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Roses Are Red (Alex Cross) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2001

784 customer reviews
Book 6 of 22 in the Alex Cross Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

Roses Are Red, James Patterson's sixth Alex Cross thriller, opens with the District of Columbia detective attempting to mend his nearly unraveled family. The year-long kidnapping of one's intended (1999's Pop Goes the Weasel) will do that to a relationship. Christine, the kidnappee, is amenable with one reasonable condition: that her family's horizon remain uncluttered by homicidal maniacs. How unfortunate, then, that the joyous christening of their newborn son is rudely interrupted by the FBI bearing news of several heinous murders requiring the attention of detective (and doctor of psychology) Cross.
"Three-year-old boy, the father, a nanny," Kyle said one more time before he left the party. He was about to go through the door in the sun porch when he turned to me and said, "You're the right person for this. They murdered a family, Alex."

As soon as Kyle was gone, I went looking for Christine. My heart sank. She had taken Alex and left without saying good-bye, without a single word.

Which leaves Cross free to hunt the Mastermind, the barbarous brains behind a widening series of bank robberies in which employees or their family members are held hostage and, when instructions aren't followed to the finest iota, slaughtered. Given the cases' glaring and unfathomable inhumanity, Cross's long- time DCPD partner (the wonderful giant, John Sampson) gives way to the warm, attractive, and fiercely intelligent FBI Agent Betsey Cavalierre.

The longer and harder Cross and Cavalierre remain on his trail, the bolder and more brutal--and shiveringly close to home--the Mastermind's strikes become. And, thanks mostly to lightning-short paragraphs and a point of view that rappels from the first-person Cross to the third-person Mastermind, the tale progresses at hot-trot speed to a bona fide doozy of a denouement. It'll be over before you know it, so sit back, hold your breath, and enjoy the show. And stay tuned for the next one. --Michael Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Alex Cross is backAand that alone will have this novel crowning bestseller lists, a feat Patterson's books have achieved often of late, both his Cross (Pop Goes the Weasel) and non-Cross (Cradle and All) thrillers. Patterson won an Edgar for his first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, but he hasn't won one since. One reason is that his prose, though sturdy as a trusted rowboat, is just as wooden; another is that his plottingAhere detailing Washington, D.C., homicide detective Cross's pursuit of a crazed but crafty homicidal criminal known as the MastermindAis about as sophisticated as that of a Frank and Joe Hardy tale. So why are the Cross novels so popular? In part because Patterson constructs them out of short, simple sentences, paragraphs and chapters that practically define the brisk, fun, E-Z read, and in part because, here and elsewhere, he engages in the smart and unusual tactic of alternating third- and first-person (from Cross's POV) narrative. Mostly, though, readers adore them because Cross is such a lovable hero, a family-oriented African-American whose compassion warmly balances the icy cruelty of Patterson's villains and their sometimes graphically depicted crimes (as is the case here). In the new novel, Cross suffers lady problems as his old love, who's in terror of Cross's job, leaves him, and he fumbles toward a new romance with an FBI agent; he also suffers personal trauma as his beloved daughter develops a brain tumor. That's back-burner action, though. The main focus here is, first, on a series of shocking Mastermind-engineered bank robbery/kidnappings involving wanton killings and, second, on the hunt to ID the MastermindAa hunt both absorbing and annoying for its several (rather smelly) red herrings, and concluding with a revelation that screams sequel. While there's nothing subtle in this novel, every blatant element is packaged for maximum effect: roses may be red, but Patterson's newest is green all the way. U.K. and translation rights, Arthur Pine Associates. 1.25 million first printing; Literary Guild and Doubleday Direct main selections; simultaneous Random House large-print edition and Time Warner Audio. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Alex Cross (Book 6)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vision; Reissue edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446605484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446605489
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (784 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It is no surprise that in January, 2010, The New York Times Magazine featured James Patterson on its cover and hailed him as having "transformed book publishing," and that Time magazine hailed him as "The Man Who Can't Miss." Recently, NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams profiled Patterson's prolific career, AARP named him one of the "50 Most Influential People Who Make Our Days a Little Brighter," and Variety featured him in a cover story highlighting his adventures in Hollywood.

In 2013, it was estimated that one-in-five of all hardcover suspense/thriller novels sold was written by James Patterson, his books have sold over 300 million copies worldwide, and he holds the Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. And his success isn't based solely on thrillers like the perennially popular Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Michael Bennett series. Patterson is now also the current bestselling author in the young adult and middle grade categories.

He's been called the busiest man in publishing, and that's not just because of his own books. For the past decade, James has been devoting more and more of his time to championing books and reading. From the James Patterson Pageturner Awards, to his website, to his College Book Bucks scholarships and his regular donations of hundreds of thousands of books to schools here in the states and troops overseas (see interviews on Fox & Friends, The Dennis Miller Radio Show and, Patterson has passed on his passion of books and reading and supported those who do the same. Jim personally funded a major ad campaign re-printing a recent opinion piece on about how it is our responsibility to get our kids reading. The ad has run in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and USA Today. Those ads are a call to action to parents to make their kids reading a top priority; and were featured by USA Today here. Patterson believes that we cannot rely on schools, teachers or the government to get our kids reading; only parents can make this crucial change in the reading habits of our kids. Here are links to some interviews on his first-ever dual lay down (two books, one for parents and one for kids, in one day): AOL's You've Got, NBC's "Today Show" with Hoda and Kathie Lee, USA Today and Family Circle, NBC's "Today Show" with Al Roker, as well as an interview with AARP.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 72 people found the following review helpful By AlexanderL on October 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
After the disappointing "Cradle and All" Patterson is back in the vein of his sensational bestsellers "Along came a Spider", "Kiss the Girls" or "Cat and Mouse". This may be his best novel with his most evil villain yet. The Mastermind even tops Gary Soneji, Casanova or the Weasel. The end will simply blow you out of your shoes.
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful By "Nuff Said on October 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I like Alex Cross books and this one is one of the better ones that James Patterson has written. The ending is sure to keep readers waiting for the next one as it even surprised me. I read this book on a 10 hour plane flight and completed it so it is a fast read. Here I had planned on sleeping on the flight and ended up not sleeping a wink because I couldn't keep my head out of this book!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Loki Shams on December 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Let's see. This is the first James Patterson novel I have read. It was a pretty good, extremely fast paced read. I was a little skeptical reading first person form (which I am not fond of), but Det. Alex Cross, was quite an interesting character. This is a sequel of sorts to a previous novel "Kiss the Girls", in which the good guy, Det. Alex Cross is crime solving again. I don't know if any characters other than Cross were in Patterson's other novel, since I have not read it yet. (But I plan to)
In this suspenseful drama, there is a lunatic out on the loose in the DC area. He is called the Mastermind. He truly is masterful, because he leaves no clues and is meticulous about everything he does. His reasons are understood by no one. He definitely enjoys the killing and preying on of innocent people. Nothing he does adds up to Det. Cross and the FBI. We are swept into a world of crime, where nothing makes sense. I was on edge wanting to know what will happen next. And believe me, some of you will be shocked by the outcome. (although I had my suspicions)
This book was better than I expected. I was a little annoyed with the page and a half chapters (125 chapters in a 300 page book,is a little extreme), but that seems to be Patterson's writing technique. He is a good author, and I suggest giving him a try.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Caution: This book contains much graphic slaughter of the innocents and the guilty. If such things offend you, avoid this book. Also, Mr. Patterson likes to use vulgar language to provide a sense of colloquial English that may also put off some.
I'm serious about stopping on page 398. In fact, cover page 399 with a sheet of paper so you don't accidentally see anything on it. Reading the last two pages of Roses Are Red will reduce the attractiveness of this story to you, and eliminate most of the potential pleasure you can experience in Violets Are Blue, the next Alex Cross novel. The last two pages of Roses Are Red simply should have been edited out! Be cautious about which reviews you read of this book also, because some reviews reveal the material on those two pages . . . the ultimate in giving away a spoiler!
Mr. Patterson's strength is writing plots that are well paced, varied, surprising, and unusual. I thought that his plotting in Roses Are Red was unusually good. You will find yourself racing through the book, wanting to find out what's going on and who's behind it all.
The book's main theme is crime as a work of art expressing the ingenuity of a brilliant, but twisted criminal. As a result, the crimes are mentally very challenging to understand. You will think that you are reading about the criminal plans of Dr. Moriarty, Sethos, and the Riddler combined.
The weaknesses of Mr. Patterson's Alex Cross novels are also present here. He doesn't really show any detection, just detectives chatting with each other interspersed with developments driven by the criminals. The characters are about as little developed as they could be and still be differentiated from one another. The dialogue often reads like detective fiction rather than real dialogue.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Frank J. Konopka VINE VOICE on December 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Let me begin by saying that I like Patterson's books, and have read, and enjoyed, all of the Alex Cross novels. They are fast-paced, filled with events and action, and hold my interest. With the short chapters and lack of a lot of description, they are easy to read in only a few hours. That having been said, I must admit, to my chagrin, that I did not like this work as much as I had expected, and it's all due to the ending. I never spend time while reading trying to "guess" who the killer or such is; I know the author will let us know in the end. In most books, there are subtle clues that, ocasionally, point to the correct person, and astute readers may be able to discern his or her identity. In this book, I really believe that the author pulled the villain out of thin air, for there is nothing anywhere in my reading of the book that even remotely connected this person to the action and crimes involved. I was greatly disappointed, for I expected more from Mr. Patterson. My rating should be lower, I know, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt, for it's possible I missed something along the way while I was reading. Don't get me wrong; you'll enjoy this book, and it will keep you turning the pages quickly. It's the ending, though, that may give you pause. (I'm holding up the ballot to my forehead, looking for the dimpled chad, and discern..... a sequel!)
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