! Be cautious about which reviews you read of this book also, because some reviews reveal the material on those two pages . . . the ultimate in giving away a spoiler!
Mr. Patterson's strength is writing plots that are well paced, varied, surprising, and unusual. I thought that his plotting in Roses Are Red was unusually good. You will find yourself racing through the book, wanting to find out what's going on and who's behind it all.
The book's main theme is crime as a work of art expressing the ingenuity of a brilliant, but twisted criminal. As a result, the crimes are mentally very challenging to understand. You will think that you are reading about the criminal plans of Dr. Moriarty, Sethos, and the Riddler combined.
The weaknesses of Mr. Patterson's Alex Cross novels are also present here. He doesn't really show any detection, just detectives chatting with each other interspersed with developments driven by the criminals. The characters are about as little developed as they could be and still be differentiated from one another. The dialogue often reads like detective fiction rather than real dialogue.
But if you feel that you have enjoyed other Alex Cross novels, you will definitely like this one.
After you read Violets Are Blue, come back and read the last two pages of Roses Are Red.
Where else can less be more? Would the story, "The Lady or the Tiger," have been as interesting to you if you knew how it turned out?
Grasp the exact solution to provide the most for the least effort!
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VINE VOICEon 1 April 2010
This was my first ever James Paterson and I confess to being a big fan of any films he has had a hand in. I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this book and he is an excellent writer, however, having read several of the comments by other reviewers, I can see where they were coming from and can only agree absolutely.
This book has no ending - or at least it has one that is totally unsatisfactory. We are intended to move onto the sequal but I for one shall probably not do so after the big disappointment in the concluding chapter of this one.
We are left in a state of disbelief when we are told the name of the "Mastermind" behind a series of bank-jobs, sexual depravity, and cold-blooded murders. With no explnations offered, frankly after such a disappointment, I do not really care. Presumably we are supposed to sail on to the sequal, which is rather cheeky. Could the two books not have been condensed into one rivetting novel?
How very commercial.
I began to find Alex Cross's love life a bit tedious. It did not take him long after Christine to go chasing another bit of skirt. And I found the episode with his sick daughter totally surplus to requirements. As for his worldly wise octogenerian granny, she was too good to be true. As one who is approaching later life, frankly most people find me best avoided.
I think I will definitely give the Voilets a miss.
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on 28 July 2001
Alex Cross returns once more in James Patterson's 'Roses Are Red' and once more Patterson hits the right notes.
The story revolves around Detective Cross' attempts to track down a mysterious killer - the self styled Mastermind - whose particularly brutal in his methods and ensures that anyone who garners any information about him isn't alive to tell anyone.
Patterson's short chapters really help his books to move along at a fast pace and this ensures that 'Roses Are Red' has a whirlwind pace to it as it builds to it's conclusion.
And it's that which is where the problems start.
The ending felt like it was a cheat somehow, especially as there had been no indication of it coming and it seemed designed mainly to promote Patterson's next book in the series.
It's a shame that the ending left me feeling this way as otherwise it would have been an excellent book as good as many of Patterson's previous ones.
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on 24 September 2001
Where has the JP that I enjoyed so much gone? I've been so disappointed from the last couple of books (even the Weasel was so unrealistic, not to mention "When the wind blows"!!!) that I made up my mind to give up reading any future book by JP. I really thought that Alex Cross was cool and smart, even though still human. Now we have to cope with a sort of a super-hero with a perfect ever-happy family, whose feelings seem so unrealistic and unnatural. Even the plot wasn't that original (the namecode for the bank robbers is something already seen) and it leaves you without any explanation of the real motives of Mastermind. Finally, I don't want to be forced to buy the next book to find out the meaning of this one. I want to buy a new book because I enjoyed reading the previous one. It looks like a bad marketing technique!!!!
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This is a novel which seems to be very events driven - although the main character, Alex Cross, is a detective he seems to do very little detecting although he does a lot of agonising about the robbery and murders. In fact, (minor spoilers follow) he doesn't actually solve the crime but the author leaves the story on a cliff hanger presumably expecting that you will immediately leap out and buy the next book in the series to find out what happens next. The fast paced and action driven style is reinforced by the use of very short chapters, sometimes only a page long, which move the story from scene to scene rather like a screenplay. I have no objection to this way of writing but I did find that it meant that I wasn't always aware what Alex was feeling but only what he was doing and when he did portray his emotions the story moved on very quickly and didn't follow them through which left me not really connecting with the main character.

Alex Cross is the subject of a number of this author's books. He is a black detective with an aged grandmother who looks after the house and two extremely articulate children. Alex also has a failed relationship and another small child. I did have difficulty in believing in his home environment although quite a lot of the book is devoted to this. Nana is too good to be true and the children are far too wise for their years - the sub-plot with his daughter's illness didn't really seem to meld well into the rest of the events and I am not quite sure what it was included for. Alex is a father, lover, piano player, detective and psychologist but he doesn't really instigate anything in this book and is continually reacting to events - I found this tiresome and also found it a bit cheesy how he was desperate to get back with Christine until she said it was over and then he was immediately falling into bed with another woman - I don't find this attractive behaviour in anyone.

The crime and the criminal (the "Mastermind" - also very cheesy but I don't think that Americans had our TV quiz or the game with multi-coloured pegs which was popular in the 70s/80s) are suitably convoluted but when the big revelation is made I found that I couldn't really see how that worked - there weren't many clues for the reader to pick out during the story (in truth I can't remember any) and the author didn't do a lot of explaining as he then ended the book - maybe the next in the series will give us those answers although unless I pick it up very cheaply somewhere I shall not be purchasing it myself.

Overall. a bit of a disappointment.
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Caution: This book contains much graphic slaughter of the innocents and the guilty. If such things offend you, avoid this book. Also, Mr. Patterson likes to use vulgar language to provide a sense of colloquial English that may also put off some.
I'm serious about stopping before the last two pages. In fact, cover them with a sheet of paper so you don't accidentally see anything on it. Reading the last two pages of Roses Are Red will reduce the attractiveness of this story to you, and eliminate most of the potential pleasure you can experience in Violets Are Blue, the next Alex Cross novel. The last two pages of Roses Are Red simply should have been edited out! Be cautious about which reviews you read of this book also, because some reviews reveal the material on those two pages . . . the ultimate in giving away a spoiler!
Mr. Patterson's strength is writing plots that are well paced, varied, surprising, and unusual. I thought that his plotting in Roses Are Red was unusually good. You will find yourself racing through the book, wanting to find out what's going on and who's behind it all.
The book's main theme is crime as a work of art expressing the ingenuity of a brilliant, but twisted criminal. As a result, the crimes are mentally very challenging to understand. You will think that you are reading about the criminal plans of Dr. Moriarty, Sethos, and the Riddler combined.
The weaknesses of Mr. Patterson's Alex Cross novels are also present here. He doesn't really show any detection, just detectives chatting with each other interspersed with developments driven by the criminals. The characters are about as little developed as they could be and still be differentiated from one another. The dialogue often reads like detective fiction rather than real dialogue.
But if you feel that you have enjoyed other Alex Cross novels, you will definitely like this one.
After you read Violets Are Blue, come back and read the last two pages of Roses Are Red.
Where else can less be more? Would the story, "The Lady or the Tiger," have been as interesting to you if you knew how it turned out?
Grasp the exact solution to provide the most for the least effort!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 November 2000
I am a massive fan of James Patterson but feel I need a one to one with him after Roses are Red!
As usual the storyline was fantastic and I like the short chapters it makes you read more - saying to yourself oh just ONE more chapter. However I did find that once they discovered the mental institution things moved too quickly and he could have elaborated so much more on the suspects. I am really disappointed with the ending. JP seemed to be racing through the story like a steam train and then at the end he ran out of fuel and copped out. Throughout I did have my doubts about the final baddie but I put those negative thoughts out of my mind as they were TOO unbelievable.
I too shouted NO at the end - it's too implausible. Please Mr Patterson don't go in that direction again, I can see where you are coming from and the ending does leave you to explore untold avenues in future novels but as Alex Cross has had so many tradegies - please can he finally find true love and I pray that Samson doesn't turn out to be the next knife wielding fiend
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