Cross Country by James Patterson (#14 Alex Cross)

Cross Country (Alex Cross, #14)

Cross Country by James Patterson

Published: 2008

4stars

 

Cross Country by James Patterson is the 14th in the Alex Cross Series.  This one — truly riveting.

I have been having mixed feelings about this series.  I haven’t really appreciated Alex Cross and his womanizing ways, and his ego that knows no bounds.  However, this one….

First, this one is not for the frail.  There has been a lot of negativity about this book because of the violence.  It tells a brutal story, with details.  I think it had to be told this way.

When Alex and Bree are called to the gruesome murder scene of a family in Washington, Alex realizes that he had once been in love with the female victim.  Ellie Cox/Randall, her husband, and their son had been brutally killed in their home.  Further investigation leads Alex to believe that it has something to do with a trip to Nigeria that Ellie had just returned from, and was writing about.  When another family suffers a similar fate, Alex can take no more.  Against all sanity, all reason, and all of his family’s wishes, Alex boards a plane to Africa, hot on the trail of someone called “The Tiger”, and his young team of thugs, who seem to be killers for hire.

Alex follows The Tiger’s trail through Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Darfur, only to stay one step behind.  Alex is stopped at every turn.  He is beaten, tortured, imprisoned — all more than once.  But he doesn’t give up.  Help from the CIA is intermittent, and Alex is finally befriended by a reporter, who offers to help,  but who has her own reasons for hunting this beast.  Government and police forces seem to be against Alex.  He is in a strange land, and no longer knows who to trust.  When he finally has a name for the Tiger, he thinks he is on the right track.  But things go seriously wrong….both in Africa, and at home.

Patterson took some chances with this one.  He tried to enlighten people with what has happened in some countries as the result of civil unrest.  It is frightening.  However, not everyone wants such graphic images running around in their heads.  He took some chances, but that is what made it a good book.

His short chapters really add the feeling of desperation to this book, and although Alex is still rather egotistical, he is also humbled.  This story was a little deeper than the rest in this series.  Hopefully it is a sign of things to come.

I enjoyed it!

Re-Read: February 2017

Favorite Quotes from Cross Country:

“…but war is like fire, yes? Even as it burns something away, it leaves fertile ground.”

“YOU THINK YOU know what’s going to happen in life.  But you never do.”

 

About the Author:  JAMES PATTERSON published his first thriller in 1976 and since then has become one of the best-known and bestselling writers of all time, with more than 140 million copies of his books sold worldwide.

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