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Book Review

Book Cover

Alex Cross, Run (Hardback)


Author: James Patterson
RRP: £18.99, US $28.99
ISBN: 978 1 84605 783 0
Available 11 April 2013

Alex Cross makes a bust, which seems straightforward, with a case of a plastic surgeon who is drugging and having sex with underage girls. Following his arrest, Elijah Creem's privileged life is ruined, but Cross thinks nothing more of it. Later bodies start to turn up. A young woman is found dead, having recently given birth, but there is no evidence of the baby, another boy is found in the river having been stabbed and shot and another girl is found dead. With three cases to pursue the last thing Cross needs is the intrusion into his life of Ron Guidice, who blames Cross for his fiancé and is out for vengeance...

Alex Cross, Run is the twentieth in the Cross series of thrillers from prodigious writer, James Patterson.

Patterson is a divisive writer, with accusations about not really being a good writer levelled at him. I can’t imagine that he cares much given that he is one of the most successful living thriller writers around. His output is impressive, which may account for the variable quality of the work but, for the mass audience he is able to attract, another Alex Cross novel is something to look forward to.

In the latest novel Patterson has created a complex, but not labyrinthine plot, which feels like it was written with the cinema in mind. In Cross we have a conflicted character and his problems with his home life feature as much as the police procedural elements. This also makes the book a little bit meatier than some of the others.

With such experience with both the character and genre, it’s little wonder that the book is well paced, hitting all the right notes for a thriller.

One thing I didn’t enjoy about the book was discovering who the killer was, without giving away spoilers; it was pretty obvious where the plot was going. That is not to say the book was without its surprises and the inclusion of a second and third antagonist went a long way in muddying the waters, in a good way.

The ending is somewhat ambiguous, possibly signalling that Patterson is coming to the end of the road with this character, but I guess time and sales will determine this.


Charles Packer

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