Friday, March 8, 2013

Book Review: Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson

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Title: Alex Cross, Run
Author: James Patterson
Series: Alex Cross, Book 20
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Hardcover: 416 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
Top plastic surgeon Elijah Creem is renowned for his skills in the operating room, and for his wild, no-expense-spared "industry parties," bringing in underage exotic dancers and models for nights of drugs, champagne, and uninhibited sex. That is, until Detective Alex Cross busts one of Creem's lavish soirees and ruins his fun. Now Creem is willing to do anything to avoid going to jail. 
But Alex doesn't have time to dwell on that case. A beautiful woman has been found murdered in her car, a lock of her hair viciously ripped off. Then a second woman is found hanging from a sixth-floor window with a brutal scar slashed across her stomach. When a third mutilated body is discovered, rumors of three serial killers on the loose send Washington D.C. into an all-out frenzy.  
Alex is under so much pressure to solve these three grim cases that he hasn't noticed that someone else investigating him-someone so obsessed and so twisted that they'll do anything-ANYTHING- to get the vengeance they require. Alex Cross, Run is James Patterson's most unrelenting story yet-a white-hot, sensational thrill ride with the most extreme and gripping characters Patterson has ever brought to life.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

I was getting disappointed in James Patterson and thought he lost sight of the tenacious detective Alex Cross in his last few books. But I must say, this one is right on the mark as far as detective Cross is concerned.

Alex Cross, Run is entertaining and easy to read. It's what I had hoped Patterson would bring back. Plus I love the back story about Alex's brother. Nice touch!

Overall, this book still reads much like his last few books (which I didn’t really care for): different crimes being played out simultaneously, but what makes this one better is the fact that Alex Cross is getting back his MOJO. Alex doesn't have his wife Bree, a fellow cop showing up at a crime scenes on Christmas Eve expressing her disappointment in Alex. He also is NOT moaning through the whole book about how tired he is and how he should just put his family first. He's back trying to solve crimes, as only Alex can do.

My problem with this book: I believe James Patterson is churning out mediocre books and inventing numerous storylines so he doesn't have to dig deep and invest in the characters. He's writing one- dimensional stories and characters while hoping the audience buys into it just enough to purchase another book. Stop it Mr. Patterson! Don't make me scream at the top of my lungs. Alex Cross is multi-dimensional so please invest time in his opponents and make them worthy of having him called out to the scene. Casanova and the Gentlemen Caller from Kiss the Girls, Gary Soneji from Along Came A Spider, and the Mastermind from Violets are Blue, Double Cross and Cross Fire all characters with depth.

Although I didn’t buy into Ron Guidice’s character and his bigger-than-life grudge against Alex, I did enjoy the storyline involving Ava. I would have preferred the reappearance of Kyle Craig using Ava as a pawn instead of another silly character with no emotional depth.

I gave this book four stars because I did enjoy reading it. There were good parts to the book that showed the same Alex Cross from early books. Additionally, once I started reading I didn't want to put it down. I think this is a good read for novice Patterson fans. Anyone invested in Mr. Patterson might still feel a twinge of disappointment.