Cross Country (audio version)
By James Patterson
Reviewed by Connie Barrington
I have read, or listened to, the works of James Patterson for many years. I was one of the early readers of the Women's Murder Club books and have followed Alex Cross from the get go, within the Washington D.C. police force, with the FBI and back to DC as a consultant. I think "Kiss the Girls" is one of the ultimate audio books and have recommended it to many people. So I was geared up to listen to the newest work, Cross Country.
I finished it, but grudgingly. While readers Peter J. Fernandez and Dion Graham do a fine job, the plot is just too much, even for someone willing to suspend their disbelief. Just how often can Alex Cross outwit death? Have his family escape harm? Do truly stupid things and act as though the character does not realize the impact they could have on his family? This story explores all of those questions when Cross decides to follow a murder case to Africa.
Apparently the character is not aware that his authority will not protect him in deepest, darkest Africa. It is surprising that any American, much less one supposedly as knowledgeable as Dr. Cross, would not be aware of the limitations of American protection and the dangers of travel abroad in troubled areas. Author James Patterson is clearly upset by the plight of many Africans as they face despotic governments, turmoil, civil wars, genocide and many other ills. He proceeds, however, to beat us over the head in an attempt to educate us, which does not make for the thrilling work he clearly was aiming at offering.