Jonathan Nkangabwa's Reviews > Along Came a Spider

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson
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Nov 08, 2011

really liked it
Read in October, 2011

James Patterson has created a page turning, murder/kidnapping mystery called Along came A Spider, which will keep its readers actively reading. Readers will travel along with Alex Cross in order to find a psychopathic serial killer who is on the loose and up to no good. The adventure begins in Washington D.C. where Gary Soneji, an extremely intelligent math teacher, who is plotting to pull of the crime of the century by kidnapping the daughter (Maggie Rose) of a movie actress and the son (Shrimpie Goldberg) of the Secretary of the Treasury. He is able to kidnap the children, and trick many police officers, secret service men, and others. This is when Alex Cross, famous detective, is put onto the case. He has a Ph.D in psychology and seems best suited to deal with this horrible case. The story is then advanced with a demand for a ransom, body of one of the children, and a love affair between Cross and Jezzie Flanaganis (first female supervisor of the Secret Service) that seems to be very deceiving. Will Alex Cross be able to stop the sinister Soneji from killing his victims? If you really want to find out, you need to read this book!

The book seems to be taken over several years in the Washington D.C. area and has a few main characters. One is Alex Cross, who is the protagonist of the novel. Alex is an African American who is a single father (wife Maria died from a shooting that occurred before the novel) trying to solve his recent kidnapping case. He is a very family oriented man, because there are numerous instances where he has heart to heart interactions with his children, of whom he cares so deeply for. His main goal in the novel of course is to take down the infamous Gary Soneji. Gary is a math teacher at the Washington Day private school. He has a split personality and it is very clear in the book. One part of him is telling him to commit his heinous crimes (calls himself Gary Soneji), while the other side is telling him that he shouldn’t commit anymore horrifying crimes (calls himself Gary Murphy). Gary is a character that must be analyzed in order to get the whole picture of why he does what he does and his motivations. One thing that he really wants is attention, because there was a part in the story where he left a note for the police at a crime scene saying, “I want to be somebody!” The next character is Cross’ lover, Jezzie Flannagan. She is a young woman who falls in love with Alex. This is tragic because she is white and he is black. She handles the racism much better than Alex does.

This was a very good book for one. The reason is that the book always keeps the reader questioning who is responsible for what. The reader will always be guessing as to who had kidnapped the girl and who murdered the teacher. There is so much action and suspense that the reader will not be able to help speeding throughout the chapter in order to get to the next scene. The antagonist of the story can be sympathized with and also un-sympathized with. Gary has two personalities with two extremely different motives. The reader can either see Gary as a trapped man in a killer’s body. Or a killer trapped in an unsuspected civilian’s body. Either way you look at it, this character’s can be analyzed in many other ways. I liked this book and recommend it to others! 4.5 stars for Along came a Spider.
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