Cross My Heart by James Patterson (Alex Cross #21)

My Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: Alex Cross’s whole world is crashing down around him.

He has been hunted, stalked like prey, his predator priming himself for the kill.

Cross has devoted his life to protecting others. Now he’s unable to protect even those closest to him.

As a police detective, he has made many enemies, but never like this.

Everything he loves is being taken from him.

Soon he will have nothing and no one left.

My Review: I am guessing that if you are reading this review you know about James Patterson and his infamous Alex Cross series of books (who doesn’t?). I will be honest and say that I am extremely critical when it comes to JP, and for good reason. In one respect he is the King of this genre and has been in this game for many years, however it seems like in recent years, myself along with a growing number of fans are getting tired of the book churning going on. According to Forbes his earnings were $91 million as of 2013, so it seems his success is certainly paying off. However, to earn that sort of money and be so successful over so many years he HAS to have the talent, surely? Well, if this book is anything to go by we see glimpses of why he has got to where he has. However, I think MANY fans feel like they have been ripped off as the book itself ends on a major cliff-hanger meaning you HAVE to buy the follow on to find out what becomes of one of the most well known fictional characters in recent times.

The flip side of that is that although it ends on a major cliff-hanger, the story itself was a LOT better than many recent additions to the Cross series. It almost felt like Patterson was trying to give the series a boost by switching the table on Cross and instead of him being the hunter, he has become the hunted. As usual the short sharp chapters were in abundance and there seems to be two main plot threads running through this book. I found myself enjoying the story and actually liking the fact that for the first time in a while we are reading something new with Cross being on the receiving end. We also see the usual suspects alongside Cross such as his partner John, wife Bee and the rest of his family.

The last part of the book was better than the first half but when I realised where Patterson was heading with the ending I had mixed feelings. When I say he ended it on a cliff-hanger I mean it! There is no glimpse into whether Alex has any light at the end of the tunnel. However, from past experience, and feeling cheated with some of his ‘co-written’ books I made a decision a while ago to not rush out and buy these books pre-publication. Now I sit back and wait until the price comes down or the mood takes me. I think many people (myself included) would actually prefer James Patterson to announce that he is planning on only publishing one or two books a year. People would be pre-ordering until the cows came home. Myself, I would rather wait a whole year for one amazing book, than buy and read 4 or 5 that are mediocre. Thankfully this latest Cross was a vast improvement, but get the impression a lot of people are unhappy at the ending. I thought the series felt a little bit refreshed and the writing was certainly leaning more towards his original style. However, there is still a long way to go before we see the return of the old style writing Patterson used to do. I’m going to cross my fingers and hope that the next book shows me just that!

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