This was the novel that introduced Alex Cross to the world. This is a plot driven book with short chapters, that keeps you turning the pages to find out what will happen. Two children are kidnapped from a top private school in Washington DC, by a teacher, known as “Chips” (after the popular Mr Chips).
Alex Cross is a black detective working on some gruesome thrill killings in the projects, but he is called off the case to investigate the kidnapping. The kidnapper, Gary Soneji, wants fame, he sees himself as the “son of Lindbergh”, he wants to be somebody. The psychological duel between the two is what keeps the book moving. It is a mix of psychological thriller, police procedural and courtroom drama. If you are looking for deep character development this probably isn’t the book for you but if you want a gripping plot, Patterson delivers the goods. The book is made to be filmed and there is a film with Morgan Freeman, playing Alex Cross, which I have yet to see, though I hear it differs markedly from the book.
Alex Cross’ love interest Jessie, an ambitious agent with the FBI seems a little one dimensional, but maybe the author just wanted to insert a burning cross near their South Carolina lovenest. Who put the cross there is not explained and there are some other gaping plot holes, but it is still a gripping read.
Some novels you read for the beautiful language and others for the fun of the plot.This is certainly the latter.
You might be surprised with all my criticism that I award this novel the full five stars, it caused me to miss my metro stop and it kept me reading at home, where other books can’t compete with the clickbait-lure of Facebook. It does what it says on the tin, who would ask for more?
My rating 5 out of 5