Alex Cross: Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson – Book Review [Bane of Kings]
Bane of Kings reviews the thrilling eighteenth novel in the bestselling Alex Cross series by James Patterson, entitled Kill Alex Cross.
“Fast paced, action packed and page-turning. Patterson knows how to keep you hooked from page one right the way through.” -The Founding Fields
I´m going to start by saying that I haven´t read all of the Alex Cross novels by James Patterson – in fact, I haven´t even read half of them. However, this is a series that you don´t really need to read in order, in my opinion at least. I´ve read Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls, Jack and Jill, Pop Goes the Weasel, Cat and Mouse, Cross Country, Alex Cross´s Trial and I, Alex Cross, and have been kept entertained by all of them. Sure, some may be better than others, but Patterson can often keep me entertained. Despite being the most prolific author that I know (With what seems like an endless list of titles to his name), the Alex Cross series for me at least remains the best of his work.
Kill Alex Cross is faster, more exciting, and more tightly wound than any Alex Cross thriller James Patterson has ever written!
The President’s son and daughter are abducted, and Detective Alex Cross is one of the first on the scene. But someone very high up is using the FBI, Secret Service, and CIA to keep him off the case and in the dark.
A deadly contagion in the water supply cripples half of the capital, and Cross discovers that someone may be about to unleash the most devastating attack the United States has ever experienced. As his window for solving both crimes narrows, Alex makes a desperate decision that goes against everything he believes – one that may alter the fate of the entire country.
The novel itself starts strong, and we´re thrown into the thick of things right after the President´s children are kidnapped. We learn how the United States would react to a situation like this, and Patterson manages to make this not only realistic but also manages to keep the pages flicking by, with his really short chapters that kept me reading even after I promised myself “just one more chapter.” Pretty much every Patterson novel that I´ve read has been able to achieve this, no matter whether they´re his young-adult Maximum Ride novels or the Alex Cross series themselves.
I haven´t read that many crime novels (In fact I believe outisde of James Patterson, I´ve only read David Baldacci´s Split Second, most of the Sherlock Homes stories and a couple of other indivudal titles, and if I had to pick a genre that I would love to explore more about well, it would either be this one or Steampunk, as I’m way behind on my Steampunk reading as well. However, Kill Alex Cross was a nice return to the genre, as I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy/sci-fi novels lately. But as much as I wanted to say it was a perfect read, Kill Alex Cross did ultimatley suffer from a few flaws.
The title itself is pretty much misleading, for one. The novel isn’t wholly about Killing Alex Cross, it’s about terrorists plotting to destroy America, which although is just a minor flaw, is still noteworthy. Don’t go in expecting a novel about people chasing after our main character, or you will be dissapointed.
What Kill Alex Cross is though, is an entertaining read. Patterson is once again proving that he hasn’t lost his touch yet, and manages to still keep the Alex Cross series fresh even after having this many books released in this novel, and the pace is fast all the way through, with no dull moment. You won’t want to skip a few pages in this novel to find out what happens next, and although the ending is a bit anti-climatic with a few plot threads left hanging, you’ll want to stick it out to the end.
You don’t feel as though Cross is at risk anywhere in this novel though, and I think that’s true for at least the latter books in the series. You know the main character and his family isn’t going to fall, despite the many times that they’ve flirted with death. The author seems to care about his characters too much, and this is where the novel lets us down a bit. In the earlier novels there were some cases where I thought, hang on, Cross might not make it out alive here, but… even though I haven’t read every novel in this series, I can tell that Cross has gained the status of being practically invincible.
There’s even a possible reference to the BBC/Starz series Torchwood in here, which left me smiling, as well as the use of “The Family” as one of the antonagists. Well done, Mr. Patterson, well done.
Although Kill Alex Cross may not be perfect, I believe because it kept me entertained, enthralled, and hooked right the way through, and among other reasons – this novel, in my opinion – deserves the rating that I’m about to give it:
The Alex Cross Series: Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls, Jack and Jill, Cat and Mouse, Pop Goes the Weasel, Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Four Blind Mice, The Big Bad Wolf, London Bridges, Mary, Mary, Cross, Double Cross, Cross Country, Alex Cross’ Trial, I, Alex Cross, Cross Fire, Kill Alex Cross.