Author: James Patterson
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Are you kidding me? Where is the damn ending? Who does that?? That’s what all the reviews said before I read James Patterson’s Cross My Heart. So I’m going into this thinking, great this book is gonna suck… yet I’ll torture myself anyway, why not? Not like I have nine-million other things on my to-do list. But you know what? The ending wasn’t that bad. Sure, I might not have ended it quite like James Patterson did, but then again I’m not James Patterson selling a million novels a year (I wish! Maybe someday, haha). I still have a beef with the book, but we’ll get to that. First a little background…
Patterson’s main character, Alex Cross, finds himself the target of genius maniac who wants to prove that he is the ultimate criminal; the one who will beat Alex Cross. But Cross’s case-load is too busy for him to notice. Too busy to notice that his family, the ones he cares most about and would do anything for, may be the real targets. And the ones in the most danger.
Okay, so I could have summed up that blurb with just the first sentence. Boom. Done. Because everything else that is happening in the book feels like filler. An after-thought even. Like, oh shit I missed my word count… time to pile in some other stuff to please the publishers. And let me tell you, there’s A LOT of other stuff going on. Too much. It’s a tilt-a-whirl of different characters, actions, thoughts, criminal activity, issues… all mixing together in the nighttime lights and boy did I feel dizzy. Every time I would flip the page I wondered who would be speaking next. Don’t get me wrong, I like hearing the story from different character point-of-views, but please try to limit it to two or three. When you’re getting input from everyone it’s hard to hear the story. Not that there is much to tell. There’s so many events happening that you don’t get a chance to really sink your teeth in and enjoy it, feel it, imagine it and become a part of the book. One of the very reasons I read in the first place.
At least in Cross My Heart, Patterson is getting back to his serial killer roots. Thank goodness he’s laid off that political terrorist angle. If I wanted to read that I would read the news. But it’s so disappointing how quickly the serial killer part of the story wraps up. Just as it’s getting good, bam. It’s over. That’s all folks. Even as I sit here writing this, I still want to know more about the killer. But when you have so much going on there’s only a certain amount of time each issue can have. Unfortunately, the best part got cheated.
And I get that this is Patterson’s twenty-first Cross novel. (Twenty-one, crazy!) Which makes me think the series might be getting a little rusty, dusty, so he’s probably trying to spruce it up a bit. There’s only so many times your hero can be in danger and come out unscathed before it starts getting old. I think the author George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) said it best, “I want my readers, and I want viewers to be afraid when my characters are in danger,” he adds. “I want them to be afraid to turn the next page because the next character may not survive it.” In other words, “all men must die”. Maybe Patterson should take some notes.
Oh and another thing about the ending… Sure it kinda feels like a ploy to get the reader to buy the next book, but I guess I look at it as a cliffhanger. Something that makes you want to buy the next book, not feel like you’re obligated to, which if that’s the case then I think there’s a bigger issue with your writing then just the “lack of an ending”. If anything, I think Patterson should keep one thing in mind…
“In writing, you must kill all your darlings” ~ William Faulkner