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Mary, Mary - James Patterson

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Author: James Patterson / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 01 April 2010 / Genre: Crime & Thriller / Subcategory: Thriller / Suspense General / Publisher: Headline Publishing Group / Title: Mary, Mary / ISBN 13: 9780755349395 / ISBN 10: 0755349395 / Alternative EAN: 9780755323050

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    6 Reviews
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      08.09.2010 10:28
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      Very Happy With My James Patterson Choice

      As mentioned in my previous book review I am not the typical reading type. I find it very difficult to get into a tale, and if I haven't been captivated by the first couple of chapters then I tend to but the book down and forget about it. In the very short list of books I have managed to read cover to cover is James Pattersons Mary, Mary. This is an addition to the Alex Cross series, and I was very impressed. I cannot really compare this to the other Alex Cross tales as the only other James Patterson novel I have read is from the Women's Murder Club. Having born after 1987, I am a child of the movies and tend to wait for things to come to DVD. Patience is not my strong point.

      However, when recently travelling to Turkey I thought I had best take something to keep me occupied should my feet be too sore to party. And I must say, eventually, I was really happy with my choice of literature.

      What first attracted me to 'Mary, Mary' were the short chapters that seemed to make for an easy read. With the attention span of a gnat, especially in a hot country this was perfect for me. I would be able to pick it up and put it down without having to wait forever to finish a chapter. I have come to realise that this is the style of James Patterson and will definatley be considering reading some of his other novels.

      Mary, Mary is based on a serial killer murdering and mutilating Hollywood mothers. Due to the nature of the case and the people involved Dr. Alex Cross is called in to investigate. 'Mary' the serial killer sends chilling emails to the Showbiz Editor of a well known newspaper describing the murders in vivid details. All of Hollywood begin to go crazy thinking they are next on the list, and the game of cat and mouse begins. Firstly, looking at an actor out for revenge or a director that didnt quite get the ratings they hoped for, and then on to the more sinister options.

      So, I have to admit. The first time I picked up Mary, Mary it didn't catch my interest I read a few chapters and did as I always do and put it down and moved on. However, after finding myself completely bored with nothing to do I decided to try again. This time round, I must have paid more attention and was hooked. I could not put the book down, reading at the dinner table, in bed, and whilst sunbathing on the balcony. Before I knew it the book was finished and I found myself hoping for more chapters as I always seem to do when I have really enjoyed a read.

      I did find this tale really quite chilling and sinister. You know that feeling you get when you turn the downstairs light off and run upstairs really really fast hoping noone will grab you on the way up? Well, this is exactly what Mary, Mary did to me. It was particularly horrifying,but the way the story was told really had the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. One particular evening, I did have to put the book down, turn the big light on and sit with my back to the wall for a while. Sad, yes I know.

      I would definatley recommend this book and definatley recommend James Pattersons style of writting for those of us who struggle with long chapters. I look forward to reading more of James Pattersons work and would appreciate any suggestions.

      At the time of writting this review Mary, Mary is available on Amazon for around £5.49. I know I picked my copy up from the charity shop my gran works in for next to nothing. I would say it is worthy of the investment on Amazon.

      For an insight into James Patterson and his novels visit http://www.jamespatterson.com for more information.

      Thank you for reading and not putting my review down after the first chapter :)

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        16.04.2010 21:40
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        still a good read

        Mary, Mary is another book in the Alex Cross series. I have not read these books in order and I can still understand the background plots well, so I don't think its necessarily important to start from the beginning of the series.

        ~The Plot~
        Alex Cross is a leading detective for the FBI, and after solving the case of a nationwide hunt for a serial killer decides to take his children on a well-deserved holiday to Disneyland. Unfortunately, work soon gets in the way again, and he is brought in on a case of a high-profile female celebrity who has been murdered by gunpoint and her face being horribly disfigured with a knife. The LAPD would like his professional opinion on the case. Thinking that this will only last one day as they just want his opinion, he sets off, leaving the children with Nana mama (Alex's Nana who has raised him from a young age).

        But, yet again, there is another serial killer on the case with even more female celebrities being murdered, but this ones got a twist. Emails are being sent from the so-called killer to a journalist. These emails read like a personal letter, all addressed to the victims, and signed by Mary Smith. Apart from the victims being celebrities, females and mothers, there doesn't appear to be any other link. Then Cross' expertise are put into use. The police are quite certain that the killer is a female, but Cross doesn't. Once again, he tries to prove his theory before another innocent woman is murdered. But then the LAPD arrest a suspect. All fingers point at this woman, and her background gives them even more reason to suspect her. But again, Cross' instinct gets in the way. He thinks the LAPD have got the wrong woman, and is determined to find the 'real' killer. But who is she? Or he?

        ~My opinion~
        Yet another quick and easy read by James Patterson. I enjoyed the way that Patterson created the storyline, but also allowed us to have some personal information about Alex Cross, the much-loved 'hero'. The story of Cross' children is brought into the book very well, and even though the two storylines are very different, Patterson was able to bring them together in an exciting way.

        The reason I said easy read was that you don't really have to use your imagination in this book as you might do with others. This makes the book sound very dull but it doesn't. It might just be me that finds this as I'm more used to books that allow you to really think about suspects and how the story will end. But I find that quite a few of Patterson's books which I have read, didn't really use my imagination, it may be just his style of writing. This is why I have given it 4 out of 5 dooyoo stars.

        I think this is more a book for holiday reading, or light and easy reading before bedtime rather than a gripping story that you read on the sofa with a cup of tea, every chance you get! I still think its worth a read though.

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          18.02.2009 14:35
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          An entry that is just for the fans of the Alex Cross series one feels...

          After what felt like a bit of declining wane for Dr. Alex Cross in the last few novels (Roses Are Red and Violets Are Blue both felt a tad predictable, Big Bad Wolf was better but London Bridges just felt like it stretched credubility a little toooo far), it is good to see a semi return to form with Mary, Mary. Once again yet another serial killer is out on a spree leaving her(?) victims facially disfigured and sending ambiguous E-mails to an entertainment reporter the better to taunt the police with her presence. I put a question mark after "her" because Dr. Alex Cross, called in to investigate from a family vacation in Disneyland, is less than convinced that the killer is a woman- this despite the feelings of the LAPD who feel slightly put out that the FBI are getting involved. Once again Cross is in the minority as he attempts to prove his theory right and prevent any more Holywood big-wigs being snuffed but then a suspect is discovered who blows Alex's theory out of the water.....and then theres the custody battle for his son, Little Alex, with his ex-girlfriend, Christine, and his relationship with current squeeze, Jamillia, to consider as well....talk about mixing business with pleasure!

          Anyone who has read a Patterson novel before knows by now what to expect! And probably won't be very disappointed! There is very little filler here- this is the literary equivalent to a Big Mac and fries- and the book is very quick and light to read but, and maybe it's just because I have been reading much better writers lately, somehow I came away from this feeling a tad unsatisfied. The ending was a bit too sudden for my liking and loose ends tied up a bit too swiftly, something that has become a bit of a trend for mass market thriller novels of late to the genre's dettriment I feel, and this just doesn't feel as neat and accomplished as the earlier Cross novels. Don't get me wrong, it's still a good read and something of a return to form for Patterson's best-selling hero, described as America's Sherlock Holmes, but I just felt I enjoyed the older Cross novels better than this. Everything feels a bit glossed over and hurried here and not just the ending....

          I picked this up because I had swapped for the next book in the series, imaginatively titled Cross, and realised I had missed a book in the sequence. Certainly the opening chapters of the next Cross novel don't read as well as this book and, if nothing else, at least I can say this book kept me hooked until the end and flicking the pages as quick as I could read them! The problem I have is that there are much better writers out there than this and, unless you are a big fan of Alex Cross, you might want to give this a miss. Similarily, if you have not read any of the others in the series then doing so would be advantageous as there is a lot of reference here to earlier novels and events.....

          One for the fans I think.....

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            04.02.2009 10:54
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            Good crime novel - lots of pacey action and a good story

            This is the first (and only ) book I have read by James Patterson. I was aware of the name before I picked this book up in the bargain bin of my local bookshop but I didn't know much more than that.

            I bought it because the blurb on the back looked interesting - I like detective novels especially if a few celebrities are killed off.

            As soon as I started reading this book I was hooked - it wasn't the sort of book which you had to work your way through a few chapters getting to know the charcters beforte the story reallt started - no it just dives straight in to the action. It is also one of those novels where you spend time with the killer (the Mary in the title)- so you know what they have done and in some cases why but we don't know who. The book kept me guessing throughout the whole of the book - and everytime I thought I knew who had committed the murders I got it wrong! ..as they would be discounted - or even killed off.

            The killer sends e-mails advising of his next killings - so the whole book is a "race against time" to find the killer before they strike again - I think this is what give the book its pace

            There is also the sub plot running where the FBI agent -Alex Cross- is also trying to balance up his homelife, his lovelife and his job - this is something we can all relate to - and I thinks that's probably why I found this book easy to relate to - it has a very "real" feel to it.

            I won't spoil the end but I certainly wasn't disppointed and I think I will buy another of his books. I just hope that this wasn't a one-off

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            14.12.2008 12:16
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            One of Patterson's very best

            Mary, Mary is a book in a series written by James Patterson and featuring his favoured character, Alex Cross. Formerly a homicicde detective, Cross is now working with the FBI, and this novel pits Cross once more against a deadly villain as he hunts down a killer who is targeting A-list Hollywood stars.

            The book is a welcome return to form for Patterson. His earlier Alex Cross books were very good indeed, as were many of the other books he had written. Then the author started co-writing books with other authors and I felt the form had slipped a bit. In this book, FBI agent Cross is on holiday when he gets a call yanking him back to work, as an A-list actress has been murdered. A killer known as Mary Smith is on the prowl, and the killer puts the whole of Hollywood on alert as they fear they could be next.

            The plot works very well, and is full of Patterson's usual twists and turns that readers of his books are well used to. His writing style is invariably fast and action-packed, and he leaves little room for development of charactrs or plot, meaning that we get everything thick and fast and without the long and descriptive passages other authors love so much.

            As a result, it is harder to put the book down, as there are less natural stopping places. I read Mary, Mary in two sittings, could have been one but it was getting into the wee hours of the morning! The book is well written, and the suspense is excellent. Just when you think that he's going to come up against a wall and not find anything different or more exciting for Alex Cross to have to deal with, along comes a book like this and blows me away.

            The twists are better than before, and while the villain is a little more mysterious, I like the change in tack from Cross, and how his family is brought into the novel, showing the personal side as well as the professional. I highly recommend reading this book. Fans of Patterson will love it, those who aren't familiar with his Cross books are advised to start from the first books and read them in order to gain a full picture, but it's not essential and this book can be read on its own without prior knowledge. Mary, Mary is available from amazon.co.uk for £5.99

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            07.02.2007 21:25
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            Keeps you guessing right to the end!

            I have to admit that generally when choosing something to read I am drawn towards contemporary female writers, but occasionally I feel like reading something which has a bit of suspense and who better to supply it than James Patterson? Patterson is a prolific American writer with over twenty books to his credit.

            'Mary, Mary' is the latest in a series of books about detective Alex Cross, now an FBI agent. Alex is a psychiatric doctor who is often called in to help solve serial killer crimes by working out the profile of the killer. You don't have to have read the previous novels to enjoy 'Mary, Mary' although there are references to some of the earlier cases Alex has worked on.

            All the novels in the Alex Cross series have nursery rhymes in their titles which is the same with 'Mary, Mary' but there is no further mention to the rhyme. The story is centred around a number of murders that have been occurring in the Hollywood area of high profile women and mothers. Each victim has been shot and then their face slashed out of all recognition! (Luckily Patterson does not supply too many gory details!) The killer, going by the name of Mary Smith (hence the title) sends details of each murder by email to a local newspaper editor.

            The FBI join forces with the LAPD to solve the crime and prevent more murders. It becomes a race against time and Alex is at the centre of it all and often in danger himself. There are many twists and turns as the story races towards a dramatic conclusion.

            At the same time, Patterson weaves in a second storyline which tells the story of Alex's personal life. His family members - Nana mama his grandmother, Damon and Jannie his children, and Little Alex his other son and now part of a custody battle with his estranged partner - are all very familiar if you have read the previous novels, and I have to say I like the way the family are at the centre of each story. It's like meeting old friends every time you read another book! In this book, after quite a disastrous love life over the years, he starts up a relationship with the local doctor and you really find yourself rooting for it to be a success.

            I do think that James Patterson is quite the master of suspense and I think that one of the ways he achieves this is by making all the chapters short and punchy! This makes all the action move on at a pace, and as a reader you will often find yourself thinking 'I'll just read the next chapter!' and you keep doing this as they are so short. He also drops in clues that hook you in and reveals bits of information little by little that keeps you guessing right to the very end!

            I think Alex Cross is a brilliant central character and hero. He is very believable as both a detective and as a family man and he is very much 'the good guy!' Some of the chapters are written in the first person from his point of view and this definitely helps to empathise with his character. I find myself warming to all the family characters too and I think it is extremely successful the way the family story works alongside the crime story. It is also a bit of a breathing space from all the tension and suspense.

            As with all James Patterson novels, I read 'Mary, Mary' in just a few days. It is the sort of story that absorbs you and you feel compelled to keep on reading. The actual story is 435 pages long although the book is actually nearer to 470! The reason for this is because the last thirty pages give an extract from Patterson's next novel. This generally happens at the end of his books, but I must admit I did feel a bit cheated by this. I was headed through the book thinking there was a lot more to go when suddenly there i was at the end! - quite disappointing! However, having said that I would still recommend this as a really good read that is bound to keep you guessing right to the end!

            It is published by Headline witha RRP of £6.99 although i bought my copy from Tesco for the fantastic price of £3.73. It's always worth looking for books in Tesco first!

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