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London Bridges (Alex Cross) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2005

3.2 out of 5 stars 641 customer reviews
Book 10 of 22 in the Alex Cross Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Any thriller writer, wannabe or actual, would do well to study Patterson's 10th Alex Cross novel. A sequel to last year's The Big Bad Wolf, the book is a model of economy, delivering a full package of suspense, emotion and characterization in a minimum number of words. The story brings back not only Big Bad Wolf's arch-villain, the Russian mobster known as the Wolf, but also an earlier Patterson bad guy, the Weasel, recruited by the Wolf to further his plans. These involve extorting Western powers for billions of dollars to avoid major terrorist attacks on New York, London, Washington and Frankfurt—attacks the Wolf offers a preview of by wiping out a town in Nevada by aerial bombardment after hustling its citizens to safety, then by doing the same to a village in England without evacuating the populace. The novel features numerous exciting scenes, most notably one in which Cross is kidnapped, then shackled to a suitcase atomic bomb. It's not the steady tension, the numerous colorful locales, the reliable action climaxes nor the novel's effective doomsday gloss that makes this thriller work so well, though. It is, of course, the characters, and in Cross, Patterson continues to elaborate his finest hero, cerebral yet emotional, dedicated yet flawed, caught between duty and family. Regrettably, the novel is marred in its final chapters by a series of surprises that skirt playing unfair with the reader, but most Patterson fans probably won't mind and they are legion enough to send this to the top of the charts, for good reason.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'If you feel like a roller coaster, breathless ride, London Bridges is the hottest ride in town' -- Ballarat Courier, Australia 20041126 'Any thriller writer, wannabe or actual, would do well to study Patterson's 10th Alex Cross novel!Patterson continues to elaborate his finest hero, cerebral yet emotional, dedicated yet flawed, caught between duty and family' -- Publisher's Weekly 20041108 'Un-put-down-able' -- Daily Express 20051001 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Alex Cross (Book 10)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vision; Reissue edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446613355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446613354
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (641 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the tenth in Patterson's Detective (now FBI special envoy) Alex Cross series, and from the outset, we would surmise that if you are not a faithful follower of the previous nine, you will be lost. First, both central villains are reprised from earlier books (the "Weasel" from "Pop Goes the Weasel"; and the "Wolf" from "Big Bad Wolf"), but it's not so clear how or why they are in cahoots. The Weasel in specific gets bumped off so unceremoniously that we almost wonder why he was even included in this novel. Second, and worse, the brief scenes featuring Alex's little boy and his mother Christine, Alex's current squeeze Jamilla, and his ex-partner Sampson, etc. etc., were so sketchy that the uninformed reader might think these segments irrelevant filler.

Couple that with an incredulous plot wherein the Wolf is leading the presidents of four countries around by their noses, almost a trite post-9/11 recital of terror with Al Queda thrown in every few chapters just for effect; it soon becomes clear this is not one of Patterson's better efforts. The storyline is as usual reeled out in short, three-page chapters, with action galore. But we are given so little meat, so little background, so little motivation to care, that the race toward the end of the book was almost anticlimactic. An overdose of red herrings and gratuitous slayings did little to endear the plot to us either.

While we generally enjoy Patterson's fast-paced thrillers, this one looks too much like a bad screenplay - you know the feeling: it's not that it's horrible, but you wonder later why you spent so much money for so little real entertainment. He can do much better, and so can you.
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Format: Hardcover
If you look back through James Patterson's celebrated Alex Cross series, you'll find some of the finest thrillers written in the past decade. Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls, Pop Goes The Weasel, and Roses are Red are all prime examples of a talented writer at the height of his career. Unfortunately, Roses are Red was the last entry in this series that truly captured the essence of the Alex Cross character, and everything that's come after has been mediocre at best, with London Bridges being no exception.

The story picks up right where The Big Bad Wolf left off. Cross is working for the FBI tracking the Wolf, the most ruthless predator he's dealt with in his long career. To complicate matters, the Wolf has joined forces with the Weasel, a villian from previous Cross novel Pop Goes the Weasel. After blowing a small Nevada town off the map, the duo holds four major cities hostage, demanding a multi-billion dollar ransom. Naturally, it's up to good old Alex Cross and his team of FBI agents to put a stop to their diabolical scheme.

When the series started, Alex Cross tracked serial killers, expertly piecing together clues to solve crimes that baffled other detectives. Seemingly overnight, he seems to have switched his focus to combating world espionage. It's not that the writing itself is bad, the problem lies in the fact that the plot is so contrived and unrealistic, readers can't help but think "yeah, right". And isn't it interesting that with each new novel, Patterson describes the villian as Cross' most formitable foe??? Formitable or not, the Weasel served absolutely no purpose here. His role in the story seemed like nothing more than a cheap way to win back fans who have long since abandoned this lukewarm series.
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Format: Hardcover
This is by far the weakest of the Alex Cross series. Several things:

1) How does the Wolf go from a sadistic, homocidal, slave-trading maniac to an international, celibate, terrorist?

2) This maniac was blowing up bridges in major cities. He killed about 1,000 people in Paris. The book doesn't even get into the implications of this, except to say that maybe "the French want him as bad, maybe more, than we do".

3) His family was missing for at least 5 days. Where were they? What happened? He doesn't even touch upon this.

4) The Wolf never addresses Cross killing The Weasel. Hell, Patterson barely touches upon it - it's almost a footnote. What the...?.

Of course, Patterson left it wide-open for a sequel... "The Wolf is dead... at least that's what I told myself over and over again until I believed it". Something like that. But I tell you, I could almost care nothing about a sequel. I'm guessing that "The Wolf" is really an organization of some kind, but, again, who cares at this point? Not me.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read every book by Patterson & this is the first one that I consider unworthy of his past efforts.

Mr. Patterson should be looking over his shoulder for a multitude of reasons - thin plot, convoluted closing, and just not up to par. We bring back the WOLF and the WEASEL and perhaps these "rats" are a reflection of the text.

But an even bigger problem is what Mr. Patterson has done with the pages. A classic example of caveat emptor.

The book is 391 pages but then again, it is not.

FIRST, the font size is much larger so let's assume that reduces the text by 20 pages.

SECOND, the book has a Prologue and 5 Parts. Each one allows for blank pages that total 14 pages included in the total.

THIRD, we have 123 chapters, all of which start mid-page and end mid-page. That deducts another 123 pages from the book.

So we reduce the readable text from 391 pages to 234. And, guess what, the price did not shrink.

This book and the manner in which it is presented is a bummer.

Future books by Patterson, if I read them, will be on the library list so I may save my money for OTHER authors.
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