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James Patterson at his best!
Along Came a Spider - James Patterson
Member Name: lesleyann08
Along Came a Spider - James Patterson
Advantages: Intriguing plot-line with great twists and short, concise chapter layout.
Disadvantages: I felt the ending could have been slightly more informative.
'The whole nation was in uproar when two celebrity rich kids were kidnapped - and then one of them was found dead. For such a high-profile case, only the top people would do: Alex Cross, a detective with a PhD in Psychology, and Jezzie Flannagan, a fast-rising Secret Service agent. Yet even they were no match for the killer. He could switch from blood-crazed madness to clear-eyed sanity in an instant. But was he the helpless victim of a multiple-personality disorder - or a brilliant, cold-hearted manipulator?'
I picked Along Came A Spider up in my local Asda with my shopping last week for the bargain price of £1. I'm an avid reader of crime fiction, but tend only to read British authors. The only American ones I do read are James Patterson and Karen Rose. I love both these authors books for very diffrent reasons, but can also see positives and negatives to both authors individual writing styles.
My mother-in-law introduced me to James Patterson around a year ago when I read almost every crime fiction available to me by British authors either in the local library or online, and I can safely say he did not disappoint. I began with one of the later books in the Alex Cross Series 'Double cross', and was instantly hooked but had not yet came across the debut in the series. Until now.
Again, this novel did not disappoint. As usual it is fast paced and drama-filled. It contains the perfect contrast too, including scenes of newly found love, familal bonding and finding one-self, that can bring a smile, yet also draw a tear.
I have always found the relationship between Alex and Nana Mama to be very intiguing and compelling, and this novel definitely delves a little deeper into their history, which I immensely enjoyed exploring.
However it didn't delve as deeply into the subject of his late wife, as I would have expected from the debut, since the loss of his late wife seems to be a key trait to the character of Detective Cross.
In true style this is a fine piece of penmanship, which pays attention to detail, making the reader feel as though they are there witnessing the scene first hand. I have never been to America, but when James describes the sun beaating down on Alex's skin I can almost feel it, his writing is so compelling.
James makes great use of word choice, and his work as always is oozing desriptiveness. I am one who like to nit-pick when it come to grammar, punctuation and spelling in published works and found no errors of note. :D
Also James has a fantastic talent for character building, and makes you feel as though you know his characters personally. His profiling is so strong and the characters introduced in this piece certainly do not disappoint. You sometimes find yourself wanting to shout at them 'What the hell are you doing?'. Since you feel like you know them so well, and this is why I love the Alex Cross series in general.
This storyline in particular could have been a disaster if either rushed or dragged on it the terms of plot-line, but James got it just right as usual.
There is drama from the very first scene to the very last and will definitely keep you up into the wee hours of the night, due to the intriguing plot-line, and complex, unexpected twists. You are kept guessing until the very last, and at one point you wonder if Detective Cross will ever solve the case. One minute you think you know what going to happen, and then boom, something else comes along and throws a curveball in that train of thought.
I really like the way the author leaves you to make up your own mind on if the killer is really insane or is it all just an act, although excellent evidence is presented on the contrary to both fates.
I also loved the way this particular story was set in a short, yet concise chapter layout. As in general I feel James' chapters to be a tad on the long side. Having a young son, I prefer small easy read chapters, as they fit into my limited free time, much more easily and I hate leaving a chapter unfinished.
On the downside, I felt this particular novel could have been a bit more informative in regards to the ending. It covered all the key points, but I just felt a little more information and background in this area, would have added a little something extra.
On a whole, I would definitely recommend this novel. In fact, I already have to the other avid readers in the family. It is excellent value for money, and was a sstory I couldn't put down. Even with the limited time available to me, I found so intriguing, I stayed up way to late to devour it, and managed to successfully complete it in just two days. So grab a copy and join Detective Cross on his latest journey of murder and mayhem life always seems to throw at him. I promise you wont be disappointed.
Summary: Another great read by James Patterson. Would highly reccmmend due to the compelling storyline.