Sunday, December 28, 2008
TITLE: CROSS COUNTRY
AUTHOR: JAMES PATTERSON
Details: no. 12 Alex Cross Mystery
Okay, so there's no denying that Patterson is a master storyteller. He knows how to grab your attention and hold it. He almost forces the reader to keep on turning the pages, thus racing through the book.
However, he appears to have been caught in a trap of his own making. Whereas this series of Alex Cross books started of as very good police thrillers, be it with horrific murders and inhumane perpetrators, he now seems to write from the believe that however gruesome the last book was, the next one needs to be even more extreme. And in doing so he has, for me at least, lost touch with anything resembling reality. The characters, both good and bad, don't read like they might even resemble somebody real anymore. And while I used to like the character of Alex Cross, with this book I lost a lot of my respect for him.
The story, in short, starts when an old friend of Alex' as well as her whole family is murdered. More murders of whole families follow and Cross and Co discover that the man in charge of the gang committing the murders is a Nigerian called "Tiger". When reports indicate that Tiger has returned to Africa, Cross follows him there, which brings him to a world filled with corruption and violence way beyond anything he could ever have imagined.
Like I said, the plot stretched my credibility too far. Would a man, who loves his family, leave them unprotected while a gang specializing in murdering families is on the loose?
Would that man travel to a part of the world he knows next to nothing about, to start a one man investigation (crusade might be a better word) without and clues, contacts or protection?
Would he survive everything that Cross goes through in the book? The answer for me is "no" to all those questions.
So, while I'll continue to read this series, I won't be buying the books anymore. I don't want to spend my money on cheap thrills and easy shockers when there are so many good books out there.
The mark for this book is based purely on its page turning power, not on the quality of the story.