Newest Review: ... with so many witnesses it would be quickly solved...... With his former friend's sworn revenge in the back of his mind and this new ki... more
Double the fun when you're double cross!
Double Cross - James Patterson
Member Name: kiwiii85
Double Cross - James Patterson
Date: 02/02/09, updated on 02/02/09 (185 review reads)
Advantages: Fast Pace, Easy Read, Plot Twists throughout
Disadvantages: None (although if you say not being able to put the book down...)
Alex Cross books can be read without reading the previous novels but as always, it's always better to have read them so you can follow any little mention of them that there may be. So to start with, a little background on Alex Cross and the series of books that surround him.
Alex Cross is a police detective who has a degree in psychology and is involved in a lot of the major cases. His cases usually revolve around serial killers and his life has been endangered on more than one occasion. In fact, some would say he's the luckiest man alive! Alex's life doesn't just revolve around work and he has a family to take care of. At the time of this book, he has his daughter Jannie and sons Damon and Alex. Sadly his wife, Maria, was gunned down and died in his arms so Alex has the help of Nana to bring up his children. Alex is constantly juggling work with his family in order to get the perfect balance, but he can't seem to let these big cases go, no matter how many times he resigns. (I've taken most of this from my previous review on 'Cross', afterall, the background stays the same!)
Alex Cross has tried to move away from police work and violent crime on several occasions, but he has never quite managed to and it is no different this time around. He is once again drawn away from his psychology practice when a new serial killer hits the streets of Washington DC. Alex and his new girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone (Bree), get to work on the case that includes some of the most horrific work they have ever seen. Nicknamed the Audience Killer, this man does more than even Cross can stand. The Audience Killer is true to his name - he demands an audience to his killings and will stage them in order to get what he wants. No matter how large the audience, he always gets away! Cross has no choice but to wait for his next move and he doesn't have long to wait!
Cross has more to contend with when old friend and colleague Kyle Craig breaks out of ADX Florence - a maximum security prison. Cross had earlier caught him for some horrific crimes and he'd been sentenced for life, now he wants revenge! Craig is referred to as the 'Mastermind' because he quite simply is a genius of his crime.
What will happen to Cross when he discovers the two are working together for the same thing? His death! Will Cross live on to fight another crime or will readers watch his slow painful death?
The characterisation is this book is as strong as ever and Alex Cross is becoming more like your friend with each book. His characcter is strong, courageous and determined but we can't forget his many flaws and the fact he leads with his heart on many occasions.
Alex Cross has his family life and is desperately trying to live a peaceful life with his psychology practice but something draws him to help out in yet another case. I think that by now, the reader probably knows why. When his wife, Maria, was gunned down, Cross felt helpless and infuriated that he couldn't catch his wifes killer and he lived for so many years without closure. Cross doesn't want other families to grieve the way he has and he wants to bring closure and stop the needless killing so people don't have to suffer like him and his family did. The fact the Kyle Craig is after him, only makes him that bit more determined.
Kyle Craig was last mentioned in Violets are Blue when Cross captured him and he was sentenced to life at ADX Florence. Craig has always been jealous of the attention that Cross gets and we saw him working long and hard to hurt Cross in the previous novels, Roses are Red and Violets are Blue. Craig is currently in a maximum security prison that noone has escaped from, but true to form, it doesn't last long. Craig is a strong character who is determined to cause Cross his life, but will he succeed or will he once again be sent away?
The Audience Killer (AK) is extremely arrogant but intelligent and this is a disasterous combination. He's smart enough to escape murder scenes even when an audience has been watching. He even manages to link up a webcam so people can watch in horror at his crimes without being caught. Can anyone stop him? This character is strong, believeable and terrifying all at the same time. It's also strange that in a Patterson book, we know who this killer is quite early on as usually you're waiting until the last minute.
The Narration is split between these three characters so you get an insight into all three minds. They do make strange choices throughout but because the way the narration has been done, you can completely understand why.
Some people have started complaining the the Cross books are too predictable as Cross manages to save the day every time. I think this is Crosss' 13th book in this series and i'm certainly not bored of them yet. If you've read his previous books then yes you probably do know what to expect but i honestly don't think that's a bad thing. Patterson has a very successful way of involving his readers into the books and he always makes Crosss' cases very personal so the reader can understand his otherwise peculiar decisions.
The pace is this book is fantastic and as usual is helped along with Pattersons' famous short chapters. This keeps the pages turning (come on, who can resist reading just one more chapter?) and the heart racing as you keep reading to discover Crosss' fate and whether or not he can save the day? Patterson doesn't allow one body to cool before another turns up so there are never boring points in the book and Cross is constantly forced to make big decisions under piles of pressure. This book also involves 'one of his own' and Cross has a clear choice to make, his life or someone elses?
Although Kyle Craig and Alex Cross have been in numerous other books in the same series, i don't think it is necessary to read the previous ones as Patterson goes over everything you would need to know. However, there may be an odd occasion where Patterson refers back to something that you have no idea about and therefore i would recommend reading the two books that featured Kyle Craig to begin with. The first of these is Roses are Red and the second is Violets are Blue. This enables the reader to have a full understanding of the relationship between Cross and Craig.
I loved every minute of Double Cross and i can't wait for the next one (if there is!). After so many books you would assume that Patterson has covered every storyline possible but this just isn't the case! He has new experiences, new challenges and a new girlfriend in every book! One thing stays the same though, my love for these books! Do be warned though, some of the scenes can be quite graphic so if you don't like graphic books, avoid this one.
I bought this book for around £3.50 but prices can change so rapidly you could probably find it from anywhere from 1p to £5. It retails in most shops that sell books and the likes of Asda and Tesco.
Summary: A must read for anyone who loves thrillers.