Alex Cross's Trial: (Alex Cross 15) Paperback – 30 Sep 2010
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Over the years, James Patterson has consolidated a reputation as one of the most copper-bottomed treasures in the crime genre with his Alex Cross books, and he has perfected a canny (but highly persuasive) economy in his narratives: his clipped, highly charged, pithy chapters possess not an ounce of subcutaneous fat (and frequently move towards some kind of unresolved climax, guaranteeing that we have to turn to the next chapter). Alex Cross’s Trial, the latest outing, is something very different for his quadriplegic investigator, but Patterson (as ever) displays the page-turning skills that are his trademark (assuming, of course, that the bulk of the book is his work – this is another of his many portmanteau efforts; from his army of co-authors, he here utilises Richard Dilallo).
The innovations in Alex Cross’s Trial involve nothing less than Alex himself narrating the story of young Washington lawyer Ben Corbett who lived at the turn of the Nineteenth Century.
Ben is highly adept at his job, but is still regarded by his wife and father as something of a failure, wasting his time (as they see it) by doing unremunerative work for the poor and oppressed. Then, to his amazement, Ben receives a summons to the White House – President Roosevelt, no less, has selected him personally to help look into lynchings performed by a newly emergent Ku Klux Klan.
As an insight into Alex Cross’ background, this is both illuminating and provocative, but James Patterson (and his collaborator) prove quite as adroit at a historical narrative as at a contemporary one. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A compelling and unforgettable novel . . . A powerful drama and a gripping thriller - and the story that it tells is an important one." "Nights and Weekends.com""
"A little bit of Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird and a lot of James Patterson heading in a new direction."
"Fans of the Cross novels will find this book equally as enjoyable as any Cross book. IT CONTAINS THE SAME FAST PACE, TRUE-TO-LIFE CHARACTERS, AND GREAT STORYTELLING THAT ARE HALLMARKS OF VIRTUALLY EVERYTHING THAT PATTERSON WRITES." "TMRZoo.com""
"A HAUNTING ACCOUNT OF A BLEAK TIME IN AMERICA'S HISTORY . . . A REVELATION." "BookReporter.com"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I am a big fan of James Patterson, having read most of his novels over the years, and despite misleading marketing by putting Washington DC's favourite fictional detective in the title (even though he only appears to write the short 2-page prologue at the beginning) which will no doubt be a big disappointment to anyone who hasn't read the description before buying it, I found this book to be very good and had me gripped from the opening chapters. I don't know a great deal about early 1900s American history but this book (which is apparently close to being non-fiction) has really opened my eyes to how bad things were between black and white people back then, with sickening murders and torture (much of which is in very graphic detail in this book) and abuse. The story itself is told from the perspective of Corbett, a lawyer from Washington who leaves his wife and daughters to do the work the President has given him, seeing his old hometown in a completely different light from when he was a boy.
Overall this was a very interesting and different read that I found to be surprisingly good with decent characters, a fast-paced plot and a good ending. If you read this not expecting it to be an Alex Cross book and you have an interest in historical fiction then you will more than like enjoy this. If you're after the next Alex Cross novel in the series however, you'll have to wait until the end of October.
Patterson's more recent stand-alones such as SAIL and YOU'VE BEEN WARNED as well as his latest Alex Cross and Women's Murder Club offerings have been nothing more than average reads, being very cliched and predictable, making me feel that Patterson was running out of steam, so when I sat down to start 'SWIMSUIT' I wasn't expecting this to be one of the best thrillers that I had read from the author in a long time so I was very surprised at how good this book was.
From the opening chapters when Ben is teasing the reader with small details about what is going to happen I was hooked. It was just so tense and fast-flowing throughout the whole book, I read this in absolutely no time. One thing I particularly liked about this one was how it changed from the Kim's point of view, then to her parents', then to the killers, then to Ben as the chapters went on, keeping the story very interesting and gave the different fears and emotions that each character was experiencing as the story went on. The characters were also all believeable and likeable. My only one small complaint was the very sudden ending which didn't explain a lot and felt very rushed in comparision to the rest of the book, making me feel like the writers had ran out of time.
Overall this is a highly recommended read that I thoroughly enjoyed and will definitely be lending my friends and family this book for their holidays. Keep up the good work JP!
I've been a huge fan of the Cross series for many years, having read all of the books numerous times and although this is a very gripping and exciting read with not one slow chapter, it isn't up to the usual high standards that I'd expect from the series as they are usually the best of the best when it comes to Patterson novels, this however was just good, nothing special.
The African setting was a welcome change though as it took it away from the usual DC background, giving a chilling a disturbing insight into what life in Lagos, Nigeria and Sierra Leone must be like. There were too many near-deaths for Cross in this book which got to the point where it became ridiculous (literally once every couple of chapters).
His love interest in Africa seemed a little unnecessary too, making it seem like Cross will fall for any woman he works with, and felt like just a bit of a story-filler to bulk up the content of the story. Another thing I didn't like about this book is that it felt like it was going to finish 3 or 4 times before it actually did, making me think that Patterson couldn't make his mind up on how to end it so just dragged it on, as the last 50 or so pages could have been cut down a lot.
Although there are a lot of flaws with this one, it is still a very tense and exciting book that can be read in no time at all (I finished it in 2 sittings). Overall it is a very good thriller but is just not at the high quality level of other books in the series such as Along Came A Spider, Kiss the Girls and even the more recent Double Cross. I'd definitely recommend it to Alex Cross fans as it is a decent addition but just don't except anything spectacular.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very weak story - too many unbelievable escapes. Cannot recommend it to anyone. Felt very let down with it.Published 23 days ago by Mr Geoffrey Bailey
1st time that I have read a James Patterson novel, and I must say that I was quite impressed. I just happened to pick the book up while on holiday from the hotels book swaps. Read morePublished 1 month ago by TREVOR PEACE
What a very great book to have read, truly one of the best in the Alex Cross series.Published 1 month ago by Kelly Ann Medeiros