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I, Alex Cross by [Patterson, James]
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4.2 out of 5 stars 757 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell: Author One-on-One
In this Amazon exclusive, we brought together blockbuster authors James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell and asked them to interview each other. Find out what two of the top authors of their genres have to say about their characters, writing process, and more.

Patricia Cornwell is the former Director of Applied Forensic Science at the National Forensic Academy, and a member of the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital's National Council, where she is an advocate for psychiatric research. She is the author of sixteen previous Kay Scarpetta mysteries, five non-Scarpetta novels (including At Risk), and Portrait of a Killer. Read on to see Patricia Cornwell's questions for James Patterson, or turn the tables to see what Patterson asked Cornwell.

Patricia Cornwell Cornwell: James, your questions were so good, I'm going to ask you similar ones. Let's start with why you write? Do you love it or love having done it? What motivates you?

Patterson: I truly love writing. I sometimes think about my grandfather when I reflect on this. When I was a boy, I lived in a town on the Hudson River. During the summers, my grandfather would take me once a week on his frozen food and ice cream delivery route. We'd be up at four in the morning packing up the truck, and by five we'd be on our way. Driving a delivery truck isn't the most glamorous job in the world, but every morning, my grandfather would drive over the Storm King Mountain toward West Point, and he'd be singing at the top of his voice. And he told me this: "Jim," he said, "when you grow up, I don't care if you're a truck driver or a famous surgeon—just remember that when you go over the mountain to work in the morning, you've got to be singing." Writing stories keeps me singing. Writing to me isn't work, and I like that a ton.

Cornwell: What is your routine when you're facing your next novel? What is the process like for you, and what is your favorite part of it? Least favorite?

Patterson: I like to have a lot of ideas in the air at one time. I've got around 20 manuscripts sitting in my office right now, in some degree of completion. It's a lot of material, a lot of stories. My least favorite part? Hmm. Maybe sharpening pencils? Actually, I’ve always kind of liked sharpening pencils. I don’t mean to seem too over the top about this, but I really wouldn’t change any of it.

Cornwell: What do you and Alex Cross have in common? How are you different?

Patterson: We're both family-oriented guys. I think it's a real treat to be able to get along with your wife every day, which I do; my wife and I really have trouble being apart for very long. And I think readers will agree Alex is generally doing better in the romance department. One difference between us would be that I'm much more content to sit around and write. I think Alex would get a little bored on a "ride-along" with me.

Cornwell: What inspired you to create Alex Cross?

Patterson: Hardly anyone knows it but when I started the first Alex Cross novel, Alex was a woman named Alexis. After 100 pages or so, I changed the character to Alex. When I was a kid growing up, my grandparents had a small restaurant and the cook was an African-American woman who eventually moved into our house. All through my growing up period I spent a lot of time with this woman's family. They were funny, wise, the food was great, so was the music, and the family is at least part of the inspiration for the Crosses.

Cornwell: What's the one thing a reader has said that you've never forgotten and perhaps found startling?

Patterson: I'm sure you've had this, too, Patricia, but the one comment that gets me every time is hearing people say my books have them reading again. I know sometimes you and I get some heat for being as popular as we are, and are saddled with that old equation that says if you're a bestseller, you must be lowbrow. But I frankly don't think there’s anything more meaningful than hearing that I've turned a person back into a reader (or in the case of younger readers, got them started).

Cornwell: How about you? You're the one with all the movies! Good experience or not?

Patterson: Sounds like we're on the same page there, Patricia. I definitely feel like some past projects didn't quite live up to their potential. And I likewise have hopes for a couple of movies in the works: the third Alex Cross movie, and the very first Maximum Ride movie, which has Avi Arad (producer of Spider Man), Catherine Hardwicke (director of Twilight), and Don Payne (writer for The Simpsons) on board. There's also a very promising TV series based on a new book I've written that's being developed with CBS and Imagine.


From Publishers Weekly

Death's shadow passes close to home in this latest installment of Patterson's long-running Det. Alex Cross series. When the remains of Alex's estranged niece are discovered in the trunk of a car, his investigation takes him into the powerful, protected, and very decadent world of the Washington elite. Tim Cain and Michael Cerveris deliver top-notch performances as they expertly bring Patterson's signature roller-coaster plotting and diverse cast of characters to life. Though the actual resolution to the story may stretch the realm of believability, Cain and Cerveris bring the listener along for the ride with strong conviction in their reading. A perfect book for a long drive. A Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 7). (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1974 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (November 16, 2009)
  • Publication Date: November 16, 2009
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002LZSY46
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,497 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jake on November 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Alex Cross has just been notified that a distant family member has been murdered. As he looks into the details of the gruesome death, he finds connections to even more killings and mysterious disappearances. Soon the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place and all signs seem to point to a killer within the White House. Alex Cross has faced his fair share of foes, but never has he gone against a killer who is as untouchable as this madman. Never one to give up, Alex Cross holds nothing back in his quest for justice.

James Patterson brings back his most beloved character in this sixteenth installment of the Alex Cross series. Long time fans will be pleased to know that this latest installment falls much closer to home than recent attempts. Patterson has certainly put Cross through the ringer with countless relationship problems, a myriad of career changes, and even a poorly imagined international romp in Cross Country. This time around we are treated to what hooked us on these novels in the first place: great mystery, strong character development, and the relentless pacing that has become the trademark of Patterson's writing.

While I enjoyed the high profile mystery in this plot, what really sold me were the relationships that are so beautifully explored with the characters we have grown to love. There are some truly heartwarming and gut wrenching scenes that might just catch you off guard, if for no other reason than the glimpse into the eventual reality for Alex that they hint at. Mushy stuff aside, there is still plenty of action and suspense to go around for thrill seekers to devour.

It should come as no surprise to returning readers that this story is peppered with bad language, sexual content, and violence throughout.
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Format: Hardcover
Don't mess with Detective Alex Cross, especially when it comes to his family members. With one family member murdered, and another in the hospital fighting for their life, Cross sets out to help solve a very personal murder case--a series of brutal murders that, not only involve his niece, but will take him to the top echelons of the US government. James Patterson brings to the table, once again, all of his previous masterful talent and bold imagination. Although, some passages may disturb the squeamish, I was held captive throughout the entire book. I especially like the surprise ending. This may be one of Patterson's best efforts yet.

The thriller is written in short chapters, which I like, and the font is large enough to make reading enjoyable. The prose is clear, succinct, and paints a picture of full-blown evil and terror. A fast read.
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By Tina on November 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am a huge, huge Alex Cross/James Patterson fan! and I was thrilled beyond belief to read this newest "Alex Cross" book.

The story opens with Alex celebrating a birthday at home with his family and girlfriend Bree (this is something I never quite understood - the need for the author go ALWAYS give Cross a girlfriend). Unfortunately, Alex gets "one of those calls" during his party and finds out that his niece (daughter of a brother he had not be close to in adulthood) has been found dead. When Alex arrives at the scene, he is told that they only have "remains", that his niece was actually killed and then put through a grinder of sorts - Alex is stunned and vows to find the killer.

As it turns out, Alex's niece was a high price call girl who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time - meeting the wrong person. We discover that Alex's niece worked for a high end and exclusive brothel, located in an out of the way location and managed by a man without a conscience.

In the midst of all this, Alex's beloved Nana falls very ill and must be rushed to the hospital. Alex now finds himself torn between being at his Nana's side AND finding his niece's killer.

Alex will spend much of the storyline playing catch up. It seems that although he does have some leads, the killer is always one step ahead, somehow untouchable and as the storyline develops we will soon find out why this killer is so protected.

This book is good and the suspense is pretty consistent. I like that Alex does not miraculously get all the answers quickly in this one and I like that he is highly conflicted for the most part. This is well written - using Patterson's usual quick and easy chapters.
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Format: Hardcover
Well I must admit that I was initially apprehensive about paying so much money for a James Patterson book after the horrible Cross Country (Alex Cross) where Alex Cross goes to Africa. In fact, not only did I write a scathing review of that book, but I seriously spent about 10 minutes trying to decide if I wanted to risk my money on this latest Alex Cross novel.

However, I decide I would go ahead and risk it. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, I was absolutely delighted with the story and thrilled that Patterson was back in form with good fast paced writing that kept the pages turning with nary a single thought of putting the book down. Although admittedly I did a time or two in order to try and get some sleep, but it didn't work so I finished the book in one sitting.

I especially liked the cameo appearance (so to speak) of another Patterson character in the Alex Cross novels and I am hoping that he will be a major player in an upcoming Alex Cross novel. Every Superman needs their Lex Luthor and this character is definitely that. And no, I am not going to give away the suprise ending.

The basic plot of the story is that a loose family member (no pun intended, which you will understand within the first 30 pages or so) is found murdered and Alex Cross begins a perilous journey to find the family members killer or killers. Quite an interesting background of characters that I thought was rather well done, although I wondered just how realistic a couple of them really would have been.
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