Monday, March 22, 2010

Mystery Book Review: I, Alex Cross by James Patterson

Mysterious Reviews

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of I, Alex Cross by James Patterson. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson

An Alex Cross Mystery

Little, Brown (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-316-01878-3 (0316018783)
ISBN-13: 978-0-316-01878-4 (9780316018784)
Publication Date: November 2009
List Price: $27.99

Review: Murder hits too close to home for famed detective Alex Cross as he returns in the 16th book in James Patterson’s Alex Cross series, I, Alex Cross.

Just as Alex is about to delve into a new and exciting time in his life, it seems as if everything instead is crashing down around him. First, Nana, one of the most beloved characters in the Alex Cross books, is fighting for her life as her frail heart battles against her overwhelming spirit. And, in between hospital visits, Alex must use his training as a psychologist, a detective and FBI agent to try and make sense of yet another killing spree in D.C. But this isn’t just another brutal murder, this time it involves one of his own – his estranged niece. Through investigating her death, he must come face to face with disturbing news about his niece and the illicit life she chose that led to her untimely murder. What’s more alarming is the powerful political ring that appears to be interwoven amidst murder, sex and betrayal. As the facts become clearer, Alex must tread carefully as he investigates the most powerful people in America.

Quantity or quality? This is the question that comes to mind while reading yet another James Patterson novel. James Patterson has definite talent for writing and his storylines are creative and timely – this cannot be denied. Having read nearly every James Patterson novel, and certainly every Alex Cross novel, it can be concluded though that as time goes on, James Patterson seems to be emphasizing quantity over quality. Having published a total of nine novels in 2009 alone, James Patterson is certainly in the forefront of suspense writers today. However, as a result, is the quality being sacrificed? Most definitely. James Patterson will always be a favorite author, and the Alex Cross series will always be a good solid read, however, the last few novels pale in comparison to the earlier titles such as Along Came a Spider. Certainly the two colliding stories in I, Alex Cross are interesting. Readers are fully committed to Nana, and her death would be felt by millions. Plus Alex’s countless love interests throughout the series have the reader celebrating now that he appears to have found happiness. But the logistics of solving a multiple murder and being at the hospital every available moment treads on the unrealistic. The reader wants to believe, “Well it’s Alex Cross – of course he can manage to be everywhere he needs to be, even if it rips him apart.” But, sometimes it just doesn’t seem believable. Nonetheless, I, Alex Cross is one of those books that keeps readers up at night to finish it in a hurry. The reader is anxiously awaiting the news about Nana’s health, and although the identity of Zeus (the sadistic killer) is evident relatively early on in the book, the reader is left excited to find out how he can possibly bring down a person of such power and influence. So, aside from the fact that I, Alex Cross does not meet the standards of James Patterson’s earlier novels in the series, it is still quite an enjoyable one-day read.

Special thanks to Margo Nauert for contributing her review of I, Alex Cross and to for providing of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2010 — Margo Nauert — All Rights Reserved — Reprinted with Permission

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Synopsis (from the publisher): Detective Alex Cross is pulled out of a family celebration and given the awful news that a beloved relative has been found brutally murdered. Alex vows to hunt down the killer, and soon learns that she was mixed up in one of Washington's wildest scenes. And she was not this killer's only victim.

The hunt for her murderer leads Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, to a place where every fantasy is possible, if you have the credentials to get in. Alex and Bree are soon facing down some very important, very protected, very dangerous people in levels of society where only one thing is certain -- they will do anything to keep their secrets safe.

As Alex closes in on the killer, he discovers evidence that points to the unimaginable -- a revelation that could rock the entire world.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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