Merry Christmas Alex Cross by James Patterson (Alex Cross #19)

My Rating: 3/5

Synopsis: On the night before Christmas, Detective Alex Cross is at home celebrating with his family. But when Alex’s phone rings, he knows that this won’t be a merry Christmas.

A father has taken his children and ex-wife hostage. Armed to the teeth and high on crystal meth, Henry Fowler is dangerously unstable. The lives of everyone in that house are hanging by a thread.

As this suburban nightmare is unfolding, another far greater threat is approaching. It will be a terrorist attack like Washington DC has never seen, and when nobody expects it.

My Review: When I read the synopsis, I immediately thought “is that it?”. The synopsis just seemed a bit ‘bleugh’ if you know what I mean. Sadly this latest Cross novel left me feeling exactly the same way. As ever with any JP book, the chapters are short and sharp meaning it’s incredibly easy to read. Sadly a few chapters in, and I just had that dreaded feeling of “I’ve been here before with this character”.

The Henry Fowler character takes his children and ex-wife hostage and as usual Alex Cross is called in, but it happens to be Christmas morning. The story started to pick up pace and I thought we may well have been in for a treat, but I was to be disappointed as that part of the story finished rather abruptly. The reader is then briskly rushed onto the next part of the story involving a terrorist plot. I don’t recall how far into the book this happened but it all just felt a bit disjointed.

The second plot of the book involving the terrorist plot certainly had all the right elements. However, it just seemed to lack any real feeling. I have been reading James Patterson for years and I took the time to pull my older reviews up today. It seems like my opinion of mediocrity has been recurring for a few years now and it seems like I am not learning my lesson. It feels like a huge number of us Patterson readers keep reading through both loyalty, and the hope that he will once again create brilliance like his early days.

Overall, it’s a book that would keep you entertained for a few hours, but that’s it. It shows how my interest is waning when I wait nearly a year from publication to read a Cross book. No doubt I will swiftly move onto the next book (book 20 in the series entitled Alex Cross Run). Overall, not a terrible read, just not like some of his earlier books.

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