Cross Country

Cross Country - James Patterson This is the 14th book in the Alex Cross Series and the 6th book that I have read.

In this installment, things get personal for Alex Cross as a long-time friend and her family is brutally tortured and murdered. As he investigates, Alex finds similar torture & murder scenarios all over United States and Africa. As the name ‘Tiger’ leads him to Africa, he is prepared to leave everything behind and travel to a different continent all together in search of justice for his friend. Politics, corruption, hired goons, murders, refugee camps… there’s no scarcity of spice in this particular plot.

Alex Cross has a reputation – reputation of being the tough guy with a great mind. I mean the way he has been up against the likes of Gary Soneji and the Mastermind. Alex Cross always comes through and though he does it again this time, it was hard to see him getting beaten up so many times. It is just so unlike Alex Cross. I mean I can believe the first time, but not so much it happened again which made me feel as if he was a sitting duck. Granted, he was on foreign soil and had almost no back-up, still – it is Alex Cross! For me, this book was also a medium to be introduced to Alex Cross’s latest love interest – Brianna Stone. She has starred in an Alex Cross book already (which I haven’t read yet) and so, I guess I did not get a complete picture of her, but from what I have seen in this book, she is certainly an interesting character.

The situation in Africa is vividly depicted. The inhumane and dismal conditions there broke my heart. While we hear and read things in the news and they do make a mark, reading about the same thing in context of a character we have grown to love and admire (even though fictional) is more unnerving than I care to admit. While listening to the news it is easy to be detached but it is not so easy when you are already deeply engrossed in a novel. The usual brutality and the gore are present in this book too. I have almost come to take it for granted even though I am always taken by the detailed description by Patterson. Also this time, at any point of the plot, I actually had no idea which direction it would take and was on the edge all along. As usual it is quite fast paced and exciting as Alex Cross trudges over three countries and two continents in pursuit of the culprits. It is, in true Alex Cross style, an addictive page turner.