Customer Reviews: Cross Country (Alex Cross)
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on November 20, 2008
This is one of the most poorly thought-out, unbelievable books I have read in a long time. Almost from the beginning, I had the odd feeling that I had just stepped into the most contrived situation imaginable. Horrible grisly murder after horrible grisly murder, unexpected poorly thought out action, characters that you never really get to understand or don't even want to, overuse of the exclamation point to underline the action(!); felt like a cheap harlequin thriller to me.

The Alex Cross series was a great one; this doesn't even feel like it is written in the same voice. Alex is a gritty smart introspective detective; the Alex Cross in this book was something of an idiot -- blindly forcing himself into situations he had no business even thinking of entering into, all without that careful forethought we have been treated to in the past. I would skip this one, or at least wait until you can find it in the bargain bin.
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on December 3, 2008
I am a HUGE fan of James Patterson's Alex Cross series. I look forward to the new releases with great anticipation. However, I must say, I was thoroughly disappointed by this latest Alex Cross novel. It was a tough book to get through; which, for me, is unusual for this series.

(1) The murders were extremely gruesome and violent beyond what seemed necessary. (2) I have to agree with some of the other comments; Alex seemed to have lost his good and common sense in this book. His decisions constantly put those around him in harms way. His decision to fly off to Africa to pursue a killer in a foreign country with absolutely no government assistance seemed downright ridiculous. (3) Although I believe the plight and conditions that exist in Africa should be brought to main st America to encourage awareness; I didn't think this crime-thriller novel was the best forum. (4) The entire plot was beyond believable.

Mr. Patterson's writing style with the short chapters remained but his wonderfully woven storyline was missing from this novel.
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on December 4, 2008
This book was horrible, I got it on tape to listen to while driving 1,000 miles (in one day) with my husband over the Thanksgiving holiday. I told him prior to the drive that Patterson had finally written his OWN with Alex Cross in it. I promised him it would be a real treat.

The lack of plot and Alex' complete disregard to the dangers he was in was totally unfathomable. I don't understand why it was written this way, I am so not impressed.

This book disappoints in a huge way. Thank goodness I have gotten smart and not spent my hard earned money on his latest books, I got it at the library.

We struggled to listen to the last couple chapters, it was surreal.

Not worth the effort to read.
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on December 7, 2008
About a fourth of the way through this book I lost track of the number of sadistic murders--shootings, stabbings, butcherings--to say nothing of the broken noses, kickings, sluggings and other assorted mayhems. They are all there, in graphic detail, on nearly every page. Whenever the writer didn't know what to say, he has Cross in another violent jam. Violence, per se, is not drama--unless you are a sicko. The truly effective crime novel has one baffling murder or two, with the drama being in the solution, not in the gory details of the crime.

But all this sadism seems to be the standard fare for Mr. Patterson. He has simply taken it to a higher level this time, to the point of being ludicrous. And he'll keep on topping himself as long as people shell out for his books. As for this reader, he has received his last nickel from me.

The characters are one dimensional. The theme is paranoia; no one can be trusted, least of all people in the federal government. The writing itself is bad, laced with myriad rhetorical questions that imply all sorts of evil machinations.

In fact, there is nothing whatsoever to recommend this book. It leaves a bad taste in one's psyche, and I don't personally find that entertaining.
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on November 25, 2008
Having read every Alex Cross novel, I just finished "Cross Country" moments ago. Contrived, confusing, underdeveloped and laughable. Patterson seems unable to deliver a credible story line in this book, and, instead, switches to too much action happening too often in too little time to be believeable. Sending Cross to Africa in search of a mercenary killer is one thing, but, really, does the author expect us to believe the incredible sub-plot after sub-plot, broken nose after broken nose, kidnapping after kidnapping, spy vs. spy ongoings? And if those events aren't confusing enough, how about relying upon the good old crocodile by the river scene? Or the incredibly beautiful woman reporter with whom Alex just sleeps "holding hands", not wishing to cheat on girlfriend and fellow detective, Bree? Or the unexplained kidnapping of his family as well as their equally unexplained return after a week? Or the truly expected, at this point, ending: a cell phone call From Kyle Craig?
I knew this book was in trouble at the beginning, when the the first murder victim (Cross' college flame, long since happily married and with a family) has on her wall not just family photos, but a picture of her with Alex from 20 years ago! I just didn't believe it could evolve into the sad catastrophe that Patterson has concocted here. Fans- please save your money- wait until it hits your local library.
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on January 25, 2009
I have a hard time believing that James Patterson actually wrote this book. I have been a huge fan of the Alex Cross series and have recommended it to all my friends. I have also recommended the Women's murder series. The rest of the books with Patterson's name and a co-author are generally not worth even picking up to read toe cover.

This new Alex Cross book has reached a new low, however. I am going to borrow a phrase from a critic I saw to describe this book. You are less likely to find a believable plot in this book than bird droppings in the bottom of a cuckoo clock.

I won't spoil the plot for anyone who hasn't read this book because there is no plot. Alex gets involved in the murder of a family in DC that is linked to a vicious killer warlord from Nigeria and his band of killer children. From what I have read it is common for bands of children in Africa to be led by an adult and commit mass murder, usually killing entire families. Because the mother of the family was an old flame of Alex he MUST go to Africa to try and track down the killer. He goes to Africa with no plan and no weapons to track down a stone cold killer. And he doesn't have the slightest concern the killer might kill his family when he finds out Alex is looking for him. Obviously Alex has had a brain transplant and forgotten everything he ever learned about psychology and everything he ever learned working for the DC police or FBI.

But wait! Alex survives, his family is safe after all and the real bad guys are two rogue CIA agents. Once again case solved. If you haven't fallen asleep before reaching this point in the book you can now sleep safely at night again knowing that those nasty rogue CIA agents have been taken care of.
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on November 25, 2008
Cross Country could have been written by a 10th grade Lit 1 student. Absurd story line, no rational continuity, little suspense and tepid resolution. It's a true "bait & switch" ripoff of Cross fans.
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on December 1, 2008
I'm sorry that I have to agree with all the negative comments I've just read about this book. I've just finished listening to the audio version and am glad I'm done! At different points during the book I've had every negative opinion written here- from James Patterson couldn't have written this book, to how could he make Alex Cross into a bumbling idiot in a foreign country. Too much preaching, not enough thoughtful background into the characters as previous Cross books. I'll buy the next Alex Cross book/audio but if it's like this particular one, it will be my last James Patterson book, as much as I hate to say it. Before this debacle, James Patterson was on the top of my list of "must read" authors especially an Alex Cross book.
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on March 8, 2009
Quite frankly, this book was absurd. I am a big fan of the Alex Cross series, and I understand that these books are not textbooks on police procedure or psychology, but come on! The only possible plausible ending for this book would have been disclosure that Alex had sustained a traumatic brain injury, had a brain tumor, etc. But no - we are supposed to believe that an experienced police detective - and ex-FBI agent - who is also a Ph.D. Psychologist, made one bonehead mistake after another, on two continents. Putting himself, and others, in extreme danger, over and over again, and himself escaping death repeatedly, only due to dumb luck. No comment on his character's clear culpability for the death of his reporter friend (but then, she had to die, didn't she - since he was already in a committed relationship - sort of - back home). Please. Jim. If you can't do any better than this, let Alex die with dignity!
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on December 2, 2008
The Alex Cross series was always one of my favorites - but this one is so disappointing. It lacked the home-like feeling of the Cross family - and the story was so grusome, that I did not want to even finish the book. I read over half of it - and will finish it eventually. It got so bad, I figured I would check the reviews and see if it was just me- or the book was definitely not a Patterson favorite. Obviously by the majority of the reviews - it is not just me. I won't give up on James Patterson books - but this one is definitely not a winner.
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