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Cross the Line (Alex Cross) Hardcover – November 21, 2016
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"Behind all the noise and the numbers, we shouldn't forget that no one gets this big without amazing natural storytelling talent--which is what James Patterson has, in spades. The Alex Cross series proves it."--Lee Child
"It's no mystery why James Patterson is the world's most popular thriller writer: his uncanny skill in creating living, breathing characters we truly feel for and seamless, lightning-fast plots. I do this for a living, and he still manages to keep me guessing from the first to last page. Simply put: Nobody does it better."--Jeffery Deaver
"James Patterson is The Boss. End of."--Ian Rankin --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
About the Author
James Patterson received the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community as the 2015 National Book Awards. Patterson holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers. His books have sold more than 325 million copies worldwide.
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Written in Adult English, but, with only a very few f-bombs, this crime fiction novel would probably be rated PG-13 if it were a film.
Written mostly in first person POV, this is classic James Patterson and his character Alex Cross.
The story leads with a prologue, but, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why the prologue wasn’t simply titled Chapter 1. Whatever, though, this and the subsequent chapter drew me into the story and held on to me better than most other writers do.
Then again, I am definitely a James Patterson fan. Still, this Alex Cross novel exhibits a good opening with action and descriptions that, at every turn, caught my interest and sucked me in deeper and deeper.
POV – Mostly first person, but the first person is not always Alex Cross. As the author often does in other books, he lets us know what a victim sees, feels, smells and understands at their moment of death. The challenge, for me as a reader, was to forget what the victim saw when I am reading what Alex Cross first notices upon reaching a crime scene.
GENRE – Billed as a Mystery Thriller-Suspense. Personally, I see it more as an Action-Adventure Crime Fiction novel.
PLOT OR CHARACTER – The key to this would ordinarily seem to be plot, as are most Patterson stories. Yet, the character development, letting us glimpse a character’s personal life and how it affects his judgment, convinces me that the magic here is in strong character development.
PACE – I love the pace. Taut action at some settings. At others, a slightly more leisurely description that allows us to catch out breath. There also is a bit or sarcastic dry wit, such as when another officer working on the case has an anniversary that demands the man’s attention away from the job. I won’t spoil it for you though.
EDITING – Of course this is professionally edited, removing or eliminating issues more commonly found in self-published works, sold at far lower prices.
PAGE LENGTH – 401 pages; Audible, 8 hours 35 minutes.
Q - Is this a book that I can read without having to read others first?
A – Yes, but most readers will have already read several Alex Cross novels.
Q – If this is a recurring character or a series, does it have a cliffhanger ending?
A – No. There is no cliffhanger ending.
Q - Is this a fast, easy read or is it more of a leisure read?
A – At 400 pages, this is not the sort of book you will read during commutes, but, it reads much faster than your typical 400-page tome.
Q - My biggest pleasure or disappointment?
A – For an Alex Cross fan there are no disappointments. What I am most pleased by Cross the Line is that it doesn’t feel like formula-based writing. When you consider how many books the author writes in any given year, it is easy to understand how some sort of formula must be necessary, but this story reads as if it were the only thing on this writer’s mind. If writing can have charisma, Cross the Line has oodles of charisma. At least for me.
To give a feel for the editing, and the style and flow of this work, I am posting a brief excerpt below.
The next drawer down was full of files. I looked through them, found out that she owned a late-model Audi A5 and that she vacationed in the Caymans— a lot, as in three times in the prior year. But there was nothing that gave me a clear idea of how she’d paid for it all.
I was thinking she’d have to have an income of over a hundred grand to live like this. Did Level 2 Certified Coaches make that kind of money? If so, maybe I was in the wrong business.
I thought about breaking the lock on the first cabinet but decided to take a look at the computer first. To my surprise, when I ran my finger across the touchpad, the screen lit right up and showed me the desktop. Several different applications were running.
One was Edita’s law school e-mail account. I sat down and scanned through the e-mails, seeing nothing from Tom McGrath. Most of the messages were to and from professors and classmates. One classmate, JohnnyBoy5, had sent six e-mails to her in the eighteen hours preceding her murder.
Really? read one sent around ten thirty the previous night. Standing me up again? This was your meet, remember?
I did a search of her entire in-box, looking for all e-mails from JohnnyBoy5. There were more than a hundred, going back eighteen months. I rearranged them so they were in chronological order and read a tale of growing obsession.
JohnnyBoy5 had evidently been smitten by Edita Kravic from the get-go, and he was not shy about saying so. Though she seemed to flirt with him at times, for the most part, she did nothing to encourage him.
For the first year, she’d managed to keep
Patterson, James. Cross the Line (p. 38 - 39). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.
This is another title I have bought through Audible. A big chunk of my salary now has gone to the likes of Craig Johnson, Stephen King and James Patterson. Amazon and Audible must be grateful.
Comments regarding your opinion of this book or of my review, whether favorable or unfavorable, are always welcome. If you buy the book based on my review and become disappointed, especially, I do want to know that and I want to understand how I can improve as a book reviewer. Just please be polite.
A completely engaging read.
will enjoy this book.