Book Review: Alex Cross, Run – James Patterson

Book: Alex Cross, Run

Author: James Patterson

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Alex Cross RunToo much, yet not enough is how I would sum up James Patterson’s thriller, Alex Cross, Run.  When I started this book my hopes were high.  Finally, James Patterson came back to his serial killer roots.  My mouth salivated at the thought.  And after I read the blurb I couldn’t wait to get those pages turning.  So what the hell happened, Mr. Patterson?

Right away the book draws you in with Cross breaking up an underage sex party that the esteemed Dr. Elijah Creem (yeah Creem, I know) is throwing.  After having his reputation tarnished, Creem decides it’s all or nothing.  But Cross isn’t concerned about him because a dead woman turned up with her long blonde locks chopped to pieces.  Oh wait, then another dead woman turns up hanging from her balcony.  And then some random kid shows up dead.  If that isn’t enough, we meet this character, Guidice, who has a vendetta out against none other than Cross himself.

Phew, it sounds like a lot going on because, well, there is a ton going on.  It works in the beginning though, which really drew me in making me want more.  So much more.  Then it belly-flopped.  Hard.  Despite the name, Creem is quite a cunning and interesting villain, who Patterson almost ignores throughout the rest of the book.  Such a shame too because I think the tandem serial killer angle could have been one of his best since… The Matermind in Roses are Red.  So disappointing.  I want grit.  I want raunchy.  I want demonic killers who know they’re the best at what they do.  The beginning promises this, but doesn’t follow-though.  It’s almost as if Patterson used that plot line as filler fluff, which is where the real trouble starts.

I’m not sure what was the plot and subplot or if it was all plot, but either way it sure felt discombobulated at best.  And everything wrapped up way too fast.  The whole man-on-a-mission wanting revenge against Cross thing just distracted from the better part of the story.  So let’s discuss that character, Guidice, real quick.  I don’t understand how someone can go from family man to cold-blooded killer with the incident described.  Then seek vengeance against Cross who basically was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and didn’t directly hurt him.  And why the hell was he killing the way he was?  That’s never explained.  Ever.  I get that Patterson probably wants the reader to form his own conclusions because not all motives are explainable, but… give me something to form my conclusions on.  To theorize on.  To grab me.  Anything.

You know what I really wish?  I wish, instead of focusing so much on Guidice’s revenge (that we all know Cross will survive), Patterson only hinted at it throughout the book.  Tease me with a subplot that leaves you hanging only to explode in the next book.  Make me wonder why he’s seeking revenge.  None of this warm and fuzzy shit for endings.  If you’re going to wrap up a story with a pretty pink bow at least give me something to look forward to.  Because that’s a book I would buy.  This one… not so much.


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