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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review: Alex Cross, Run

Title: Alex Cross, Run
Author: James Patterson
Series: Alex Cross (#10)
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 
 February 18, 2013
Reviewer: Ethan

Review: James Patterson is known as much for his fast paced, escapist thrillers as he is for his prolific output and controversial use of co-authors. The Alex Cross series, perhaps Patterson's most popular creation, is notable in that it is the only series that Patterson continues to author on his own. With Alex Cross, Run, the twentieth entry in the series, Patterson continues to give readers everything they have come to expect from this fantastic character.

Plastic surgeon Elijah Creem's life is in a downward spiral. It began when detective Alex Cross busted him in an underage sex scheme. In an instant, he lost his career, wife, and children. Now he is determined to escape. He turns to an old college friend for help. Together they begin to revive a game that they played years ago. Using his expertise of the human body and ability to disguise his looks, Creem's game soon takes a deadly turn, leaving bodies across D.C for Cross to discover.

But Alex has more pressing matters to deal with. Readers of the series will recall the way Patterson uses Cross's family as a means to manipulate his emotions and distract him from his job. He does this again, this time using the Cross Family's newest edition, Ava. Ava is a foster child who lost her mother the previous year. Despite her cautious personality, she seems to be adapting to her new family well. All of this changes when she does not make it into the prestigious private school that Jannie, Alex's daughter, is accepted to. Soon she becomes withdrawn and the Cross family fears she is using drugs. Unfortunate circumstances surrounding Alex's job soon force the state to remove Ava from the Cross home. Now Alex must try to solve the gruesome murders while dealing with an increasingly stressful personal life.

Recently I've noticed a shift in focus within this series. Before, it seemed that Patterson's main intent was providing the most thrilling and original mysteries that he could. Recently, probably beginning with, Cross, he has shifted his focus to his main character, Alex Cross. Originally I praised this decision, as it brought a fresh perspective and much needed depth to the series. This is the first time, however, that I feel this focus on character development has actually made the mystery suffer. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy the book, but I feel that the crimes, and there were a lot of them, took a backseat to Alex's personal problems. Hopefully the next installment will get back to the kind of unique mystery that made me fall in love with this series from the first book. Still, this is a fine continuation of Alex Cross's story.

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