Cross Fire Review
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For nearly two decades, fans have been following the adventures of James Patterson’s beloved hero, Alex Cross—to the point that, for many readers, he now seems less like a fictional character and more like an old friend. With each new release, they’re eager to read more about his relationships, his kids, and his feisty grandmother, Nana Mama. And with Cross Fire, Patterson’s 17th novel featuring Cross, the best-selling author effortlessly juggles Cross’s personal life with a pair of deadly new cases and the return of an old rival.

Most people have time to enjoy their engagement and plan their wedding—but that’s not the case for Cross and his fiancée, Detective Bree Stone. A killer is striking the city’s homeless, leaving strange numbers and formulas carved in their corpses—and Cross is called in to help his friend and partner, John Sampson, investigate.

  
 
At the same time, a sniper has started killing Washington’s powerful and corrupt. As local businessmen and politicians begin to fear for their lives, Cross works with the FBI to track those responsible. But he has no idea that Max Siegel, the FBI agent he’s been assigned to work with, isn’t who he says he is.

Somehow, Patterson manages to squeeze a little bit of everything into Cross Fire. There’s plenty of action, suspense, murder, politics, conspiracy, romance, family drama, some theoretical mathematics, and even a light-hearted laugh or two. It’s as warm and inviting as a coffee break with a good friend, but it’s also as brisk and invigorating as a race down a snow-covered hill. And as Cross’s old friend turned bitter enemy prepares for their final battle, the suspense will take your breath away.

The two ongoing investigations—the snipers and the numbers killer—ensure that the story moves along at breakneck speeds, but neither case is entirely satisfying. The numbers case often gets lost in the shuffle—and, in the end, it seems a bit too simple. The sniper case, on the other hand, is well-developed, but it leaves a few nagging unanswered questions.

Still, as is often the case with Alex Cross novels, the most important aspects of the story aren’t really the manhunts or the murder investigations. Alex Cross is such a well-loved character because he’s more than just a crime solver. He’s also a father, a grandson, a friend, and a fiancé—and that added personal touch gives each case an added sense of urgency. Not only will you care about Cross, but you’ll care about his family and friends as well.

So while the multiple cases make Cross Fire another thrilling and suspenseful installment in the best-selling series, fans will find themselves just as engrossed in the personal parts of the story. It’s a fast-paced, well-balanced thriller.

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