Cross Country – James Patterson

‘Cross Country’…clever title.

Patterson’s beloved hero, Alex Cross, is off to solve a murder again.

Wait, let me start again…

I love James Patterson.  I can’t get enough of his books.  After spending 4 years at University reading (or should I say, ‘fighting with’) all genres of difficult, I really looked forward to settling down with something cozy and comfortable.

I am a little ashamed to admit that I had forgotten about James Patterson.  Reading wasn’t on my ‘fun’ list anymore;  but when I was in the airport waiting for a plane to take me on my honeymoon, I saw ‘Cross Country’ and thought, ‘Oh yes, that’s exactly what I need.’

Alex Cross is off to solve another murder.   After retiring a few times and being dragged back in; he’s back, attempting to solve the most grisly murders of his career.

Cross suspects a group of Africans from Nigeria of the murders of entire families in the DC area.  Dismemberments, torture, and blood everywhere.  But the thing that makes the murders even more gruesome is that the suspects are young boys.

Cross locks horns with the FBI, and then the CIA.  Finally, he decides to fly to Nigeria himself to find the elusive gang leader called Tiger.

Ok, this is where Patterson lost me.  Why in the world would Cross go to Africa?  And what exactly did he expect to do accomplish there?  Was he honestly going to slap some cuffs on the guy in the middle of his home country, read him Miranda and perhaps add on a little, ‘by the power vested in me by the District of Columbia…’?

That sort of investigation, I found, was unrealistic.  No government would allow someone to just jump their border, arrest someone for a crime committed in another country without going through the proper diplimatic channels of extradition.

What’s amusing at this point in the book, is that I, the reader, am not the only one telling Cross to get back to the States where he belongs.  Every single character he knows or comes in contact with tells him to go home.  Nobody, (and after a quick thumb through again to make sure I’m right), I can’t find a single character who agrees that Cross should be in Nigeria.

Well, he nearly gets killed.  Then, nearly gets killed again.  Then he gets arrested.  Then the woman who is helping him (and do I sense a little bit of naughty  lust here?) finds her own family maimed and murdered.

I’ll stop here because I don’t want to ruin any more of the book if you decide to read this.  But I have to say…very disappointed.  What happened to one of my favourite sleuths of all time?  What have you done to him, Mr Patterson?

My review:  leave it be.  Let your memory of Alex Cross be the greatness he has always been.  Avoid this book.

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