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Sunday, June 23, 2024



“Alex Cross Must Die” is a convoluted thriller well worth reading. It is Patterson at his ultimate solo best. (Review by Barry Meehan for ARTSMART)

James Patterson is billed as “The World’s Bestselling Thriller Writer” on the front cover of his latest novel, “Alex Cross Must Die”. This I can certainly believe, as his output is prolific, with a good few hundred titles listed at the back of this book.

Unfortunately, so many of these titles are co-written with other authors, and one has to wonder just how many were his original idea that he’s passed on to a co-author to flesh out, or how many are conceived and written in their entirety by others, riding on Patterson’s coat-tails.

Be that as it may (and it is only my humble opinion) I much prefer Patterson’s novels when he is the sole author. 

Fortunately, the Alex Cross thrillers are all his work and his alone (apart from one co-authored by Richard DiLallo) and it certainly shows in the writing.

This, the latest, is one of his best, a thriller that leads us down a path where we think we know everything there is to know about the heinous crime committed, but then throws us multiple curveballs, taking our thinking in completely new directions.

American Airlines flight 839, en route from Palm Beach International to Washington DC, is the target of a weapons expert. It is brought down just before the runway, killing everyone on board.

The main question that faces detectives Alex Cross and John Sampson is why that particular flight? Was the perpetrator out to create a name for himself? Or was he targeting one particular individual? If the latter, exactly who is the principal victim and why was he/she taken out?

Patterson weaves a thrilling tale, intertwining the narrative with a second case that Cross and Sampson are battling to solve – a serial killer who has been ambushing young men in what the media have dubbed the “Dead Hours” murders. The killer is this case has to be stopped before he takes anyone else down – and soon!

Alex Cross Must Die” is a convoluted thriller well worth reading. It is Patterson at his ultimate solo best. - Barry Meehan

Published By Penguin Random House UK: ISBN 978-1-529-13660-9