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Roses Are Red (Alex Cross)
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Showing 1-10 of 74 reviews(2 star). See all 909 reviews
on October 26, 2013
ROSES ARE RED by James Patterson features crack Washington DC homicide detective Alex Cross.
I've read almost 40 James Patterson books including at least a half dozen from the Alex Cross series. I must say in comparison, Roses never climbed above the mediocre level. Patterson's characters in this writing lack depth. Even Cross's FBI love interest, Betsey Cavalierre, who could have been a prime contributor to the story, appeared more like a one-night stand than a thoughtful love interest. The writer's constant return to Cross's family with Nana Mama and the boring Cross clan was distracting and more a diversion than a part of the story.
The ending leaves the reader hanging. Appearing as an afterthought, Patterson pulled a villain out of thin air in the last couple pages leaving the reader aghast and cheated. Is there to be a follow on, a sequel? Good question.
I was disappointed in the book. I give Roses no more than a 2 rating out of a possible 5.
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on June 18, 2013
This was my first James Patterson novel. I liked it okay in the beginning and middle, but the end turned me off to James Patterson. Roses are Red is an Alex Cross novel with the police psychologist pitted against a "mastermind" criminal. When I thought the climax of the novel would pit Alex against the mastermind, I enjoyed it. But the end had two too many plot twists which threw all the set-up in the middle of the novel out the window. It was very unsatisfying.

The characters were pretty thin, even the main one, Alex Cross. He had personal conflicts (friction with his girlfriend and his child had an illness) but they were not tied well into the main conflict of finding the mastermind, so they were more distraction than addition to the suspense.

Even though it was easy to read and enough of a page-turner to get through it quickly, in the end it was completely forgettable.
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on January 3, 2017
like violets are blue actual content is ok, but the quality of the actual book is poor in the extreme, also the clarity of the print what we have here is a cheap nasty copy of a geat book, bought for an above average price, delivering an absolutely inferior item not really worthy of being linked with amazon!!! you should ditch this outfit immediately
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on November 28, 2014
This was a slog. The story felt very templated. Introduce a character, blow a few sentences of life into them and move on. For me the characters didn't make sense most of the time. I think it's because they were only devices to move the plot. Just so you know- you have to buy the next book to see how the whole thing plays out. I didn't care enough to bother.
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on June 9, 2014
Didn't keep my attention as well as some if the others but not a bad read. Sadly, Patterson - ONCE AGAIN - has followed his usual trend in his choice for bad guy. I predicted this 3 books ago and was pleased to be wrong. Now so disappointed to find out I was right all along. Mysteries should NOT be so predictable. I'll try the next book, but at this rate, I might give up on this series if each book keeps sticking to the exact same "shock" at the end. It's never a shock any more. Getting incredibly old!
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on August 12, 2013
If melissa_fox is going to continue selling books on, she needs to learn the difference between mass paperback and paperback and the difference between new and used. I purchased this book for $3.98 as a new paperback copy. I received a used mass paperback copy. I can see that pages show signes of being dog eared. I think $3.98 is a very high price for a used mass paperback book. Will not use this person again. Very disappointed.
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on April 15, 2016
James Patterson is a brilliant writer & a shameless con man. Writing half a story to sell one more book. I'm not falling for it & I won't buy "Violets are blue"
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on January 31, 2001
I got this book and finished it in a total of three and a half hours. Although his books are usually a quick read, I became bored with the plot halfway through. Hopefully he will provide criminal motivation and method of thinking in the next book, because the criminal seems totally out of character here. I still haven't decided if I'll read the next one.
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on December 9, 2000
I read through the other reviews of this book. Apparently many readers agree with me. We have given James Patterson and Alex Cross many, many chances. I was on the edge of giving up on these books after reading the last Alex Cross. But because of the fine quality of earlier books, I plunged into this last one, Roses are Red. Never again.
It's just the same old thing over and over. A weird serial killer has a personal vendetta against Alex. I could even take another good book about that. But here's the real problem that has displayed itself in so many of the past several books - there is no solution or conclusion to the story lines.
The killer from either 3 or 4 books ago is still around. Alex thought he had gotten him, but it is revealed that he has just killed someone else. So, first of all, we are told that the criminal from a previous case has never really been captured. The story of the relationship between Alex and Christine is also just left hanging. If I was not familiar with the Alex/Christine story from other books, the description of what happens between them would make no sense at all.
Then, in this current book, there are several captures made of people who are thought to be the murderer. Every time a capture is made, the person says "You have got the wrong man". Of course, this being an Alex Cross book, it always is truly the wrong man because the real perpetrator is rarely caught in these stories. He is always free to roam to become the focus of a sequel. The final few sentences of the book supposedly do finally tell who the killer is. But, in my opinion, it was such an unbelievably dumb choice after reading the entire book, it didn't satisfy my curiosity. It just made me mad. And, even this dumb choice of a serial killer is not caught.
After I have invested my time in reading a book, any book, I feel that I deserve a conclusion to most of the plot lines in the story. I do understand about sequels and that sometimes things need to be left hanging to keep the reader interested until the next installment. But these Alex Cross books go too far. The plots are never wrapped up. There is way too much left unsaid. I feel like I have been jerked around by James Patterson. If you lure me into the story, give me some satisfaction by the end of the book.
Maybe in some future book, James Patterson will take all of these loose threads and weave them into one huge and final conclusion. Even if he does, I will not be reading about it. This book was really my last Alex Cross.
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on September 24, 2016
Roses are Red by James Patterson is the 6th book in his Alex Cross series, and the first part of the two-part Mastermind episode that concludes with Violets are Blue. In this novel the Mastermind organizes three bank robberies, then a kidnapping on the families of insurance executives that mount to $30 million in ransom. Cross and the FBI team that he is working with capture two men who seem to be behind the crimes, but both tell Cross that he has the wrong guy.

The novel was ruined for me in two ways. I read Violets are Blue before this one, which ruined the big surprise in the final chapter of this novel. Alternatively, one could say that the final chapter of this novel ruined the reveal in Violets are Blue. The other problem was that the author made an error in telling the story. On page 76 of the novel, special agent Betsey Cavalierfe said, “First Union, Chase, First Virginia, and Citibank are all connected to us for the time being.” The novel had opened with the Citibank robbery in Silver Springs, MD. The Mastermind murdered his accomplices for this robbery, the Parkers, and hired new ones for his next job, at the First Union branch in Falls Church. A second pair of robbers handled the Falls Church robbery and a later one at the First Virginia robbery in Rosslyn.

Cavaliere made her statement during the investigation of the First Virginia robbery. At that time, no incident had been described at Chase. The statement was cleared up on page 129, when Chapter 44 began with the statement, “A robbery was in progress at the Chase Manhattan branch near the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington.” This was the Chase robbery that Betsey Cavaliere mentioned on page 76.

The only problem was that the Chase robbery hadn’t happened when Ms. Cavaliere made that statement.

In Part 3, the Mastermind moved on to kidnapping the family members of an insurance company for ransom, so the error didn’t materially impact the story. Nevertheless, the error conveyed sloppiness and bothered me.

While Cross tried to solve the crimes, he dealt with a pair of personal problems that in themselves would affect anyone. In the previous novel, Pop Goes the Weasel, Geoffrey Shafer kidnapped the fiance of Cross, Christine Johnson. Christine had difficulty trying to put the traumatic incident behind her, especially after a bulletin from London announced that Lucy Rhys-Cousins, the wife of Shafer, was murdered in front of her children. Furthermore, Alex’s daughter Jannie has epileptic seizures caused by a tumor in her brain.

Agent Betsey Cavalierre senses that Alex is trying to juggle a complicated personal life with trying to solve the Mastermind crimes, and offers comfort “without complications.” Yet everyone knows that office romances involve complications, even if both parties come with eyes wide open. Alex also had a relationship with an FBI agent in Along Came a Spider, and that turned out badly. Killing off the character is one way to eliminate the complications.

The story wasn’t bad, and it is not Patterson’s fault that I read Violets are Blue before reading this story. But Patterson did screw up the story on page 76.
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