Fear No Evil by James Patterson

James Patterson knows how to write a thriller. He wouldn't be as successful as he is if he didn't. Still, the bestselling author isn't without his detractors. Criticisms include his formulaic plots, extensive use of co-authors, and bombardment of releases each month. Each point is valid, and I've had my share of Patterson books that I've loved and others that I've loathed. Still, when a Patterson book works, I can't help but enjoy it. His Alex Cross series, one of the few Patterson efforts that he writes sans co-author, has been one of my go-to reads since I read the first book back in high school. Last year saw the release of the 29th installment, Fear No Evil. Having read each of the previous novels in the series, I was eager to dive into this one. 

Alex Cross and his partner John Sampson are about to embark on a hike through the wilderness of Montana. They've been planning this vacation forever and fast-tracked it after the tragic death of Sampson's wife. Alex knows his best friend is hurting. He hopes this trip will give Sampson the space to open up about his feelings and finally begin to grieve. Just as they are about to leave, both of their phones ring simultaneously. That's never a good sign! There's been a murder of an undercover CIA agent. The chief has called all hands on deck for this one. Alex and John's wilderness retreat will have to be postponed. 

Alex's wife Bree Stone is on an adventure of her own. She quit her job as a chief detective for the D.C. police last year and has been making her mark in the private sector. Bree's latest case takes her all the way to France. A prominent French businessman has been accused of raping the women who work for him. The clients who hire Bree also suspect the man has been embezzling funds. Bree plants herself directly into the investigation posing as a businesswoman looking to make a deal with the man. The deeper she infiltrates his operation, the more danger she places herself in. Will she be able to bring the man down or will she become his next victim?

Fear No Evil is one of the weaker recent entries in the Alex Cross series. It is clearly a plot that is working to build up toward future installments, setting the stage for a larger faceoff to come. Alex has been taunted by the mysterious figure known only as "M" for several books now. In this one, we start to get more of an idea of who or what that figure actually is. Still, the plot at hand is one of the more generic narratives that's come out of the series in recent years. The strength of the Alex Cross books has always been in the way the extended Cross family has grown and developed over the course of almost 30 books. They mostly take a back seat in this one, and the story sufferers because of it. There are big things happening, but without strong character ties to the events, they ultimately feel shallow. I'm still intrigued to see what comes next, but this is the first Alex Cross book in a long time that I didn't really like. That being said, you know I'll be ready to read the 30th book when it releases later this year. 

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

(2022, 27)

This entry was posted on Monday, June 27, 2022 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

20 Responses to “Fear No Evil by James Patterson”

  1. I'm sorry this one ended up being one of Patterson's weaker books. Even if he's building up to something in the future, he should still make sure this plot had depth.

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    1. I've come to accept his books as hit or miss, but I was sorry this one was more of a miss. His recent books in the Alex Cross series have all been great!

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    2. Probably because Alex Cross is such a great character! :)

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  2. I've have my favorite and not-so-favorites installments in a long running series, too. One dud out of 30 isn't bad, and it says something that you'll still read the next one in a series.

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    1. It is impressive in the longevity for sure. I hope the payoff for this one comes in the 30th book this year.

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  3. There are 30 books for these characters? That's amazing. I have only read one book by Patterson, and it was a sick-kid lit where they steal a car. I cried, so mission accomplished. I am impressed that these characters have kept you coming back for that many books.

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    1. He knows how to deliver a good read. The 30th Alex Cross book comes out this November!

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  4. Bummer, sometimes it happens, especially in a long series. Great review Ethan!

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  5. The 30th book??!! Well, I guess they can't ALL be winners lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. This is book 29, but the 30th comes out later this year. It is crazy to think that I've read every book so far!

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  6. Sorry to hear you didn't like this one more.

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    1. It happens sometimes. This was fun, just not great.

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  7. I generally enjoy his books — his ones with co-authors and without. Recently, he’s said some stuff and other things have come to light about him and I am having trouble separating his work from what he’s said and done. (I am sorry this wasn’t quite as good as you’d hoped tho)

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    1. Also, this is Verushka @ Pop. Edit. Lit.

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    2. I saw his comments on it being difficult for white men to get writing jobs. That's pretty rich coming from one of the best-selling writers of all time! I did see he issued a hasty apology, but it still isn't a good look for him.

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