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VINE VOICEon 19 November 2010
`Cross Fire' is the 17th book in the bestselling series written by James Patterson, starring Washington DC's favourite detective Alex Cross. In this book, as well as Cross planning his wedding to Bree Stone, two snipers are killing powerful figures all over the city, but the victims are all are people that most would actually like to see dead. If that's not enough for Alex to handle, his long time nemesis Kyle Craig is back in DC and has began to threaten and terrorise Cross and his family, only Craig is a little closer to Cross than he thinks.

I've been a fan of this series since the beginning and have never missed one of them, I've actually read most of them numerous times. This is the one series that Patterson still writes on his own rather than being with a co-author, so the quality of these books are usual a fair bit higher than the other dozen or so books he releases every year, and `Cross Fire' is no exception.

From the start this has non-stop action and excitement. If you're a long-time reader of the series then I guarantee you'll fear for the characters and will love the return of Cross's most cold-blooded and clever serial killer, which will have you on the edge of your seat from the opening page. Having the sniper case as well as "The Mastermind" on the loose (which was a very clever idea on how this is pulled off) makes this impossible to put down. I began reading this yesterday afternoon and have finished it already!

Overall this is a complete return to form for Patterson and this is without a doubt the best book I have read of his for years. There's also a fantastic hint at a future storyline at the very end that makes me very excited for next year's installment. I don't have one bad thing to say about this book - buy it now!
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on 8 February 2011
This is a fair Patterson Cross story after a number of weak novels. Kyle Craig is back again, this time with a new face and identity which gets him close to Alex Cross as Cross investigates two criminal plots. The tension stays with Kyle Craig and Cross throughout the novel, even though at times it does seem farfetched (Cross knowing Craig intimately both as an ex-colleague and as a psychiatrist). Overall a fair story, though I still rate the early Cross novels as substantially better in plot, depth and thrills.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 November 2010
I feel a terrible burden when I pick up a James Patterson book these days. The man is a legend who has produced some fantastic work that has earned him the right to be called one of the bestselling authors of all time. A staggering figure is that in 2007 one in every fifteen hardback books sold was a James Patterson. I myself seem to have a love-hate relationship with his work.

Lately I haven't been over enthused with any of his offerings and his best book in the last few months has been without a doubt `Worst case' which is another popular series of books featuring Michael Bennett. It seems that all of his co-written books have been a pile of rubbish and it makes me wonder just how bad his books can get. I was however looking forward to his new release Cross Fire, his 17th in the Cross Series of books. When the book arrived my first thought was that this book would be the one that cemented my loyalty to JP and why I always pre-order his books no matter how disappointed I was with the last one.

In this latest instalment we again get drawn straight in at chapter one. JP's infamous style of his short sharp chapters is there in abundance, which I confess I love. Alex is written exceptionally and as soon as you pick the book up you feel like you are getting reacquainted with an old friend. Nana is also still around as are the kids and you felt like you are once again part of the Cross' hectic family life.

The story itself is the major let down for me. James Patterson in the past has come up with storylines that have had me staying up overnight to finish a book or being so engrossed that I miss my train stop. This book is certainly not up to what I would call his best standards. I thought the plot jumped and many of the chapters felt almost unfinished.

We see the re-appearance of an old adversary in the form of Kyle Craig. I was looking forward to this element of the story as you feel like you have seen Alex' life up close and personal in all of his books. For me the first half of the book featuring Kyle Craig was okay but the second half was abysmal. It felt rushed and unfinished and had an element of laziness to it.

Overall the book was very average and again I finished it feeling that dreaded sense of disappointment returning. I don't know why his books just don't seem to hit the mark anymore and I find myself wondering if Alex Cross is running out of steam. In comparison his Michael Bennett novels are picking up pace and fast becoming favourites of mine. All in all, if you are expecting another corker in the Alex Cross series you may be disappointed.
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on 22 April 2013
Detective Alex Cross is back in the 17th novel of this best selling series. In my opinion it is the best Alex Cross novel to date, James Patterson at his best.

It starts with a chilling murder committed by ‘The Mastermind’, readers of the previous novels will know who this is. From here on it just gets better and better.

A sniper is going around Washington killing “the bad guys from the newspapers”, high profile targets including politicians, judges and heads of companies. Is the killer working alone and is someone else pulling the strings? Who would want these people dead and for what reason?

Alex Cross is put in charge of the sniper killings and at the same time there are also the bizarre deaths of homeless men with strange numbers carved into their bodies. Alex is overworked and also planning his wedding to Bree so takes the help of an FBI who he dislikes.

Will Alex solve the murders and catch the killers? Will Kyle Craig get his revenge or be captured and taken back to maximum security?

This is a great fast paced, action packed thriller from page 1 right to the climatic finish. It leaves you wanting more. It is well written with believable characters. You don’t have to have read any of the previous novels to understand what is going on, but if you haven’t read the other books in this series this will make you want to read them all. It is action packed, fast paced and not a dull moment. It is definitely worth the money and the time to read. You will not be disappointed.
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on 26 August 2011
Book 17, in the Alex Cross series

After reading so many books in this series, the style and structure have become predictable. I found the story to have many familiar aspects about it that left me with a sense of déjà vu. This latest is definitely for the die-hard fan that slowly plods along or the reader who only reads the occasional thriller.

The plot involves two main running threads. The first involves a pair of assassins who take it upon themselves to eliminate people of questionable ethics, in particular those who have committed crimes against the poor and have escaped the strong arm of justice on a technicality. Alex knows if the killers are not caught soon, this vigilante justice will continue. The second thread involves Alex's old nemeses, Kyle Craig, who recently escaped from prison and is on a mission of revenge '. It is payback time for Alex and his family'.

True to his trademark, Patterson has stayed with his choppy style of writing, short chapters and many empty pages to provide an easy and speedy read. Although the plot follows a pattern that has been used many times before it nevertheless created some entertaining moments. Maybe the time has come to retire Alex Cross and move on to a successor with a different flair to solving crimes.
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Cross Fire is the 17th book in James Patterson's Alex Cross series. In this instalment, a sniper (or, more probably, a pair of them) are picking off victims with long-range shots. The victims are all hated public figures: corrupt politicians, judges, public servants and lobbyists are assassinated with single shots to the head. Alex has to take a break from planning his wedding to Bree Stone to investigate the case. He is forced to work with FBI agent Max Siegel, who, unbeknownst to Alex, is not what he seems. And just to round things off nicely, that pesky Kyle Craig rings Alex to let him know he's around and hasn't forgotten his promise to eliminate him and his family. After the absolutely woeful Cross Country, this Cross book is back up to the standard we have come to expect. Fast paced, excellent plot, a few red herrings, a twist or two: this is Patterson at his best. Who ordered the assassinations and their motive is left unresolved, leaving the way open for a continuation of this theme. There's also a hint that the next book may see an appearance by Lindsay Boxer. A good read.
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on 26 June 2011
I totally agree with other reviews - JP is better when writing alone and this is a better book than some of his others. Good plot, good characters and another fast paced books with short chapters which I much prefer.

Kyle Craig aka the Mastermind completely disquised as an agent Max Seigal, a disquise so good no-one can see through it. A spate of killings and two cases. the main one Alex is investigating, the second he helps out pal Sampson with. As Craig/Seigal works with Cross and gets closer to him and his family, the question is when, not if, things will be brought to a head, and as the bodies mount up and the case becomes even more complex, can Alex uncover the truth as the tension mounts to an inevitable showdown......?

Loved this book. Just read the last 200 pages this afternoon with ease. The new book 'DIE-ALEX CROSS' is out in September. Looking forward to that already. This book gets 4 stars as the first 4 Alex Cross books were just a bit better, but this is still a cracking read.
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on 4 October 2012
Out of all the series of books that James Patterson has written there is nothing better than Alex Cross. That was until this book. Cross Fire appears to be rushed. The mastermind is back and going to have a face down with Alex whilst he battles to find sniper killers in the city. The main story of the sniper killers is loose and not engaging. You think that all the efforts went into the show down with the mastermind. Having finished the book I can tell you that this is not true. So you then think it is OK there will be enough intrigue left that this book was just a stepping stone to the next one. No wrong again. When you find yourself skipping pages from your favourite writer in your favourite series you know you are in trouble. Not up to your normal standards Mr Patterson.
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on 19 February 2012
I generally find James Patterson's books easy to read. The storylines move along quickly, and the chapters are very short, which means you may have to fib to your partner when you say you'll turn the light off at the end of the next chapter!!! The Alex Cross series is quite long-running, the later few books haven't held my attention like the earlier one's did. I'm not sure how much story is left to tell there now, but we'll see.....
The way Kyle Craig returns in the story seemed more than a little far-fetched but if everything we read is true to life, it would be a little dull I suppose :-) Even with the twists I found the story pretty straightforward & a bit predictable maybe?
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on 23 June 2011
This is the 17th Alex Cross novel and if you have read previous outings, you will know by now what you are letting yourself in for - this is a fast-paced, high octane thriller which doesn't let the reader go until the very last page.

Two snipers are on the loose and its up to Alex Cross and others to solve the crime-but it's not all what is seems.

High on body count, this book is a quick, satisfying read.

Other positives include short chapters and big print-I have lost count the number of times I have put a book back on the shelf down to poor layout.

Overall, this book is a blast and hits the mark every time!
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