A Killer With All The Skills Of A Master Detective Has Made Alex Cross The Subject Of His Deranged Investigation In A Virginia Penitentiary, Alex Cross And His Partner, John Sampson, Witness The Execution Of A Killer They Helped Convict Hours Later, They Are Called To The Scene Of A Copycat Crime A Note Signed M Rests On The CorpseYou Messed Up Big Time, Dr CrossWas An Innocent Man Just Put To Death Alex Soon Realizes He May Have Much To Answer For, As M Lures The Detective Out Of The Capital To The Sites Of Multiple Homicides, All Marked With Distressingly Familiar Details Details That Conjure Up Decades Old Cases Details That Conjure Up Cross Family Secrets Details That Make Clear That M Is After A Prize So Dear That Were The Killer To Attain It Alex S Heart Would No Longer Have Reason To Beat James Patterson s long running Alex Cross series is one I have dipped in and out of through the years and enjoyed, this is the 27th in the series, set in Washington DC, which takes Cross back to traumatic cases in his past It opens with Cross at the Greensville Correction Centre, a high security prison in Virginia, to witness the execution of Michael Mikey Edgerton, a upsetting and unsettling experience as he chooses to die on the electric chair He continues to claim his innocence, his wealthy family are present, and vow vengeance on Cross Cross, whilst disturbed by the whole sorry affair, has no doubts of Mikey s guilt, certain he is responsible for many murders Barely a few hours later, Cross and John Sampson find themselves at a copycat murder scene, with a note on the corpse saying You messed up big time, Dr Cross signed by M.Could the Edgerton family be behind this However, it soon becomes clear that Cross is familiar with M, in fact he has been aware of him for twelve years Cross visits a former FBI agent in prison in his professional role as therapist, Martin Forbes is adamant that he is innocent and has been framed for the murders he is alleged to have been convicted of Cross and Sampson find themselves at numerous brutally gruesome murder crime scenes, all with echoes of well known killers from the past, including that of the dead FBI agent Kyle Craig Cross was present at Craig s death, surely there is no way Craig could still be alive As Cross and Sampson chase the elusive M, who is engaging in unpredictable actions, like a kidnapping and ransom demand, the danger edges ever closer to Cross s family.In this latest addition to the series, Patterson continues to write a fast paced, intense, compulsive and twisted story Cross s family play a central part in the book, with his wife, Detective Brianna Bree Stone of the Metro Police Department, Nanamama with her fabulous cooking, his 17 year old daughter, Jannie, and his precociously bright 10 year old son, Ali, who becomes obsessed with cycling This is an entertaining read, with much that feels familiar about it, but still a thrilling and exciting affair However, here and there the plotting felt a little on the creaky side and I was a tad disappointed in the characterisation of M at the final reveal, and the ambiguous ending felt a little too predictable This is probably just me though, as I can see die hard Patterson and Cross fans absolutely loving this to bits Many thanks to Random House Cornerstone for an ARC. This is book 27 in the Alex Cross series I have followed the series right from book 1 up to about book 22 when it felt like the series was getting a bit stale I loved the early Alex Cross books but it did begin to feel that as the series went on the stories were becoming the same as the previous one I saw this one and thought I d revisit Alex and see if being away from this series for a while would make a difference I have to admit the story was very similar to other Alex Cross books I ve read before, but I suppose that s the nature of this genre there is only so many different topics you can cover It was however, really nice to be back in the bosom of the Cross household and nice to see that Nana is still fussing over everyone, Alex and Bree are still together and Alex s children are growing up fast The storyline, as is usual with this author s books, was fast paced, short chapters and lots of cliff hangers It was also particularly gruesome with bodies piling up not always in whole pieces and even a visit to death row to turn your stomach even The story switched back and forth between years previously and present day The cliff hangers had me biting at the bit for and when the name of a blast from the past was mentioned I could feel the whole storyline begin to get exciting The story was predictable, but there were a few red herrings chucked in just to keep me on my toes It was great to see so many familiar characters like Sampson and Bree, and interesting to see some new characters emerging The book is left wide open for book 28 to carry on the story, which of course I will have to read to find out what happens All in all, the storyline wasn t as original as some other authors but I have to admit it was nice to be back into this author s style of writing I still think there is only so far a series of books can go, and I do wonder whether this particular series is reaching its conclusion It is though a perfect read for a bit of escapism, so why not treat yourself this is an ok book I think if I hadn t read previous books by the author I would have enjoyed it .But for me it s a bit of same old same old Someone getting the better of Alex His family at risk How is nana mama still going Anyway it was enjoyable enough but didn t blow me away sorry. Alex Cross never disappoints As a long term fan I am always keen to read the latest Cross book and this one is fantastic Thought to have been executed for his crimes, witnessed by Cross, but hours later seeming to rise from the dead and kill again as a murder occurs with a note from M left on the corpse.Ever elusive but always there, in the background and threatening Cross and his family, M continues to evade detection Meanwhile old cases, previously solved or were they crop up to haunt Cross as he works his way through the current caseload.Coupled with the extreme aggression from the family of the executed man this is a tense and thrilling ride through Alex Crosses latest case and demands to be read in one sitting 3.5 stars.This is the 27th book in this very successful series and, although I do admit that I haven t read them all, I have read enough of them that I understood the main background necessary to read this latest offering We open with Alex and John Sampson attending the execution of Mikey Edgerton for the crimes that they previously solved On his deathbed chair he still protests his innocence and encourages his family to avenge him, but Cross and Sampson are convinced otherwise But the dust hasn t finished settling on this episode when Cross and Sampson are called to the scene of a fresh murder A very familiar scene is in front of them, along with a note addressed to Alex telling him that he messed up, signed by M But the obvious suspect is dead Could this be the work of a copycat, determined to undermine Alex and make him question his past and indeed his idea of Mikey s guilt innocence Meanwhile, the incarcerated Martin Forbes is still protesting his own innocence and pleads with Alex to help him prove it The waters are further muddied by the apparent reincarnation of one of Alex s past nemeses which causes him to start to question everything The body, and head count rises as Alex and Sampson chase their tails, beaten to the quick every time Just how is the elusive M managing to evade their every turn Things come to a head when the action comes closer to home than Alex would have liked when one of his family members is targeted Can he hone in on his tormentor and bring them to justice before time runs out This is quite a convoluted plot which brings together a number of Alex s past cases, as well as continuing the stories of his family and what they are up to It s definitely a very busy book But, having previously invested in the lives of Bree, Nana Mama, Ali and Jannie with Damon also popping in I was happy to catch up with them and see how they were going What I am not really happy about is the number of unanswered questions and things that have been left unresolved Having invested quite a bit of time and energy in playing along with the cat and mouse guessing game along the way, I was a bit disappointed by the way the final reveal went and then, after that, how the book ultimately ended I always feel a bit cheated when I don t get the satisfactory ending I feel I deserved I guess certain things may be carried forward into the next book but I m not a fan of that stuff either Alex himself swings between being brilliantly clever and downright dumb, both depending on how fast the plot needs to develop He s not as consistent as I remember him being at all.All in all, it was nice reconnecting with some old favourite characters but the story itself, the point of reading the book, just didn t really do it for me I think maybe my relationship with this series could have run its course Shame really as I did used to enjoy it.My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. Many thanks to NeGalley and Random House for an ARC of this book.The terrible formatting on this advanced review copy made reading incredibly difficult So many paragraphs lacked spaces completely, so that all the words ran into one another for line after line, meaning IfirsthadtodecipherwhatthewordswerebeforeIcould read the actual story I m sure my example shows the point Annoying, frustrating, and utterly ridiculous What s the point of sending out advanced review copies if the reviewers can t actually read the book Okay, rant over on the lack of formatting Now onto the book itself This being a James Patterson novel, I had high hopes Those hopes were to be dashed upon the rocks of let down and boredom It was an okay read, but not one that gripped me or pulled me in or entertained The plot was predictable The characters are card board cut outs and replicas of one another I didn t feel any connection to any of them and, thus, couldn t care less what happened to them One of the comments in the praise section at the front of the book claims that Mr Patterson is the gold standard by which all others are judged All I can say is, I hope that bar gets raised again and soon Otherwise we re all in trouble.It gets two stars from me NOTE ON RATINGS I consider a 3 star rating a positive review Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.5 STARS IT WAS AMAZING I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN Highly Recommended.4 STARS I WOULD PULL AN ALL NIGHTER Go read this book.3 STARS IT WAS GOOD An okay read Didn t love it Didn t hate it 2 STARS I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS Lacking in some areas writing, characterisation, and or problematic plot lines 1 STAR NOT MY CUP OF TEA Lots of issues with this book. Michael Edgerton has always maintained that he was innocent, framed by Dectective Alex Cross and the other investigators of his case When Cross and his partner attend Edgerton s execution they are hoping that they can finally put the case behind them When a body turns up killed in the same way Edgerton killed his victims, and with a note signed by the mysterious M, Cross realises that this nightmare is only just beginning I ve been following the Alex Cross novels for a long time, I think I ve read all but the one before this, so Cross and his family and friends are characters that are well cemented into my reading life Although the books are a series, each one can be read individually, however the character back stories do add an extra level of enjoyment to them so it s worth reading them in order.As I d expected this was really easy to get into, and had a fast moving plot in the typical style Patterson writes in It doesn t take long to get caught up in the case, and given that I ve become so attached to these characters I found I was on edge for them from really early on There was one character development for Alex Cross in this book that really took me by surprise It didn t fit with the character I ve had built up in my head for so long and just didn t sit well with me, it makes me wonder where Patterson is going to go with it and whether there is a side to Cross that we have yet to see.Overall this was an enjoyable read The Alex Cross books for me are what I consider comfort reads you know what you re getting, they re easy to read, enjoyable and there s a familiarity to them They re a series I ll always come back to, and this one fitted in almost perfectly.Thanks to NetGalley, Random House UK and Cornerstone for an arc in exchange for an honest review Many thanks to NeGalley and Random House for an ARC of this book.The terrible formatting on this advanced review copy made reading incredibly difficult So many paragraphs lacked spaces completely, so that all the words ran into one another for line after line, meaning IfirsthadtodecipherwhatthewordswerebeforeIcould read the actual story I m sure my example shows the point Annoying, frustrating, and utterly ridiculous What s the point of sending out advanced review copies if the reviewers can t actually read the book Okay, rant over on the lack of formatting Now onto the book itself This being a James Patterson novel, I had high hopes Those hopes were to be dashed upon the rocks of let down and boredom It was an okay read, but not one that gripped me or pulled me in or entertained The plot was predictable The characters are card board cut outs and replicas of one another I didn t feel any connection to any of them and, thus, couldn t care less what happened to them One of the comments in the praise section at the front of the book claims that Mr Patterson is the gold standard by which all others are judged All I can say is, I hope that bar gets raised again and soon Otherwise we re all in trouble.It gets two stars from me NOTE ON RATINGS I consider a 3 star rating a positive review Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.5 STARS IT WAS AMAZING I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN Highly Recommended.4 STARS I WOULD PULL AN ALL NIGHTER Go read this book.3 STARS IT WAS GOOD An okay read Didn t love it Didn t hate it 2 STARS I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS Lacking in some areas writing, characterisation, and or problematic plot lines 1 STAR NOT MY CUP OF TEA Lots of issues with this book. Cross is up to his eyes in danger yet again.Detectives Cross and John Sampson are in Virginia witnessing the execution of Michael Edgerton, a killer they helped convict Edgerton s family are there, screaming that he was innocent Cross is equally convinced he was guilty and deserved to die.Cross is then called to investigate another murder, and the modus operandi is similar to that of the killer just executed Has he caused the wrong man to die A disgraced FBI agent is in prison following a multiple murder in Florida He calls Cross to say he was set up for the murders Texts and notes are received signed M Cross begins to believe that his old nemesis, Kyle Craig, long thought to be dead, is alive and well and still taunting him Cross goes back over his files, both of Edgerton and Craig, a one time star FBI Agent turned killer, to try to get to the bottom of the mystery.This is the 27th book in the Alex Cross series, and for me, this series has truly run its course Dedicated Cross fans will find the action fast and furious Cross is pursued by deadly enemies, his family is in the line of fire and he has to do everything in his power to protect them and banish his own demons Nuff said.Mr BumblebeeBreakaway Reviewers received the book for review. Although this book is a part of the Alex Cross universe, I was able to read and enjoy the novel without having read all of the other books that came before this one I won t say too much about what happens because there are twists and turns and red herrrings, and I don t want to spoil any of the book for anyone who reads this review This is because the book is so well written that the suspense of not knowing what s going to happen is so captivating, I wouldn t want to ruin that experience for anyone else I don t think it s attainable for me to get all of the books before this and read them all tomorrow, but I m definitely going to be on the lookout for these other novels, because I definitely want to catch up and see the mystery entangled journey that Dr Cross has already has so far I thoroughly enjoyed the way the book was formatted too, each significant thing that happened or event that needed to be covered seemingly had its own chapter As someone who can t bear to pause a book mid chapter this really made the experience better I m giving five stars because I think it s a true reflection of how well written and how explanatory the book is, because I could follow along with both what was happening now and what happened before, without being up to date with previous novels It was a gripping read and I truly enjoyed every chapter.
- 400 pages
- Criss Cross
- James Patterson
- 07 March 2018 James Patterson