CROSS THE LINE Updates the Story of Alex Cross, James Patterson's Best Character

Book Review - Jackie K Cooper
CROSS THE LINE by James Patterson

James Patterson is a prolific writer who seems to author at least one book a month. Most of those are with a co-author but each book still retains the "Patterson flavor". However it is when Patterson writes the Alex Cross series that he excels. These he writes alone and has done so for many, many years. The latest in the series, number twenty-four to be exact, is titled CROSS THE LINE and it is one of the better Cross books to date.

To be a good Cross book, Patterson has to include information about police detective Alex Cross' family. This includes his wife Bree, who is also a DC police detective; Cross' grandmother Nana Mama; his sons Damon and Ali; and his daughter Jannie. All of these people add to the personal affect of the Alex Cross stories, and in CROSS THE LINE they are all present and accounted for.

This book starts off with a double murder that strikes close to home for Alex. It also proves to have an impact that changes the status of some members of the family. Still just as Alex and Bree are caught up in investigating this crime there comes another series of murders, followed by a third set of criminal actions. It seems the DC area is being hit on all sides by a crime wave. This requires the help of Ned Mahoney and the FBI.

Patterson keeps all the action flowing in his most readable fashion which means each chapter is a page or two in length. The content is still there but somehow breaking it all down into short passages adds to the speed with which the reader absorbs the story. Patterson has been doing it for years and the brevity of chapters has become one of the hallmarks of his tales.

It should also be noted that Patterson makes his stories very personal. He addresses issues between Alex and his wife, as well as continuing the story of the three children and how they are growing up. Plus at the heart of every story is Nana Mama, an indefatigable nonogenarian who is the core of love in this family. She is a standout in each and every book and Patterson writes about her with love and affection.

James Patterson provides us with a wealth of new material every year, but it is when he tells us an Alex Cross story that he shows the best of his talent. CROSS THE LINE give us an update on Alex Cross, his career and his family while also being a fun and exciting reading. You should start on it today. So don't cross it off your list (pun intended).

CROSS THE LINE is published by Little, Brown and Company. It contains 400 pages and sells for $29.00.

Jackie K Cooper