I, Alex Cross by James Patterson

Publisher’s Summary

Detective Alex Cross is pulled out of a family celebration and given the awful news that a beloved relative has been found brutally murdered. Alex vows to hunt down the killer, and soon learns that she was mixed up in one of Washington’s wildest scenes. And she was not this killer’s only victim.

The hunt for her murderer leads Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, to a place where every fantasy is possible, if you have the credentials to get in. Alex and Bree are soon facing down some very important, very protected, very dangerous people in levels of society where only one thing is certain–they will do anything to keep their secrets safe.

As Alex closes in on the killer, he discovers evidence that points to the unimaginable–a revelation that could rock the entire world. With the unstoppable action, unforeseeable twists, and edge-of-your-seat suspense that only a James Patterson thriller delivers, I, Alex Cross is the master of suspense at his sharpest and best.

©2009 James Patterson

I believe I mentioned when I introduced my summer reading list that I am a long term James Patterson fan.  I have read all of the Alex Cross novels, in addition to many of his stand alones.

A big part of the Alex Cross appeal, for me, was the time the author spent in letting the reader get to know Alex Cross, the man.  If you’ve followed the series, you know Alex’s hopes, dreams, his weaknesses, his strengths.  You know that at heart, he is an honorable man, but he is also flawed.  The crimes he’s solved and the dangers he’s faced and overcome were exciting but were intriguing only because Alex Cross was the man behind the investigation.

The critic, as well as customer reviews for I, Alex Cross were all positive and so it was with eager anticipation that I flipped the first page.  The plot is elaborate and resolves satisfactorily.  Also, typical for Patterson, the antagonists are among the worst in terms of human depravity.  But this book fell flat for me.

I couldn’t tell if the writer felt that his readers knew all there was to know about Alex, so there was no need to focus on character development.  If so, Mr. Patterson was terribly wrong.  Without focusing on characterization, this was not an Alex Cross novel, it was a thriller about **insert name here**.

Anyway, I read somewhere, my apologies that I don’t recall the reference (if anyone knows, please drop me a note);  strong characters may carry a weak plot, but a strong plot cannot hide weak characters.  In my humble opinion, I, Alex Cross is a perfect example of this truism.

I can’t say that I hated it, because I didn’t.  But I was disappointed that it did not meet the standard set in earlier Alex Cross novels.  I give this one a lukewarm one thumb up!

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