Cross Country Review
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During his long, illustrious career as a detective, Dr. Alex Cross has investigated more murders than he cares to remember. But when he’s called to a beautiful home in Georgetown to investigate yet another murder scene, he isn’t prepared for the horrors inside. As he examines the aftermath of the gruesome murders of a married couple and their three young daughters, it’s more than just the senseless nature of the crime that strikes Cross—it’s that one of the victims is an old college friend.

This time, as they say, it’s personal. So Cross searches with even more fervor than usual, eventually coming face-to-face with a mysterious man and his ruthless gang of killer boys. When the killer—known only as the Tiger—disappears, only to show up again in Nigeria, Cross starts packing his bags. But he soon finds that the horrors he’s witnessed in the States pale in comparison to what’s waiting for him in Africa.

  
 
Cross Country is unlike any other Alex Cross novel. This time, Cross finds himself miles out of his jurisdiction, chasing the worst serial killer he’s ever come across. And as he’s searching for justice for his old friend, he ends up witnessing some of the world’s most detestable injustices—in the prisons of Nigeria, the diamond mines of Sierra Leone, and the refugee camps of Sudan. As a result, Cross Country is often difficult to read. It’s much more horrifying than the standard serial killer thriller—because it’s so disturbingly real.

At times, however, the main story gets lost in Patterson’s message about the injustices in Africa. Though it isn’t as obvious as his global warming message in Maximum Ride: The Final Warning, it does sometimes distract from the plot. He may make a powerful point, but the story sometimes suffers in the process. After Alex arrives in Africa, for instance, the story gets caught up in a muddle of enemies—some of whom may or may not be working for various governments…or the Tiger…or maybe even the CIA. And even in the end, after all of the questions have supposedly been answered, it’s not entirely clear who was working with whom. The connections seem tenuous at best.

On the other hand, though, when it comes to action, adventure, and heart-pounding thrills, Cross Country doesn’t disappoint. In fact, you might need to set the book aside from time to time, just to catch your breath—because the action doesn’t let up. Cross is chased, tortured, and shot at—and as soon as he gets himself out of one deadly situation, there’s another one right around the next corner.

So while Patterson’s latest story may not be entirely solid, the thrills are non-stop. As long as you’re willing to overlook the plot’s shortcomings, Cross Country is a high-octane adventure that’s just the thing for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies.

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