cover image Alex Cross, Run

Alex Cross, Run

James Patterson, read by Michael Boatman and Steven Boyer. Hachette Audio, abridged, five CDs, 6 hrs., $24.98 ISBN 978-1-61969-171-1

The latest episode in the troubled life of Patterson’s Alex Cross makes a very satisfying transition to audio thanks to top-notch narrators Michael Boatman and Steven Boyer. Boatman smoothly performs the chapters narrated by Cross, giving the D.C. police detective a thoughtful, measured tone that, when tested by a pair of vicious multiple murderers and an obsessed character from his past, turns tough, understandably aggressive, and, at times, unexpectedly guilt-ridden. Boyer gives voice to the twisted killers—one erudite and sinister, the other emotional and sleazy—whose plot to discredit Cross works surprisingly well; he also voices just about every other character in the novel. With a series as long running as this, the secret of success for each new addition is its ability to place its hero into a state of credible jeopardy. Patterson has done just that here, and the two narrators have turned his suspenseful and well-plotted novel into a riveting audio thriller. A Little, Brown hardcover. (Feb.)