Kill Alex Cross

James Patterson. Little, Brown, $28.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-316-19873-8
The 18th Alex Cross thriller (after 2010’s Cross Fire) recycles the kidnapping story line from the African-American super detective’s debut, Along Came a Spider. When the U.S. president’s children, 12-year-old Ethan and 14-year-old Zoe, elude their Secret Service detail by slipping out of a lecture hall window at their Washington, D.C., school, they end up the captives of a sadist, who sends the chief executive a note reading: “There is no ransom. There are no demands. The price, Mr. President, is knowing that you will never see your children again.” After some perfunctory turf battles, Cross, who’s with the D.C. Metropolitan police, gets assigned to the case, but he takes much longer than most readers will to identify the abductor. A Muslim terrorist subplot to destabilize the federal government does little to redeem the tired main plot. Patterson neither sweats the details nor invests his lead with more than two dimensions. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/2011
Release date: 11/01/2011
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