Cross Justice by James Patterson

The Alex Cross series by prolific author James Patterson has remained a consistent favorite of mine over the years. It has become a kind of tradition that I get the copy of the latest installment as a Christmas gift. As expected, I was gifted a copy of the latest novel Cross the Line this past holiday. I opened the pages of the book and was faced with a shocking realization. Somehow, I had missed the previous novel, Cross Justice! I raced to my bookshelf, and there it sat. I definitely remember opening it as a gift the year before, but for some reason I never got around to reading it. And so before reading and reviewing the latest novel, I present my review of Cross Justice a year later than expected.

Cross Justice finds Alex and his family heading to Starksville, North Carolina. Alex and his elderly grandmother Nana Mama are particularly anxious about returning to the town they once called home. Violence and drug addiction were motivating factors in the pair moving to Washington D.C. many years ago. They haven't returned to the town since that move, but now the family needs help.

Alex's cousin Stefan is in prison awaiting trial for the brutal murder of one of his students. Despite the damning amount of evidence to the contrary, Stefan maintains his innocence. At the urging of his niece Naomi Cross, a lawyer who fans of the series may remember from her part in the novel Kiss the Girls, Alex has come to lend his investigative prowess and clout. As he digs deeper into the odd circumstances of the murder, he finds more than he ever imagined . . . secrets of his own disturbing past.

Cross Justice, the twenty-third novel in the Alex Cross series, has all the trademarks of a James Patterson thriller. Short chapters and non-stop action make the book a quick and easy read. I've always noted the focus on family life and character development as one of the reasons I enjoy the Alex Cross series. In this case, I'm afraid we have too much of a good thing. The novel spends so much time focussing on the drama of the Cross family, that it distracts from the main mystery. There is even a subplot about a male killer who dresses as a woman to commit his crimes that seems to only exist to pad the book. We gain a much deeper insight into Cross's backstory, but a rushed resolution and hokey emotional ending make Cross Justice into one of the weaker installments in the series. That being said, I'll always be a fan of the series and look forward to as many Alex Cross novels as James Patterson can produce.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads.

(2017, 11)

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4 Responses to “Cross Justice by James Patterson”

  1. I enjoy Patterson, and have read a few of these. I too found them to be quick and easy with lots of action.

    1. They are a pretty reliable source of entertainment.

  2. It's funny that you forgot to actually read it! But that's all better now. I do like my family relations and all that being discussed in books, but it's a bit of a shame the mystery kind of takes the back burner because of it :/

    1. The good news is that it fits into the series as a whole. It really helps to give a depth to the characters. I just wish the individual story hadn't suffered because of it.


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