My Review: 4/5
Alex Cross is a character that has been one of James Patterson's longer running themes. He returns in this blockbuster along with a few familiar faces.
They are celebrating Alex' birthday in the opening chapter, but as usual are interrupted with the phone call they always dread...Work! Alex and his long time girlfriend Detective Briana Stone along with his kids Ali and Jannie (who live at home), and the ever faithful Nana are welcomed back. Nana and his children have been the one consistence in his life that has brought him stability, support and love, however his love for his job sometimes gets him putting his priorities the wrong way round. The call he receives becomes personal as Alex finds out that a killer has got to one of his own. His niece has been murdered and they want him in on the case. He throws himself into the case head first and discovers that this serial killer won't be so easy to catch. This is no ordinary serial killer and Alex soon discovers that the whole case is wrapped up with some high rollers who are protected by those around them. That means breaking the rules and doing what needs to be done to catch the killer. Alex realises that to do his job he has to trust nobody and do things his own way.
I have on a few occasions' mentioned that I was unsure what James Patterson was doing to quality of his own work, due to the sheer volume of novels he seems to produce or complete with a co-author. My opinion has been in the past that his novels (especially the Cross ones) seem to decline the more books he produces. This book showed me glimpses of some of the great work that he has produced in the past, however still left me undecided as to whether his work is back to its usual quality. His chapters are short and sharp but keep the pages turning. The story was a good one and flowed throughout, with the added bonus of ending the book on a great opening for the next one.
I did enjoy this and think it is better than his last Alex Cross Novel (Cross Country). However, although still an avid James Patterson fan I find that I am leaning towards his other follow on books with the lead character of Michael Bennett (e.g. Run for your life). I will continue to read James Patterson's work and can only hope that the Alex Cross books continue to catch the audience. This book can be read as a stand alone but I would advise that if you enjoy this, that you try some of his other earlier books.