Kill Alex Cross Review
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Ever since James Patterson first released Along Came a Spider in 1992, readers have had plenty of time to get to know and love Washington, D.C. detective and forensic psychologist Alex Cross. They’ve seen him take on killers and kidnappers and sinister cult leaders—but they’ve also seen him raise a family, fall in love, and bicker with his feisty grandmother, Nana Mama. And it’s that perfect blend of crime-solving and family drama that once again comes shining through in his latest adventure, Kill Alex Cross.

As soon as the report of a possible kidnapping comes over the radio, Cross races to the Branaff School to offer his assistance. When he arrives, he finds the school swarming with cops and Secret Service agents—and it isn’t long before he learns that the young victims are President Coyle’s two kids.

Since he has experience in kidnapping cases, Cross offers to help, but the agents in charge do everything they can to keep him out of the loop. It isn’t until the First Lady herself requests Cross for the case that he’s brought into the investigation.

At the same time, Washington is also hit by a number of terrorist attacks, putting the city’s residents—and the government—on full alert, while investigators wonder whether the two cases are connected.

Kill Alex Cross is yet another lightning-quick addition to the Cross collection. The urgency of the kidnapping investigation keeps the story speeding along, while the investigation—though not necessarily detailed and intricately developed—will keep readers guessing. Then, once the kidnapper’s identity is revealed, it’s a race to gather the proof—and find the kids before it’s too late.

The terrorism plot, however, seems forced and unnecessary—not to mention clichéd. From the beginning, the terrorists’ identity is known—and, not surprisingly, they’re American-hating Muslim extremists from the Middle East. While this certainly plays into the present-day fears of many Americans, it feels over-sensationalized, only encouraging anti-Muslim paranoia. It may be a timely scenario, but I think it’s about time we gave Muslims a break and found some new villains to fight.

Still, Kill Alex Cross is so much more than just another police procedural—and much of its appeal lies outside the investigations. Sure, it’s thrilling to follow along as Cross fights to save the president’s kids—especially since the case causes him to make some difficult decisions. But it’s always fun to take a peek inside the Cross family’s lives—to see how newlyweds Alex and Bree are faring and to learn about Nana Mama’s latest cause (and this one’s a big one, affecting the whole family). Though outside characters—like the kidnapper—aren’t fully developed, the likable main characters and their ongoing storylines make up for it.

Kill Alex Cross may not be the kind of complicated, captivating mystery that will challenge experienced armchair sleuths, but if you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller with an unwavering hero, you can’t go wrong with Patterson’s latest Alex Cross adventure.

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