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Cross Hardcover – November 13, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 686 customer reviews
Book 12 of 22 in the Alex Cross Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Forensic psychologist Alex Cross's storied career in private practice, with the FBI and as a Washington, D.C., cop has brought him into contact with all kinds of seriously disturbed killers, but his 12th outing from bestseller Patterson (after 2005's Mary, Mary) may be the ultimate in lunatic deadliness. Beginning with a flashback to the murder of Cross's wife, Maria, Patterson quickly introduces Michael Sullivan (aka the Butcher of Sligo). What follows is a frenetically paced series of brutal rapes and killings by Sullivan, once employed by the mob as a freelancer and now at war with them. Cross juggles being a single parent and being involved in the dangerous game of tracking serial killers until he finally decides to give it up for his family. Needless to say, he's drawn back into the game when it promises a chance of finding Maria's killer. Cross's competence and vulnerability make a stark contrast with Sullivan's sadistic mutilations and psychological manipulations of his victims. Fans know that Cross will survive, but at what cost? (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Patterson's departure from the nursery-rhyme titles in his latest Alex Cross yarn is a tip-off that the focus this time is not so much on the case as on the man. For the first time in Patterson's 13-year-old series, we relive the day in 1993 when Cross' wife, Maria, was murdered. Alex was a young gun with the D.C. police then, and Maria was a social worker in the poorest and most dangerous section of the city before she became the victim of a drive-by shooting. Cut to the present, and Alex--who has been with the FBI for some time, become a successful crime writer, and started to lose a bit of that "dragon slayer" touch--decides to devote more time to his three kids, much to the delight of Nana Mama, Alex's nonagenarian three-in-one grandmother, nanny, and guiding light. Alex is nothing if not loyal, so when his former partner John Sampson asks him to help track down a sicko who is serially raping Georgetown coeds, Alex cannot say no. Little does he know, however, that the search for the rapist will have ties to Maria's death. That her killer was never found is a constant source of frustration for Alex, and this case offers a chance to finally put Maria's memory to rest. Even as the story whips by with incredible speed, Patterson manages to pack it full of suspense, emotion, and a resolution that, while perfectly satisfying, carries the author's trademark teaser hinting at the "more" that surely will come. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 393 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (November 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316159794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316159791
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (686 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,101,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jennifer Wardrip VINE VOICE on May 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having been a long-time fan of the Alex Cross series, I was eager to open up my copy of CROSS. A lot of what I love about the series and Patterson's writing were inside the pages of this book: short chapters, straight-to-the-point dialogue, a fast-moving plot. The only problem is that the plot, in general, left me wanting to yell at someone.

I can overlook the fact that Alex Cross's wife apparently didn't die the way he had originally stated. I can even overlook the fact that after fourteen years and several other relationships (one that even ended in producing a son), Alex now seems obsessed with "getting over" his long-dead wife.

What I couldn't overlook was the fact that with this book, besides being a detailed description of his wife's murder and Alex's new committment to finding her killer, there's not a whole lot else there. The Alex in this book is moody, melancholy, and totally anti-Alex Cross to the point that I wasn't even sure, halfway through the book, that I was reading about the same character.

He's not the only one, though. His children, his friends, and even dear old Nana Mama are all acting out of character--and not in good ways.

Sure, the "mystery and suspense" part of the story is a pretty good one. Patteron's writing style is always a welcome change to me.

CROSS, though, is one Alex Cross story I could have done without.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Was it because half of the sentences ended in a question? Or perhaps because the author had the nerve to insert multiple product placement ads? Maybe it was the unrealistic situations, poorly developed characters, ridiculous dialogue, cliche-ridden Cross kids and Nana Mama. I think that at this point one of the kids from the novel has a more evolved vocabulary and can construct better sentences that Patterson!!! Do not waste your time on this tripe
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cross? You bet I am...

No feeling for any of the characters. Violence is used as a substitute for plot. It's awful stuff, really it is. Something an 18 year old fixated by rape and murder might have written. It says it all in the acknowledgments - 3 people helped with research - of what exactly? There was nothing factual other than lists of music. Chris Tebbetts wrote a section of the story. Faint praise. And who is Steve Bowen, 'slowly getting Hollywood to see the obvious'? Is 'the obvious' the answer to why this can never be a movie?

'Chap 55 - p.175 - 'The Butcher watched them as they stood in front of the tony Claridge's Hotel...'. What does that mean?

Or take Chapter 42 (pp 129-131) = one of the longer chapters because we're meant to see blossoming of something perhaps between Alex and Kayla. They say barely two words to each other, however and all we get is a description of what Kayla was wearing and what they ate and drank. Absolute drivel!!! There are so many more examples...

Is it not absurd that a supposed hot-shot Alex Cross is threatened by a known criminal 'The Butcher' in his home, that 'The Butcher' leaves without doing any butchering and that Cross's wife is killed in 1993, Cross works the case for a year and still doesn't find out anything. Duh!!!! Takes until 2005 to work out who it could be...hello?...there is a huge credibility gap here.

Other points:

1. Length - how many words/pages/how long to read? I read the first ninety pages in 20 minutes which means I'll have finished the book in less than 2 hours...make that one hour fifty minutes. It's 393 pages beginning on page 7.
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Format: Hardcover
I don't know how anyone can give this book 5 stars. I started reading JP's earlier books and loved them. When he decided he was really important (read: arrogant), his books took a turn for the worse. Every book is worse than the last but I stupidly keep reading them, thinking they will improve. When JP insisted that he could write women because he was raised by women (as stated in the letter to the reader in the advance of First to Die), I knew he'd lost it. What an insult to women! The characters are flat and lifeless. I knew immediately that he did not write the series and that it was ghostwritten. But this was not revealed until the 2nd or 3rd book. I suppose he thinks his readers are too stupid to pick up on this. But, I digress; this review is about Cross. Again, the characters are flat and lifeless and completely unbelievable. The monotony of the book has a "nice" interlude early on in the form of a Mercedes commercial. How much did they pay you for that, JP? And I suppose that Alex Cross is so unflappable as to not require grieving time for the death of his wife. The entire book is insulting to we as readers that we would be so gullible as to not see through the arrogance of the writer. JP has become so enamored with himself and the possibility of more monetary success that he has abandoned the types of stories that made him successful. He doesn't care about the entertaining of the reader, only about making money and churning out his books as quickly as possible. To top it off, he doesn't even write half of what he puts his name on. I know other authors do this but he blatantly takes credit for everything rather than admitting that his name is now only a brand instead of the real thing. Shame on you, James Patterson!
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