This book was definitely not as good as the previous Alex Cross books in the series. (I seriously feel like my interest in them has been in decline with the last three that I've read.) The story is fast-paced, but it really only serves to supply Cross's need for drama. The man is an adrenaline junkie and it feels like he tries to find trouble in order to get it.
He also once again has woman drama. We see Cross having to involve himself in the investigation of the murder of an ex-girlfriend from college so that he may find her killer and avenge her. So, his newest "you gotta be kidding me" adventure leads him to Africa on the murderer's trail. And, while there, Cross can't even handle being in another country (far away from his current squeeze, Bree) that he just happens to run across a beautiful woman who's a reporter that he gets a little cozy with... it wasn't "sex" cozy, but I wouldn't like to think Bree would've been cool with him cuddling up to another woman at night. I mean seriously, I can't be the only one to notice that he's either a player or has serious co-dependency issues. (Did the man not get breast-fed enough?) I used to really like that these books weren't all filled with ridiculous personal drama, but this one sure proved me wrong! This one almost makes Alex Cross out to be some kind of "Jack Bower"-wanna be-super hero by the comment that Nigeria wanted him there. As if.
I also totally felt that weaving the troubles that are taking place in Africa into the plot of this book was a bit far-fetched. If Patterson really wanted to make readers aware of what is going on over there, I think it would've been better served by creating a new character and a new series. The little bit that Cross did over there in no way represents enough of the atrocities going on. I mean really, the last couple of Cross books have just managed to go downhill as far as overall story content. I'm to the point that where I don't think I'm ready to stop reading the series all-together, but I'm definitely not regretting that I haven't spent money on new copies of the last few books that have come out (prior to this one and this one included). It makes me really glad that all I need to do is use a credit. (And patience is not a problem, because I'm hoping by the time I get the next one, my disappointment in this one will have faded so I won't be so annoyed by the content if it sucks.) But, I can say, if this downward spiral into "you gotta be kidding me" continues, I'll be looking for other authors who aren't just selling books because they've been around so long they feel like they can get sloppy. Although, and I know the show was fictitious, but I remember watching the episode of "Castle" where Patterson chided Rick for killing off his star character because that's where you keep getting your money. At the time it was funny, but I think he was serious...
I'm also not sure how much research Patterson did on animal life when he wrote this book, but to make it more "suspenseful" Cross was attacked by a crocodile. The whole description of the scene just didn't make sense because Cross saw the water rolling and backed away just as he saw the croc come to the surface and then he ran from it, etc. Okay, I'm sure the average person could've watched some re-runs of The Crocodile Hunter to know that you don't get that kind of warning from those things. If it played out accurately, I'm pretty sure Mr. Cross would've had a messy and painful retirement.
I was also scared to find myself actually agreeing with Nana in this book, in regards to Alex going to Africa. The man seems to stupidly, and consistently, do things to put his family in danger and then seems surprised that the bad guys go after them. (It made all those times he gets his butt whooped on his journey more like just desserts and not outrages. Unfortunately, it didn't knock any sense into him.)
Overall, this book was mediocre at best. I read it because I've been trying to keep up with the series, but I'm definitely only wish-listing the next two books because after this one, I really don't care when I next read about the misadventures of Alex Cross.
Great as usual for Patterson
This was good like all the others. Not quite as good as some but definitely worth reading!
I love the Alex Cross series but this one was not my favorite. It brought needed attention to issues in other parts of the world. I am just not a big fan of storylines in other countries; however, the book was intriquing.