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Alex Cross, Run

Alex Cross #20

by James Patterson

genre: thriller

Goosebumps, tears, Alex Cross, Run was so well written that as soon as I finished the last CD, I put the first one back in to get a full appreciation of the complex interwoven plots. I didn’t realize it was part of a series until I looked it up to grab the synopsis. James Patterson does an excellent job giving a full story even at #20 in the series.

Synopsis from Goodreads

Guilty Wives by James PattersonDON’T LOOK, ALEX CROSS
Top plastic surgeon Elijah Creem is renowned for his skills in the operating room, and for his wild, no-expense-spared “industry parties,” bringing in underage exotic dancers and models for nights of drugs, champagne, and uninhibited sex. That is, until Detective Alex Cross busts one of Creem’s lavish soirees and ruins his fun. Now Creem is willing to do anything to avoid going to jail.

But Alex doesn’t have time to dwell on that case. A beautiful woman has been found murdered in her car, a lock of her hair viciously ripped off. Then a second woman is found hanging from a sixth-floor window with a brutal scar slashed across her stomach. When a third mutilated body is discovered, rumors of three serial killers on the loose send Washington D.C. into an all-out frenzy.

Alex is under so much pressure to solve these three grim cases that he hasn’t noticed that someone else investigating him-someone so obsessed and so twisted that they’ll do anything-ANYTHING- to get the vengeance they require. Alex Cross, Run is James Patterson’s most unrelenting story yet-a white-hot, sensational thrill ride with the most extreme and gripping characters Patterson has ever brought to life.


Alex Cross, Run is one of the best written books in terms of plot that I have ever read. Separate plots weave in and out of one another seamlessly, suddenly coming together at the end. I got so wrapped up in the murderers that I missed one of the big twists at the end. The content is mature, but you shouldn’t be surprised after reading the synopsis.

The characters were perfectly flawed, making them real and three dimensional. I particularly liked Alex Cross. He’s thoughtful, genuine, and struggles with the inner conflict between job and family. When he talks to the victim’s families, he comes at it from the perspective of someone who has heard that horrible news himself. He knows how to pace himself and cares, it’s never empty words for him. He has a temper, sometimes it’s deserved.

The “bad guys” are well thought out. Though I don’t understand their motives or how they could behave in such a manner, James Patterson has crafted fantastic psychopaths. “You’re going to ruin me,” Dr. Creme complains to Alex as he’s arrested at a party with underage drinking, drugs, and underage prostitutes. There is no sense of “I have broken multiple laws, my actions have caused this,” it is entirely Alex’s fault.

My biggest and only complaint was the grammar. I would fire this editor because the rest of the book was phenomenal but you’re smacked in the face with grammatical issues and it pulled me out of the story. The first time through, I wasn’t annoyed until the end. The second time through I was ready to throw the CDs out of my car window. I think I heard a character “ask” something once. Every time there was dialogue, Patterson used “said” even when a question was asked. “…?” Character said. “…” I said. “…?” I said. There are so many other words Patterson or the editor could have used instead!

synonymsforsaid copyThat may sound small, but it really disrupted the story, particularly the longer I listened to it. Instead of Alex Cross, Run being one of those books I pull out to reread every couple of years, it will be returned to Cracker Barrel and most likely forgotten. Thankfully for Patterson, the plot was good enough to overshadow the grammar enough to give it a 4.5. As I round up, I give it a begrudging 5. I really wanted the grammar to be there, it would have rivaled The Hunger Games, but as Guilty Wives fell short as well, I will not be reviewing anything else by Patterson.

This just solidifies in my mind that indie authors who care enough to find an editor and put effort into their work can surpass traditionally published authors.

-Eliabeth Hawthorne

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