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Cross by James Patterson - Book Review

About.com Rating 1.5 Star Rating
User Rating 3 Star Rating (4 Reviews)


Cross by James Patterson

Cross by James Patterson - Courtesy Little, Brown

The Bottom Line

Cross by James Patterson is the next book in Patterson's successful Alex Cross detective series. In Cross, Alex searches for "the Butcher," a ruthless killer who is linked to his wife's murder. Full disclosure: Cross is the first Alex Cross book I have read. Maybe if you are already attached to the detective, you will be able to ignore the shallow plot and underdeveloped characters. For me, however, it was work to keep the pages turning.
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  • Fans of the Alex Cross series will be glad to see the next installment on shelves.


  • Unbelievable action.
  • Flat, underdeveloped characters.
  • Too much violence used to disguise thin plot.


  • Detective Alex Cross pursues his wife's potential killer.
  • "The Butcher" is a serial rapist and murderer who mutilates victims.
  • Flashbacks to Cross' wife and the Butcher's evil father attempt to create motive and depth.

Guide Review - Cross by James Patterson - Book Review

When I pick up a James Patterson book, I don't expect deep literature. I want a quick and easy read that does not require much work. Patterson's Beach Road, for instance, was a suspenseful page-turning tale that could be enjoyed on the beach or sofa without much investment. I expected the same from Cross and was extremely disappointed.

As I mentioned, Cross is the first Alex Cross novel I have read. Perhaps if I had read the previous novels in this series, I would have been drawn in faster. Unfortunately, I was not caught up in the story. I expect to not want to put a thriller down. This was a book I forgot about until I saw it on my nightstand again. I never really looked forward to reading it or cared about the characters very much.

I was also turned off by how violent the story was. I can stomach violence in novels when it serves a meaningful purpose. The violence in Cross felt like an emotional tool to manipulate readers into caring more than the thinly developed characters or plot warranted.

If you have never read an Alex Cross novel before, don't start here. If you have and enjoyed them, maybe you will find Cross tolerable. I still would not recommend paying hardcover price.

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User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
Hack Writing, Member chadhandyman

Written without an iota of respect for the audience as if he was writing because he had to and for no other reason. Patterson is an over hyped author. Total garbage.

1 out of 3 people found this helpful.

See all 4 reviews

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