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Violets Are Blue Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 19, 2001

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Editorial Reviews Review

Fans of James Patterson's resourceful cop Alex Cross will be relieved to find that he's back on familiar territory with Violets Are Blue--and, more importantly, that this is one of the best Alex Cross thrillers yet.

The malign criminal genius of Roses Are Red is fixing to give Alex a hard time once again. The FBI joins Patterson's dogged cop in a particularly unsettling investigation: two San Francisco joggers have been viciously murdered and are found suspended by their feet, with all the blood drained from their corpses. And when further brutal deaths follow in California and on the East Coast, Alex is forced to contemplate the bizarre possibility of modern-day vampires, although his instincts point him to one of the many sinister religious cults that flourish on the West Coast. Aided by Jamilla Hughes, a streetwise young woman detective from San Francisco, Alex finds that he has to crack not one but two impenetrable mysteries to stop further bloodletting.

Patterson fans expect the extremely concise, page-turning chapters (116 of them here!), along with a reluctance to dawdle over details of his hero's personal life, and both characteristics are firmly back in place. If you can resist reading this one in just a few sittings, you deserve some kind of a thriller reader's medal. --Barry Forshaw, --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Washington, D.C., police detective Alex Cross returns for another visit (after Roses Are Red) to the top of the lists and for two new cases of disparate quality. The first, which dominates the narrative, takes place within America's vampire underground and is as exciting as anything Patterson has written; the second, in which Cross at last defeats the nemesis known as "the Mastermind," feels tacked on only to knot loose ends. In San Francisco, two joggers are slain, seemingly by both tiger and human teeth, and their blood drained; then an upscale couple is killed similarly in Marin County deaths suggestive of an earlier Cross case, prompting the detective's old pal Kyle Craig of the FBI to ask for his help. Craig's plea plunges Cross not only into a fetishistic netherworld in which thousands play at being vampires and a handful actually do kill for blood, but into personal turbulence as he alienates his family by his dedication to work, and as his always troubled love life takes further dips and flights, the latter in the company of SFPD Insp. Jamilla Hughes, who joins him on the cases. We know the good guys' immediate quarry, but they don't: two golden young men, brothers and self-styled vampires, with a pet tiger at their side. But who is the Sire, their ultimate leader? Meanwhile, the Mastermind, a brilliant homicidal maniac, plagues Cross with threatening phone calls. Most readers probably won't finger the Sire, but anyone who can't name the Mastermind long before Patterson reveals his identity must be reading this book backwards. The action reels around the country, from D.C. to California to Las Vegas to North Carolina, and readers will be swept away by it and by Patterson's expert mixing of Cross's professional and personal challenges. The narrative split between the two cases, vampiric and Mastermind, jars but not enough to seriously mar fans' pleasure, and the two cases will probably mesh more elegantly in the inevitable movie to come. (Nov. 19)Forecast: Is there a writer hotter than Patterson? A 10-city author tour, the forthcoming TV miniseries of his First to Die, and the simultaneous AudioBooks (unabridged and abridged, tape and CD) of Violets Are Blue will only increase the heat.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (November 19, 2001)
  • ISBN-10: 0316693235
  • ASIN: B00006JO34
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (660 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,561,847 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

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By jeanne-scott on December 19, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Violets Are Blue is almost two completely separate tales in one book. One involves gruesome murders where the blood has been drained from the victims. This series of gorey murders leads into the world of modern vampires. This is frightening and intriguing and draws the reader into the dark world of fact and fiction surrounding this cult-like existence. It is both fascinating and repelling at the same time. When the Mastermind, the bad guy from Roses Are Red, turns out to be involved, then it begins to feel like two separate stories that never quite seem to fit themselves together. This would have been far better had the Mastermind not been a part of this. That part feels forced. You never feel like "Oh yeah, now I see who it was!" more like "Oh, him........well, I guess so."
It just kind of fizzles in the finale.
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Chris on November 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I was getting very bored with Alex Cross, and the number of Alex Cross books James Patterson was putting out. I was glad he came out with Suzannes Diary for Nickholas and 1st to Die. I was reading about Mr.Patterson last night, and I read that he said that after 2 books going back to Alex Cross is going to be fun, and that he has great ideas about this book.
Anyways, I have read it, in 2 days, and it is the 2nd best book of his I have read (When the Wind Blows is first). This book was very creepy, and very intence, and I enjoyed every page I read. James Patterson is still on top...............
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on February 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
It may be true that when an author becomes enormously popular while writing a suspenseful series, they're under some sort of pressure to keep writing more and more covoluted or even more and more bizarre plots to keep readers interested. Enter James Patterson not entirely unknown for some strange plots in his stand aloen books or even bizarre premises i.e., his older title When the Wind Blows where children are gnetically altered in the womb so they are born with wings and can fly. Once again in his latest Alex Cross book, Patterson introduces several more bizarre elemnts to a case Alex tries to solve.
In the novel, Violets are Blue, two brothers are featured as grisly serial killers whose murders at times either resemble the work of vampires or tigers. Now thousands of readers favorite psychology/detective is on a mission to find the killer when his partner is found dead. And if this isn't enough, almost immediately in another part of the country another murder occurs which almost mimcs Alex's partners death. As Alex crisscrosses the nation investigating these bizarre murders and some other very weird folks, somebody known as the Mastermind is keeping track of Alex's every move. Its as if this individual, who some readers may remember from the previous book Roses are Red, is always one step in front of Alex taunting him with warning phone calls and threats agaisnt his family. Alex spends the majority of the book preplexed, confused, overworked and overwrought. By the end, Patterson ties up at least two parts of the plots neatly but leaves one danglgnthread. And it is this thread which left this reader perplexed, confused and overwrought. For it seems that this may be the end of Alex Cross or is it?
Fear not Patterson fans if this is the end for dear Alex.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By jadedromantic on December 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have read all but 2 of the Alex Cross books by James Patterson; a few weeks ago I finished "Roses are Red" and anxiously snatched up its sequel, "Violets are Blue," after doing so. I admire James Patterson's way of getting you immediately involved in his Cross novels via the suspense and plot turns and VERY short chapters (though stylistically he leaves alot to be desired), but I just felt a bit empty after reading "Violets".
In this book, Dr. Alex Cross has two cases on his back; first, he's receiving daily threatening calls from the Mastermind, the psychopath Cross failed to capture in "Roses". The Matermind's identity is known to anyone who reads the last page of "Roses are Red" but Cross is still in the dark, even as the Mastermind promises Cross he and/or his family will die soon. Added to this, Cross's FBI friend Kyle Craig draws him into a string of brutal "vampire murders" around the country where the attractive and healthy victims are found hanging upside down and drained of nearly all their blood.
I think Patterson heaps too much into this novel. Through two-thirds of the 393 pages the Mastermind does little more than threaten Alex, and that wears thin after awhile -- it's almost like filler, like a "b-story" storyline that is stretched to fill up book space. In "Roses" the Mastermind was all about action -- nearly every 2nd or 3rd chapter he pulled something. Here, he's just a boogeyman on a phone through so much of the novel.
The vampire murders story is NOT as gorey as some reviewers here would have you believe (try a little Laurell K.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By William Wilson on February 7, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I rarely write a review of a book I dislike, but if I can warn a single person away from this book, the effort will be worth it. "Violets Are Blue" was so predictable, so poorly written, and so shamelessly padded, I was almost laughing. I was reminded of the time in high school when I was given an assignment to write 2000 words about some topic, I can't remember what. Well, I wrote the paper, but when I counted the words, I was less than half way to the 2000 word total. So I spent hours adding in extraneous material any way I could to bloat the paper to the requisite length. Patterson has done the same thing to two (flimsy) mysteries stories and rolled them into one.
Both mysteries are so predictable that if you can't figure out the bad guy before detective Alex Cross does, you might think about switching to reading romance novels. One manhunt goes from city to city throughout the U.S. so that Patterson can add paragraphs of flimsy local color, including street directions to every scene, local restaurants (where I'm sure Patterson will dine for free from now on), etc. In neither mystery does Cross actually DETECT. The bad guy is simply the last suspect standing.
A shameless padder, Patterson gives a plot summary for every one of his previous books and phones all the (living) key characters from them. And every other chapter is a warm, touching slice of his family life. Which has nothing to do with the plot, but sets the reader up for the next book in the series.
I liked "Along Came A Spider". Since then, Patterson has obviously decided it's less work to be a hack than a good writer, and the pay is the same.
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