Book Name: I, Alex Cross
Author: James Patterson
Genre: Crime Thriller
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Format: Paperback checked out from the local libraryGoodreads’words: Can Alex Cross survive his most chilling – and personal – case ever? Pulled out of a family celebration, Detective Alex Cross gets awful news: A beloved relative has been found brutally murdered. Vowing to catch the killer, he quickly learns that she was mixed up in one of Washington, D.C.’s wildest scenes. And she was not this killer’s only victim . . .The hunt for the murderer leads Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, to a place where every fantasy is possible, if you have the credentials to get in. Soon they confront some very important, very protected, and very dangerous people who will do anything to keep their secrets safe. As Alex closes in on the killer, he discovers evidence that points to the unimaginable – a revelation that could rock the entire world.
My Words: I think this would be my first ever completed James Patterson book. First ever completed – because I was reading one a few years ago and I don’t remember the exact circumstances but I had to leave the book midway. I never leave a book incomplete even if don’t like it. I can’t do that as it eats at me when I am trying to sleep at night. I know it’s a bit weird/OCD trait but then it is. So the point is I never got around getting to know JP’s writing. And after reading I, Alex Cross I have to say that I am a little bit disappointed after all the hype. Don’t get me wrong, the book has all the elements a crime mystery book should. What all, do you ask? Well, we have –
1. a chain of brutal murders
2. gruesome details of above (think plastic bags)
3. A playground of sorts for the rich and high-profile
4. White house involvement
5. High level cover up tucking it all in
6. Multiple gang involvements
7. An ill grandmother that Alex has to divide his time for
8. What else…ooh an engagement ring!
Of course the last two are not really the requisite variety for a crime thriller. But hey, there is always room for drama and romance!
So coming back to the story, the plot was actually excellent. There was the right amount of build-up for investigating, or working to solve the case going on. But there was nothing really that Alex does to solve the mystery. Everything is kind of handed in to him. How does his friend get all those inside details? Alex cross seems to be led by holding his hands to all the right places by someone else every time.
Also, the whole story lacks the ‘edge of the seat’ factor that you should always feel while reading a crime thriller. I have read crime thrillers ( Perry Mason series by Erle Stanley Gardener comes to mind in this moment) where you are almost to the end of the book but you really have no idea or just a slim one of who the killer is. In this book just after a while you can guess the culprit. Also, Zeus – that’s the name of the killer – has no particular mention of why he did all that he did, his mind-frame, his past etc., etc.
There are some loose ends, too, in the story. There is no explanation on the mob connection. Another case in point – why was Tucci returning Caroline’s remains to Philadelphia when all the other victims were buried in the woods? There are no explanations on these things and they seem to have been added just for the sake of embellishing the gruesome factor.
And Nana Mama! I think if you take out the whole storyline on Nana Mama you can actually have two different books! She is old – 90, suffers a heart attack, goes in a Coma, wakes up from the coma, still does not die, comes home and bakes cakes! And all through this, Alex juggles between looking after her in the hospital and solving the case. No wonder the others have to do all his work!
And what was with all those shorter than shortest chapters?
My verdict is that it could have been a better story, it just is not. It’s a 2.5 out of 5 from me.