It was amazing to return to the corrupt and thrilling world where the policeman, psychologist and all around great family man, Alex Cross tries to solve insanely complex. homicide cases. Although often extremely violent and upsetting, dealing with the darkest sides of what crimes humans can commit, I love reading this series and the majority of the entries are highly addictive. Like the other books, this is a complete standalone novel although extra layers are added if they are visited consecutively in the correct order. If you are new to Patterson’s series or like me, read my last entry 6-months ago and am now returning to the brutal environment of Washington D.C, hints and reminders are given regarding past events so the context and past actions are provided without ever dumbing it down too much for the die hard readers.
To quickly summarise, the tale is about 2-world class killers operating an ocean apart. One being, Gary Soneji, infamous murderer and kidnapper from Along Came A Spider, and the Jack The Ripper-esque Mr. Smith who journalists have referred to as an alien. Trains and cellars are frequently mentioned regarding Soneji’s troubled youth and what is worse is that this genius psychopath, after escaping prison now has nothing to lose. As for Mr. Smith, we know nothing about him, he is only referred to in passing for the first half of the narrative.
As usual, readers follow Alex’s 1st person perspective for the majority, however, other viewpoints such as those of trusted partner Detective John Sampson and the killer Gary Soneji are presented in the 3rd person. As the previous books, I like the use of this device and I think it works admirably well. At all points, the reader knows more than Alex and I find it intriguing to see how he deduces minute details, gets into the minds of a monster and then hopefully solves the crimes. In the 3rd quarter of the book, Alex is out of action for parts, so for the first time in the series, another character is entitled to first person privileges. The brilliant blonde pony-tailed flaunting FBI agent, Thomas Pierce. He is a great character with a mind that rivals Alex’s although he is still emotionally distraught following the murder of his partner at the hands of Mr. Smith. It is really interesting flowing in the minds of these amazing individuals. I like to question what I would think or do in the same scenarios that they find themselves frequenting within. That is a large part of the fun for me. I wonder if a real detective would be able to predict the way the plot progressed, the numerous twists, and crazy revelations whilst reading this. It is an adrenaline pumping thrill ride of a book with turns and twists aplenty. One of the revelations, however; did seem a little bit too convenient, although not predictable, something about it doesn’t quite fit right with me. I thought this revelation was to misguide the reader to then shock more when the further truth was revealed. I was over-thinking and it wasn’t that complex. I don’t think this book it is as unpredictable and intricate as some of Patterson’s prior entries. I always seem to enjoy these books and generally race through them within a couple of days. If you haven’t read an Alex Cross novel then you really need to do yourself a favour and start one. The action is on par with Die Hard.