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I, Alex Cross
By James Patterson

    I told a friend who works at a used book store in Houston that I had the new James Patterson novel to review, and she asked, "The King Tut one?"  I said "no," it was the new one.  "Oh, that Max series book?" was her response. "No, the new Alex Cross novel," I told
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her. "You mean the one about the trial?" she asked.  "No," I said to her, "the one after that."  She laughed and replied, "James Patterson - the bane of used booksellers!"
     To understand what she means, one only needs to walk into a used bookstore, or ask a seller to point you in the direction of the James Patterson sections.  Depending on what website you look at, he has had between 55 and 68 novels, graphic novels, and non-fiction books published since his 1976 award winning novel, The Thomas Berryman Number.
     It's estimated that one of every fifteen hardback novels sold is penned by Patterson.  Two of his "Alex Cross" novels - 1997's Kiss the Girls and 2001's Along Came a Spider -  have been made into films starring Morgan Freeman.  There was also a series based on his "Women's Murder Club" collection of books, which aired on ABC between 2007 and 2008.
    I, Alex Cross proves a very, very nervous novel that will make your skin crawl.  Detective Alex Cross is not only up against a ruthless killer - whose perverted sexual gratification ends in death - he is up against those who protect the killer and dispose of the bodies.  Alex must track down this ruthless killer called Zeus who has friends in high places and has killed a member of Alex's family.  As Detective Cross begins to get closer to the truth - and the case begins to come together - he must also cope with the reality that one of his own is slowly slipping away.
    Not since 2003's Big Bad Wolf has an Alex Cross novel really gotten under my skin. And, not since Bret Easton Ellis's megalomaniac killer Patrick Bateman, from 1991's American Psycho, has a serial killer seemed as twisted and plausible as Patterson's Zeus. By the time I got to the last page, I felt like I had been through hell and back - and every second of it was a fantastic, albeit creepy, ride.
     The audiobook offers a hands-free way to enjoy the novel.  Read by Tim Cain and Tony Award-winning actor Michael Cerveris, the recording comes complete with music, sound effects and creative characterizations.
     Personally, Alex Cross will always be Morgan Freeman,  because of the two films and a voice as recognizable as James Earl Jones.  Still, the audiobook is and entertaining and convenient way to get your Patterson fix while on the go or while otherwise engaged.  
   Chilling and provocative, James Patterson has created yet another antihero to add to his ever-expanding body of work.  At the rate he's going, Patterson is well on his way to becoming one of the most prolific American writers of the past 30 years.  I, Alex Cross will keep the fans happy - and make Patterson a few new ones in the process.

Nick Manix is a professional writer and journalist who splits his time between Central Texas and New Orleans.

(Cover image courtesy Amazon.com)