Books I’d Recommend…

30 Mar

Alex Cross, Run“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.

♦ ♦ ♦

For another review of the book, see this link. For the Goodreads entry on the book, go here.


8 Responses to “Books I’d Recommend…”

  1. April 3, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    Hey Mark. I’ve read all the Sandford books, including spin offs, and I loved them all. I haven’t read Alex Cross. If I started the series, would book #1 be the best place to start, or do you have a recommendation? ~James
    PS. Good luck on the Ultra!


    • msmidt April 3, 2013 at 8:13 am #

      Yes, I would definitely start at book 1 with Patterson’s Alex Cross. They could probably stand on their own, but there is character development throughout the series. And those early books were certainly thrillers. I may have sounded harsher in the review than I intended. The new book was “OK,” but the earliest books were “fantastic.”

      To give you a hand, the first books are: 1. Along Came A Spider; 2. Kiss the Girls; 3. Jack & Jill; and 4. Cat & Mouse.

      Thanks for the best wishes on the ultra. Been healing some aches and pains for the past week or so, but I’m ready to do this!


  2. Ermilia April 30, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    You and I seem to be on the same page. I LOVED the Plum series when it first started, but when the relationships were in the same place in book ten as book one, it made me wonder why I was bothering to continue reading them. It’s a bit like the Cat Who books, where you can read them in any order because there’s no overreaching plot that builds book to book. As for James Patterson, I’ve only read “Alex Cross, Run” and “Guilty Wives.” I was not particularly interested with either. The first, because despite the intricate plot, the grammar killed me. The latter because I don’t like books that start in the middle. If I already know what’s going to happen, I’m not on edge.

    I enjoyed reading your review. It almost makes me want to give an earlier book a chance, but after two “meh” books, I’m probably not going to read one unless I find it on sale.

    -Eliabeth Hawthorne


    • msmidt April 30, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

      It’s nice to hear I’m not the only one with this take on these books. If you want a change of pace from this type of book, I really would recommend “The Art of Racing in the Rain” and “A Dog’s Purpose.” Thanks for the comment!

      — Mark


      • Ermilia April 30, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

        This was actually the first thriller I’ve read. (To my knowledge anyway.) I’m usually more of a fantasy or mystery reader.


      • Ermilia April 30, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

        While we’re sharing book reviews, for the love of everything, do not read Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult.


      • msmidt April 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

        Ha ha. I read one or two of hers. They were OK, but they didn’t really grab me. 🙂


      • Ermilia April 30, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

        It’s the only one I’ve read and it was gawd awful. The characters were complete puppets with no personal growth or free will. I prefer living, breathing characters with motives. They don’t have to have motives I can understand, and I may want to punch them, but they have to be realistic. There are certain life events which you go through that you cannot come out the same on the other end. Just because the author wants to wrap the ending up in a nice little bow and make everything okay again does not mean it can happen without altering earlier events in the story.

        That’s my rant for today but you can read the whole review on our blog if you’re interested in what you’re not missing lol.


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