**spoiler alert** I’ve finished my first two James Patterson novels back to back and I can’t say I’m hooked. I may try one more before giving up compl...more**spoiler alert** I’ve finished my first two James Patterson novels back to back and I can’t say I’m hooked. I may try one more before giving up completely.
A similar complaint I had from Four Blind Mice, Alex Cross asked way too many questions. Is she dead? Where is he keeping her? Is she dead??? How could he do this to a little girl? Is she dead????? Please stop, Alex.
As with Four Blind Mice, there was plenty of romance. Again, not what I was looking for in what I thought was an action detective series. I was surprised that his wife was dead right from the start. I assumed that she would die in a major story arc. In both books I have enjoyed the family interactions and was kind of hoping to see the Cross family as a whole. I assume then that Alex is going to have a new girlfriend in just about every book.
The mysterious Kyle Craig character also made a brief cameo. I really shouldn't read books out of sequence.
Now, my biggest issue with the book was how Mr. Patterson emphasized race. This book was published in 1992, was race still that big an issue in America at that time? Every time Alex and Jezzie were together in public, it was noted that they were getting funny looks. Hey, look at the black man with the white woman! There was even a violent confrontation. Even background characters were labeled as “black”. A janitor in the school, random patrons in a restaurant, kids playing on the street. Was that necessary? This may have something to do with my being born and raised in the melting pot of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Since grade school (that was the 80s) I’ve been seeing mixed couples. Me included. I’m Chinese. My best friends growing up were a Jamaican, a Macedonian and an Iranian. Was it really so different in those places in the book? Washington, D.C. in particular. I’m really curious.
I’ll finish with my standard nonsensical casting of characters. Alex Cross will forever remain Tyler Perry because of the 2012 movie, Alex Cross.
The serial killer, Soneji/Murphy, I saw as Robert Knepper, who does not look like a friendly teacher at all.
Perry’s partner, Sampson, I saw as Terry Crews. I think I’ve type-casted Crews as a cop, since I see him as Sgt. Doakes from the Dexter books as well.
**spoiler alert** This was my first James Patterson novel. I found it in the library at work. I thought my first exposure to Alex Cross was the Tyler...more**spoiler alert** This was my first James Patterson novel. I found it in the library at work. I thought my first exposure to Alex Cross was the Tyler Perry movie, but apparently I watched the two Morgan Freeman movies long ago and had no idea they were Alex Cross stories. Oops. So the character looked like Tyler Perry the whole time I was reading. I had no idea who Kyle Craig was, I suppose he was part of a major story arc from the past.
Cross asked too many questions. I had this issue with another main character before. I can't remember who of course right now. There were a lot of b-movie lines uttered by several characters in most of the chapters. Example:
Cross: "What are you going to to?" Bad guy 1: "What we should have done the night you were with [name withheld]. Kill you." Bad guy 2: "With extreme prejudice."
Story was entertaining. Vietnam. Military assassins. Revenge killings. I liked the family interaction with Sampson and Cross' family, especially Nana. I was not expecting romance. There were several chapters of it. Not what I was looking for. I liked the FBI director Burns. The final scene had me picturing the CoD: Ghosts characters coming out shooting the bad guys.
On page 198, Tom Clancy's characters are referred to as "Jack Clark" and "John Patrick Ryan". Yes, Jack Ryan is referred to as John Ryan occasionally, but I don't believe I've seen Clark called "Jack" before. Was this an intentional mistake?
So, with all that said, I'm sitting at neutral with Patterson right now. I'll have to pick up a few more Alex Cross novels in the near future to see if they sway me either way.
Edit: I also meant to say, early on in the book when Cross was looking for murder suspects related to paint, he mentioned Blue Man Group and briefly considered them as possibles. Right at that moment, my iPod shuffled to a Blue Man Group song. Nice coincidence. 20 Blue Man Group songs out of 4228 total songs. Never tell me the odds. :P And a second note, I found another Patterson novel in the work library and am reading it. It's also book #1 in the series.(less)