Review of ~ James Patterson – Along Came A Spider (Alex Cross #1)

9/10

I am honestly speechless after reading that. Everything that a thriller should be. I am embarrassed to say that this is the first James Patterson book I have read (excluding his book shot series).

Although I was unfamiliar with his work- I think everyone who likes fiction has heard of Alex Cross.

He was one of many standout characters in this novel. Alex Cross, detective, doctor of psychology, hypnotiser, friends of the poor people when he helps out at a food shelter, respected by the black people for never leaving the ‘hood following his glittering career, great family man and a bit of genius who cannot give up a case. Although hard and rough when he needs to be, practical as they come – the crimes he sees sometimes upset him – such as deaths of young children.

Enter our villain:
Gary Murphy/ Soneji. Actor. Manipulator. Tortured past. Horrid present.

Other important characters include Alex’s best friend and partner, sunglasses wielding 6’6+ copper Sampson & FBI agent Jezzie Flannagan who is part of Alex’s team of experts to hopefully solve the world’s most infamous case.

The story commences with a kidnapping of two children from a $10,000 a term school by a Maths Teacher! One was the son of the Secretary of State. One was the daughter of this fictional world’s equivalent of Angelina Jolie.

There are also a few brutal murders that have been lurking around the suburbs that are a bit too grim to describe here. The book talks a lot about cruelty to children – and we have seen both sides… people who have received this agony and viewpoints of it being given. Macabre!

How does this all fit together? When I thought I knew where this book was going… Patterson would kick sand into my eyes and it would take a crazy direction. I thought I had been metaphorically blindfolded by the author, kidnapped, dropped off in the woods 70 miles away with Patterson laughing at me grotesquely; saying – here are a few clues – figure this out! Hahaha!

Friends and colleagues might not be that transparent. Is the villain a psychopath or a sufferer from multiple-personality disorder? Will the families pay the ransom? Do the children survive? Are the kidnappings related to the murders? Is there an accomplice? Is it even deeper than that? How many deaths can one person cause? Who can we trust?

I won’t mention the specific twists or plot too much as that is what makes this book special. It was brilliantly written. Mixing up pacing here and there. Slow scenes with Alex and Family. The middle-paced romance scenes with Alex and a special someone and also blood-racing turn-the-page 700 miles an hour sections.

This was brilliant. I wish I had more of his Alex Cross novels. I might watch the film but I have heard it isn’t very good.

That was a thrill. Detective Inspector James x

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