Cross Fire - James Patterson

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Cross Fire - James Patterson

Detective Alex Cross and Bree's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washi...

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Review of "Cross Fire - James Patterson"

published 12/08/2017 | gothic_moon
Member since : 23/09/2005
Reviews : 920
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Pro Short chapters & first person writing made for swift reading
Cons Weak as a wet fish premise
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"Not One Worth Crossing Paths With..."

Not one worth crossing paths with sadly.

Not one worth crossing paths with sadly.

Having read various James Patterson novels, I was quite looking forward to this one. Sadly, the expectation didn’t meet the reality, so Cross Fire isn’t one I’d necessarily recommend.

Cross Fire falls within the crime thriller genre of the American ilk, and the author needs no introduction as he’s a big name in this speciality. On the cover we’re told this is “from the world’s bestselling thriller writer”, along with the following tagline to draw us in : “Alex Cross takes on the ultimate case, and faces his deadliest enemy”. Not overly original, which sadly is somewhat telling of the book itself.

… Premise …

We are introduced to Detective Alex Cross, now happily settled with the lovely woman he intends to marry, Brianna Stone. Things are about to get busy in his line of work when two corrupt public figures, a Washington DC congressman and a lobbyist, are assassinated. It looks like whoever was responsible was highly accurate and skilled, a professional killer or killers.

Cross is on the scene to investigate, but there’s little in the way of evidence. But then another body turns up, and it looks like this pro has a mission, or at least a message, to send to the crooks and underhanded public figures they’re crossing off their list.

Enter FBI agent Max Siegel. Or is it? We’re told early on, from the outset really, that another man has taken on his identity by means of plastic surgery. That’s right. A nemesis of Alex Cross has totally reinvented himself as someone else and apparently no one is any the wise. Can he fool Cross, get close enough to finally put an end to the good detective once and for all? And will Cross and the team hunt down the assassin before the body count rises further?

… // …

So, let’s attack the most glaring issue first. There’s a guy who has plastic surgery and the like to make himself the carbon copy of someone else. And incredibly convincingly so, apparently. I wasn’t keen on this because it seems more than a little cliche and unbelievable to say the least. The rest of the storyline is rather so-so, again not overly believable, but at least reasonably straightforward even if it’s not all that intelligent in terms of how it reads. It did have a sense of predictability and it didn’t feel too special or shocking, so again, it loses points all around really.

Cross Fire was predominantly written in first person from the perspective of Alex Cross. I liked this because it gives more of an in-depth, gritty feel to the book and I was more able to empathise with the character and ‘feel’ the situations as they unfolded. He also has quite a genuine, relaxed feel about him as a character, which I enjoyed reading. We also get a bird’s eye view from the assassins and their movements, plus those of Alex’s nemesis.

The style of writing in general was reasonably confident and skilled, though admittedly nothing special. I liked the short chapters, which were sometimes just 2 or 3 pages.

The book is further divided into ‘books’, ie. 3 main parts, plus an epilogue. I must admit I’m a big fan of short chapters when they are well done because it keeps the flow and makes it so easy to keep reading, keep turning the pages, and it can help promote a sense of pace.

There was a degree of atmosphere, tension and intrigue, but again, all of these things were dampened by the premise and lack of believability. Without this, there seemed to be a rather shaky backbone to the book overall that affected my feelings of it throughout.

On the back is further praise for Patterson, though the quotes actually refer to other novels. For instance:

“You’re just completely engrossed in it from start to finish. Absolutely incredible… The story is unrelentingly exciting” - BBC Radio 5 Live, regarding ‘Cross Country’.

To sum up, this was a rather disappointing read, especially as I’d read some previously quite enjoyable and thrilling Patterson novels. The premise was the huge let down here, like a delicious chocolate digestive you’ve been waiting all day for only to find it’s been left out of the biscuit barrel for the last few months to go stale. Short chapters and the personable Cross made this readable, but the story as a whole sadly let it down.

117 chapters over 356 pages (hardback)
RRP £18.99 (hardback)

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Comments on this review

  • Angela150 published 19/11/2017
    Very good
  • danielalong published 03/11/2017
  • elwood_jones published 04/10/2017
    always surprised to see how many books he keeps churning out
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Product Information : Cross Fire - James Patterson

Manufacturer's product description

Detective Alex Cross and Bree's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington D.C.'s most hated public figures: a corrupt congressman and an underhanded lobbyist. As more crooked politicians are picked off with similar long-range shots, public opinion is divided - is the marksman a vigilante or a hero? Media coverage of the case explodes, and the FBI assigns agent Max Siegel to the investigation. As Alex and Siegel battle over jurisdiction, the murders continue. It becomes clear that they are the work of a professional who has detailed knowledge of his victims' movements, information that only a Washington insider could possess. As Alex contends with the sniper, Siegel, and the wedding, he receives a call from his deadliest adversary, Kyle Craig. The Mastermind is in D.C. and will not relent until he has eliminated Cross, and his family, for good. With a supercharged blend of action, deception, and suspense, Cross Fire is James Patterson's most visceral and exciting Alex Cross novel ever.

Product Details

EAN: 9781846054587

Type: Fiction

Genre: Modern Fiction

Title: Cross Fire

Author: James Patterson

Release Date: 11.11.2010

ISBN: 1846054583


Listed on Ciao since: 10/09/2010