Violets Are Blue Review
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This was my first James Patterson novel and right away, I sensed I had made a mistake. Violets Are Blue is the latest in the Alex Cross series of detective thrillers. I should have known better than to pick up the latest, rather than the first in a series. There were several questions stemming from previous books in the series that kept plaguing me. Who was this “Mastermind” guy? What was his connection to Alex Cross? Why was he stalking Alex across the country? What about Alex' love life? What happened to his family?

On its own merits, Violets Are Blue is an intriguing story. Ace detective Alex Cross is confronted with a heinous double murder, suggestive of a macabre ritual of vampirism. Bodies start popping up all over the count
ry as Alex tries to track the killer or killers. Meanwhile, Mastermind, a brilliant homicidal maniac, once again begins to plague Cross with threatening phone calls and taunting messages. The murders lead Alex to San Francisco where he partners up with the beautiful SFPD inspector, Jamilla Hughes. She gladly joins him on his cross-country hunt for the vampire killers. At the same time, the Mastermind is closing in on Cross, who has to try to figure out Mastermind's next move in order to save himself. The discovery of the true identity of Mastermind leads to a deadly confrontation.

The split narrative of James Patterson's Violets Are Blue was disquieting to me. The vampire thread of the plot is thrilling and tense, filled with the intrigue and suspense one would expect from a vampire story. The Mastermind thread seems somewhat contrived to tie up loose ends, leaving me with more questions than answers. I'm sure that those who had read the previous Alex Cross stories would know the answers to these questions and flow along with the story.

Overall, the book is well worth reading. Patterson's style of writing, his sharp, active sentences and short chapters, (116 in this book!) make reading his novels an enjoyable experience.

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