Everyone needs to read something a little mind-numbing from time to time, right?
After the mammoth The Brothers Karamazov, I really needed to read something very light. And to a great extent, Cross fits the bill.
Cross is one in a series of books written by James Patterson, and is arguably the most popular of Patterson’s works. Alex Cross is the good guy psychologist/crime detective. He is tormented by the unsolved murder of his wife many years back, and in this book it appears that he may finally get the chance to catch the killer.
The villain is “The Butcher” , a psychotic, Mafia hired assassin/hitman (who not only murders for money but enjoys raping women too. A father and husband by day, Michael Sullivan (aka The Butcher), when his path crosses with Alex’s, then the action starts to heat up.
Alex Cross soon gets convincing evidence that The Butcher has murdered his wife. But how is he to trap him? The Butcher seems to be foiling every move that Alex makes. The rest of the book pretty much deals with the cat and mouse chase between them. There is also a mild twist at the end, but not very interesting.
The book is a decent but bland read – strictly for times when you are stranded at the airport…or looking for something extra-lite.
Patterson’s habit of having 2-page chapters reduces the potential to create a deeper, meaningful novel with complex characterization/plot.
Alex Cross is also a bit too much of a perfect guy. Throughout the novel, he overdoes the sweetness to a level where it makes me almost gag. The chapters where he bonds with his children or reminiscences about his dead wife were extremely annoying and corny.