As many people are fully aware, James Patterson is an extremely prolific writer, at times it seems like he is churning out books faster than people can read them (he has sold over an amazing 375 million copies of his books and is the most borrowed author from libraries). Whilst he now writes quite a lot in collaboration with other authors, books that he writes purely by himself such as the Alex Cross series are still his best work.
It 2010, the 17th novel in the best-selling Alex Cross series was published and in my opinion is the best book of the series to date, James Patterson at his best.
For those of you that have never read any of the Cross novels, Detective Alex Cross is a detective with a PH.D. in psychology, specialising in abnormal psychology and forensic psychology. He is often called on to consult on really serious crime and catch sophisticated murderers.
In Cross Fire, an antagonist from previous novel is back on the hunt. It starts when a chilling murder is committed by Cross’ deadliest adversary, Kyle Craig aka The Mastermind.
Meanwhile, Washington is on high alert as there is a sniper going around the city killing “the bad guys from the newspapers”. This includes high-profile targets including politicians, judges and powerful heads of large companies and corporations. But there are lots of questions raised from this; Who would want to target these people, for what reason and purpose? Is the sniper working alone? Does he have someone helping him? Is someone else pulling the strings? These are the questions Detective Alex Cross must find the answers to if he is to find the killer.
The overworked Detective Alex Cross is put in charge of the sniper investigation and whilst he is investigating, a bizarre series of deaths of homeless men start to occur. They all have strange numbers carved into their bodies. With an already overloaded caseload and cases overlapping jurisdiction, Cross takes the offer of help from an FBI agent he dislikes, Max Siegel.
If that wasn’t enough, he is trying to plan his wedding at the same time and has to deal with a call from The Mastermind who won’t stop until he has eliminated Cross and his entire family.
Can Alex solve the murders and catch the killers? Will Kyle Craig get his revenge and kill Cross, or will he be captured and taken back to maximum security prison?
Overall, Cross Fire is an excellent fast paced action-packed thriller, right from the very first page to the climatic finish, just as James Patterson is an expert at doing. It leaves you wanting more.
Cross Fire is well written, and the characters are excellent and believable, especially Alex Cross (every Cross novel I read I just see Morgan Freeman from the Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider films, he is superb in the role and suits the Cross character to a T).
If you are new to Alex Cross and want to start with Cross Fire, you don’t have to have read any of the previous novels to understand what is going on, but it does help if you have to enjoy the story to its max. If you haven’t read any of the previous books in this series, Cross Fire will make you want to read them all.
It is fast-paced, easy to read and quite a fast read with its short chapters, packed with action without any let-up or a dull moment.
A satisfying and thrilling read.
RRP: £18.99 (Hardback) / £8.99 (Paperback) / £5.99 (Kindle)