Monday, 1 February 2010

Cross Country

Title: Cross Country (14th book in the Alex Cross series)

Author: James Patterson

Type: Suspense

Pages: 406

Published: November 2008

Synopsis: Detective Alex Cross is called to one of the most horrific murder scenes he's ever seen in Washington, D.C. An entire family has been slaughtered in their own home. More ruthless murders follow and Cross realizes he's chasing a new kind of killer. This killer is an African warlord named The Tiger who enlists teenagers to pull off his murders. When The Tiger heads back to Africa, Cross knows that he must follow him if he's ever to solve the murders. Cross arrives in Nigeria and learns that things are much different in Africa than they are at home.

My Thoughts: I can't say this was a favourite Alex Cross book of mine. It dealt with an important topic and I suppose the violence was necessary to portray the brutality of the civil wars in western Africa ... but for me, they were extremely graphic and overly savage in nature.

The storyline kept up at a good pace and at times I was on the edge of my seat but overall this book fell a little flat. I just couldn't accept that Cross would leave his family and fly all the way to Africa to avenge the death of a girlfriend he had back in college days. That after repeated beatings etc he still stayed to find the killers. It just didn't jive with me.

I do give credit to Patterson for bringing to light the devastation in western Africa and the civil unrest there. It has made me want to learn more about the genocide going on there and what I can do to help the millions of people still living in there. But ... it felt more like Patterson fit the suspense book around the topic of African unrest instead of fitting the African issues into his storyline.

I hope that Patterson comes out with a new hero (or heroine) for his books because I think I can cross Cross of my list now as one of my favourite main characters for future books. The first twelve Cross books were outstanding but the past 2 books haven't been as great as the previous books in the series. It just seems like the same issues plague Cross in many of the previous books. Stress about his job which affects his family at home. Pressure from Nana to stop working ... Cross has run his course.

My Rating: 2/5 (aka meh)

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