I, Alex Cross Review
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Best-selling author James Patterson is famous for writing gripping, high-speed thrillers that refuse to be set aside. But, this time, with I, Alex Cross, it won’t be the investigation that will keep you turning pages, racing to see how it all ends.

Detective Alex Cross has never really had a normal life—the kind that allows time for undisturbed meals and family celebrations. So when he gets a call during his birthday party, it’s really no surprise. The surprise, however, comes when he hears that the latest victim is his niece, Caroline. Alex and his family haven’t seen her in years—not since his brother’s death—and now she’s been killed in a particularly gruesome way.

As the investigation begins, Alex discovers some troubling things about his niece—and her lifestyle. Even more troubling, though, is the number of others who may have shared her grisly fate—all of whom seem to point back to an exclusive gentlemen’s club in the middle of nowhere.

But Alex isn’t the only one searching for answers. The case has already made its way to the White House—and the Secret Service is doing some investigating of its own.

Meanwhile, the Cross family is shaken even more when Alex’s grandmother, Nana, collapses, forcing him to split his time between investigating Caroline’s murder and sitting by Nana’s bedside.

Patterson’s I, Alex Cross isn’t the same break-neck thrill ride that you might expect from a Cross novel. Sure, the murders are gruesome—and even a bit sensational—and, with the Secret Service involved, the stakes are higher than ever before. But while the story still speeds right along (thanks to Patterson’s trademark super-short chapters), the action doesn’t have the same sense of urgency that it usually does. And although there are a few twists along the way, the outcome is all too predictable.

But while the case is somewhat disappointing, it isn’t really the focal point of the latest Cross adventure. Instead, the focus of I, Alex Cross is on the family drama. First, Caroline’s murder dredges up old memories—and old hurts. Then, after Nana collapses, the family is forced to adjust to her condition—which may or may not improve.

Of course, if you’ve never read an Alex Cross novel before, this obviously isn’t the best place to start—because it’ll make you feel like an outsider at a family reunion. But if you’ve been following Cross for years, you’ll already feel like you’re a part of the family—and you’ll feel a pretty strong attachment to tough but loving old Nana Mama, who’s always kept the family from grounded. She’s a major part of what makes the series stand out from other crime thrillers—because she’s always there to offer wisdom, warnings, and a big, hearty breakfast. And as the family gathers at her bedside, readers, too, will be concerned for her health—and the case will understandably seem less important.

So while I, Alex Cross is still a suspenseful read, it’s suspenseful in a way that you might not expect. More than a crime thriller, it’s an absorbing family drama—one that will keep long-time fans perched on the edge of their favorite reading chairs.

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