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

3.8 out of 5 stars 787 customer reviews
Book 6 of 22 in the Alex Cross Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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 (787 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Patterson received the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community at the 2015 National Book Awards. His other awards include two Emmys, the Edgar Award, and the Children's Choice Award for Author of the Year. He is a tireless champion of the power of books and reading, exemplified by his new children's book imprint, JIMMY Patterson, whose mission is simple: "We want every kid who finishes a JIMMY Book to say: 'PLEASE GIVE ME ANOTHER BOOK.'" He has donated more than one million books to students and soldiers and has over four hundred Teacher Education Scholarships at 24 colleges and universities. He has also donated millions to independent bookstores and school libraries. Patterson will be investing proceeds from the sales of JIMMY Patterson Books in pro-reading initiatives.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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