I, Alex Cross: (Alex Cross 16)

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9780099514596: I, Alex Cross: (Alex Cross 16)

Detective Alex Cross is pulled out of a family celebration and given the awful news that his niece, Caroline, has been found brutally murdered. Cross vows to hunt down the killer, and soon learns that Caroline was mixed up in one of Washington's wildest scenes. And she was not this killer's only victim.

The hunt for her murderer leads Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, to a place where every fantasy is possible, if you have the credentials to get in. Alex and Bree are soon facing down some very important, very protected, very dangerous people in levels of society where only one thing is certain - they will do anything to keep their secrets safe.

As Cross closes in on the killer, he discovers evidence that points to the unimaginable - a revelation that could rock the entire world.

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Review:

James Patterson is unquestionably one of the world's most successful crime writers, with a following (and sales) that are the envy of many of his peers. His secret, of course, is his immense readability: Paterson has a narrative grasp that ensures total reader commitment from first page to last. So as his new book, I, Alex Cross, appears, it is tempting to speculate on what his response will be to the words being uttered by many of his admirers; ‘It's a Patterson-only outing again -- thank God!’ As the author’s solo books are almost always more authoritatively written than the legion of novels he produces with an army of collaborators, one wonders why he feels the need to sustain this highly profitable writing factory (some might argue that this question is answered by the word ‘profitable’, but Patterson comfortably outsells most of his rivals, and acquiring even more revenue can't be such a pressing need, can it?) But to the business at hand: here's a new Alex Cross novel, and that's always a cause for celebration.

In I, Alex Cross, Patterson's eponymous hero is dragged from a family celebration and given some very unwelcome news: Caroline, his niece, has been savagely killed. Cross makes an instant promise: he will use all his resources to track down the murderer. But disturbing facts begin to emerge: Caroline was involved with a particularly strange endeavour in Washington, an organisation that promises to fulfil every fantasy of its participants, however outlandish. As Alex learns, the people involved in this sinister dream factory are both powerful and influential, and only those with the most copper-bottomed credentials are allowed to join the party. With the aid of his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, Alex Cross gets closer and closer to these mysterious figures, and the reason behind Caroline's brutal murder. But (as so often before), he realises that he is up against people who will stop at nothing to maintain the clandestine nature of their activities. What's more, Alex discovers there is far more at stake than just a modern day version of the hellfire club -- there are revelations in store which could shake the foundations of society.

As the above suggests, James Patterson's return to solo writing has obliged him to raise his game in terms of the reach of this latest Alex Cross outing. If the book doesn't seem, perhaps, to be in the class of some of the vintage Alex Cross outings, that may (to some extent) be due to our familiarity with the character – it’s more difficult to ring the changes. What isn't in dispute, though, is the author’s total professionalism, and his ability to comprehensively grip the reader remains undimmed. --Barry Forshaw

Review:

"Sharp, sassy and guaranteed to send shivers down your spine, this is a tense thriller" (Woman)

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