Ben Dutton's Reviews > I, Alex Cross

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson
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Feb 07, 2012

it was ok
Read in June, 2010

James Patterson’s enormously successful Alex Cross series of novels continues with this, his sixteenth. The formula is well known now – a criminal mastermind, usually a serial killer of some form, targets strangers, but once Alex Cross is on their case, the emphasis shifts. I, Alex Cross is no different.

Again, like a number of previous instalments, the involvement Alex has in the case is personal: his niece has been put through a meat grinder, and as Alex digs into her secret life in Washington DC, he learns of sex clubs and connections to the White House.

The Alex Cross novels relay on their breakneck speed to entertain the reader, and this one certainly is whip-crackingly fast: I read it in three and a half hours, in one sitting, digested like junk food. Which is what these novels are.

What I said about a previous Patterson Alex Cross thriller was the interaction Alex has with his family, particularly Nana Mama. Again these family dynamics provide the most interesting part: Nana Mama is seriously ill, and might die, and her possible impending death hangs over this work, a dark shadow. Patterson is savvy enough not to anger or alienate his audience, so the ending comes as no surprise, but it is at least reassuring to see real problems do occasionally intrude into the life of this super-cop.

The novel ends on a fairytale note, with an implausibly snowy scene, and then the promise of more to come… Alex Cross’s nemesis, and former boss, is loose, and coming to get him…. Yes these books may be tediously formulaic, and their ending never in doubt, but sometimes, just sometimes, we need to eat candy and read trash.
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06/15/2017 marked as: read

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Stephen James Johnson Great thoughts.


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