Lisa (Harmonybites)'s Reviews > Along Came a Spider

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson
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's review
Mar 23, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, suspense, popular-fiction, ultimate-reading-list, fiction, novels
Recommended for: Lovers of Crime Thrillers and Police Procedurals
read count: 2

I've read over a half dozen of Patterson's Alex Cross novels, and of those I've read this first one is the best. A lot of the reason I kept reading after this one is the protagonist detective, Alex Cross. He's likable and relatable here. He's a black detective and psychologist in Washington DC. One who doesn't want to leave the old neighborhood and raising two young children with his grandmother having lost his wife. Cross is smart, but most of all, in the first person parts of the novel, he conveys a warmth and a sense of humor.

Otherwise the novel plays out as a fairly standard police procedural thriller, where Cross is faced with a kidnapper of children. Gary Soneji is cut from the same cloth as most fictional psychopaths--scary but brilliant. Cross works with a beautiful female romantic interest in law enforcement (tm), Jezzie Flanagan of the Secret Service, who is more than she appears.

This is well-plotted and paced and was a very fast read with a neat twist. Patterson is notorious for his bite-sized flash fiction chapters of less than a thousand words that keep you flipping the pages. As I said, I even liked Cross enough to read more books. The second book though, Kiss the Girls, frankly repulsed me, (It dealt--graphically--with a serial rapist) and Alex grew more and more a Marty Stu, even gaining a supervillain obsessed with him in a later book, and the books read more and more to me as if Patterson was phoning them in. This first book though makes for an enjoyable beach or airplane read.
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