“Alex Cross, Run”
Some book series get better with every entry, some keep chugging along, and some seem to lose steam. I fear James Patterson’s Alex Cross series may be headed to the latter category.
In this latest entry, the 20th in the series, Cross must uncover and stop two serial killers while staying out of the cross-hairs of a third antagonist out for revenge.
I started reading the Cross series at roughly the same time I started reading John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport series and, starting just a bit later, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series.
Unfortunately, Plum got repetitive, derivative, and, well, plum stupid.
Sandford has kept his storylines fresh, his crimes unique and his protagonist compelling. Sandford spun off a character, Virgil Flowers, and these books, too, are highly entertaining.
Unfortunately, in “Alex Cross, Run,” the killers seem staid and unimaginative. As for Alex, the book doesn’t really take us anyplace we haven’t been before. In fact, overall, the characters and the plot simply seem too familiar.
Patterson is now at the heart of a publishing empire, turning out series after series with different co-authors. Add my name to the list of those asking: Is Patterson too distracted by his many other ventures to create another a truly great page-turner?
If you’ve read the other Alex Cross novels, by all means, read this one. The pace picks up in the last one-third of the book, and you’ll want to see the mysteries resolved. But when compared with the earliest books in the series, “Alex Cross, Run” seems to be wheezing.
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