“FOR THREE WEEKS, the young killer actually lived inside the walls of an extraordinary fifteen-room beach house.” p. 15 The killer watches Michael and Hannah Pierce and their daughters Coty and Karrie, 13. He introduces himself to Coty as ‘Casanova’. He introduces himself on the evening of murder in Boca Raton.
Casanova has a 21-old college student in his trunk – once he has her tied up against a tree, he “…took off his mask and let her see his face for the first time. …Then he bent down and kissed her on the lips.
Kiss the girls.
Finally, he walked away.” p 32
Washington D.C. cop Alex Cross, with a doctorate for abnormal psychology at John Hopkins, gets drawn into a grisly series of crimes. He will not be just professionally involved – this will be personal. His niece has disappeared. The story is hard to endure not only for the victims and for Alex, be aware that the kind of crime described is brutal, sometimes explicit and might shock sensitive readers like when one of the monsters in questions gets to try a sexual practice involving a snake on one of the abducted women. Too much for you – no book for you; this is NOT cozy crime.
Again, I feel quite drawn by the laconical style used each time you hear Alex, like when he has a very straightforward question for Robert Burns, Deputy Director of the FBI:
“I like directness more than anything in a senior officer,” Burns continued.
I was still waiting for an answer to my direct question.” p 70 Patterson certainly has you side with Dr Cross, the rather short chapters will shift from the usual third-person to first-person narrator whenever the focus is on the doc. Very much fine with me, he is made up to be a very likeable character, including nice interludes of music. And for this book I actually had thought there could possibly not be much more to come after I was a bit more than halfway-through – and was completely wrong. Despite of being a series, you might start with just ANY of the books (I did with vol. 20, than 23, and am now “on track”); something I highly appreciate; except for the short hint back to the previous book.
So, a solid 4 out of 5 stars.
German title “…denn zum Küssen sind sie da”.
on the Cross family:
In volume 2, Alex’ children Damon and Janelle are 7 and 5 – he is a single Dad after their Mom, his wife Maria, had been killed in a drive-by shooting. That means it is the year after vol 1 https://www.lovelybooks.de/autor/James-Patterson/Along-Came-a-Spider-Alex-Cross-1-1434895445-w/rezension/1434963027/ which saw him at the age of 38. They still live with his 80-something-year-old grandmother ‘Nana Mama’ who grew him up.
There will also be Alex’ late brother Aaron’s widow (Aaron died of alcoholism-induced cirrhosis at 33), Cilla, 41, his one living brother, Charles, with his wife, and three of Alex’ aunts, one of whom is called Tia. Cilla’s and Aaron’s daughter is Alex’ niece Naomi “Scootchie”, 22.
issues I have with the text:
I do not quite get the sense of the incident with Marcus Daniels at the very start of the story. What did Patterson need that for?
Well, Patterson’s hero Cross is black, Patterson himself is not –he has female investigators, too, but sometimes he sort of stresses it in way that is a bit…overdoing, like when after a phone call, Cross’ grandma Nana goes: “Black man?” Nana asked. She is a racist, and proud of it. She says she’s too old to be socially or politically incorrect. She doesn’t so much dislike white people as distrust them.” p 43 I hope, the “Women’s Murder Club” will not ponder PMS in length instead. The author can be way more trustworthy, like when Alex and best friend-colleage Sampson will be stopped by a police patrol for one mere reason: The killer they are supposed to look out for is white – but Alex and Sampson are black. Black = suspect.