Saturday, June 30, 2012

I Alex Cross by James Patterson

Hardback: 278 pages
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Publisher:  Little Brown and Company 2009
Source: The author's publicist 
in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.  
First Sentence:  'Hannah Willis was a second year law student at Virginia and everything that lay ahead of her seemed bright and promising - except, of course, that she was about to die in these dark, gloomy dismal woods.

Review Quote
: ' Sharp, sassy and guaranteed to send shivers down your spine, this is a tense thriller'. Woman.

My Opinion
: Extremely gruesome but the action and suspense kept me reading.

Although James Patterson is a prolific author he is not one I am really familiar with, apart from obtaining his books for my husband to read. The genre is however one I am happy to read if the story line catches my attention or a book is recommended to me. As far as I can recall the first novel I read by this author was Sail which I read on my husband's recommendation and reviewed here last year. I concluded my review of that one with this paragraph 'High drama and twists and turns continued right through to the very end. I will not be rushing to read more by this author but it was ridiculous fun in a way. Just the sort of story that I suspect would make a better film than it did a novel. As although there is not much of a storyline it has murder, betrayal and villains'.  
An honest but not particularly stunning review so I was surprised when I was contacted by the author's publicist asking if I was interested in reviewing another novel by James Patterson. They sent me I Alex Cross, about a character that I recalled from selecting library books for my husband. The series of Alex Cross novels are among  his most popular work and the top-selling U.S. detective series in the past ten years. I was not surprised to learn that this is also being made into a  film.

The protagonist Alex Cross is a forensic psychologist formerly of the Washington D.C. Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation who now works as a private psychologist and government consultant. The detective is at a family party when he receives a phone call telling him that his niece, Caroline has been found murdered. Of course he takes on the investigation along with the help of his girlfriend Detective Briana Stone, arriving at the scene of the crime they discover that this is going to be a far from straight forward case to solve. Her dismembered body was found in the boot of a car, whose driver was linked to organised crime and Caroline appears to have been working for a high class escort agency, an exclusive club with high connections. Such high connections that when Alex starts getting too close he is thwarted in his efforts by the Secret Service and the President. He risks everything but I am going to say no more otherwise there will be no point in reading how the investigation and the presidential administration manages to spare the country the embarrassment of a sex scandal.

I found this a very quick read, as I did want to know what was happening, some of which is indeed extremely gruesome, but the action and suspense kept me reading.  I still doubt that James Patterson will be an author whose books I pick up very often, if at all in the future. It is not that I do not like his work but the usual excuse of too many books and too little time.

Author Profile

James Patterson was born in Newburgh, New York, USA on March 22nd 1947. Since retiring from an advertising career in 1996 he has devoted his time to writing and encouraging adults and children to read. This has led to him forming a partnership with the National Literacy Trust, an independent, UK-based charity that changes lives through literacy. He is a prolific author, sometimes with co writers of thriller novels, probably the best know of which are the Alex Cross Detective Series. A very popular author indeed as I discovered when I checked out his Facebook page where he has over three million followers, 3,308,653 people in fact! 

Last year James Patterson was interviewed by the Literary Guild Book Club and I have included it here for those of you that may be interested to learn more about his writing and a mention of the forthcoming film from this Alex Cross novel I have just read.
                                          James Patterson - What I've Learned.
                                          Uploaded by  on 31 Aug 2011

Biographical, other information and photo are with thanks to the following links where you can find out more about James Patterson.   
Amazon Author Profile   James Patterson - Wikipedia   Goodreads Author Profile

James Patterson - Official Website   James Patterson Library

I have chosen to read this title as the letter I for The A - Z Book  Challenge which I have decided to attempt to achieve in alphabetical order. I have a good selection of titles to choose from our bookshelves, it will be interesting to see how far I can get before I get stuck. You can follow my progress here.  

I have also linked this review to Literary Friday


  1. Thanks so much for linking-up. You have made my weekend! :D

    I have never read a James Patterson book in my life, although one of my friends reads everything he writes! I guess it is the genre because violence freaks me out....

    Super review as always, Linda!

  2. Wonderfully written review. I'm with you ... I don't think that I have ever read a James Patterson book... I'm pretty sure that I've seen several of his movies though. I will be on the look out for this one. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I've never read anything by this author either, although I am aware that he is extremely popular. I don't know how much I'd like this one if there are very gruesome parts!

  4. Thanks, Ricki Jill, Liz and Lindsay, I hope you will let me know what you think if you do decide to read this or any of his other titles.


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