Book Review: Target Alex Cross by James Patterson

Target Alex Cross by James Patterson

Title: Target Alex Cross (Alex Cross #26)
Author: James Patterson
Publisher: Century and Cornerstone Digital
Publication Date: 15 November 2018

Twitter: @JP_Books
Instagram: @jamespattersonbooks
Facebook: /JamesPatterson



Men and women from across the nation line the streets of Washington D.C. to mourn the unexpected death of the President. Hit by painful memories of the loss of his first wife, Alex Cross is left reeling by this tragedy.


A sniper’s bullet strikes another devastating blow to the heart of Washington with the assassination of a prominent Senator. The shock of this attack puts huge pressure on the police to deliver a speedy response, and as Chief of Detectives, Alex’s wife Bree Stone is given an ultimatum: solve the case, or lose her job. 


The new President calls on Alex Cross to lead an unparalleled FBI investigation to help capture America’s most wanted criminal. Alex has a terrible feeling that the assassination is just the beginning of a much larger plan. All too soon this fear springs to life as a terrifying chain of events plunges the government and the entire country into chaos.

The stakes have never been higher for Alex Cross as his courage, his training and his capacity for battle are stretched to their limits in the most important case of his life.


The Alex Cross series began with the release of Along Came a Spider in 1993 and has continued over the past 25 years. Target Alex Cross is an impressive 26th addition to the series, which centres on psychologist and police consultant Alex Cross, a man who helps keep criminals off the streets.
As always, Patterson has managed to keep the series fresh by introducing yet another action-packed plot. The book opens at the funeral of the President of the United States, before quickly descending into a chaotic melee as high-ranking members of the U.S. government start being picked off one by one. With a country quite literally on the brink of collapse, can Cross held to uncover those responsible for the dastardly deeds? Who is behind the assassinations and why – is it a political statement or an international terrorist threat intended to destabilise and weaken the US?

If that isn’t pressure enough, whilst Cross is called in by the FBI to consult, his Chief of Detectives wife Bree is given an ultimatum by her boss – solve the case before the FBI do or face demotion!
As the body count rises, the book provides readers with a thrilling and complex mystery to solve. It is a gripping page-turner of a plot. Patterson skillfully weaves together several narratives into a slick and entertaining cat and mouse chase between Cross and whomever lies behind the atrocities. Every time Cross comes close to an answer, it moves just beyond his reach.
A couple of secondary plots run throughout the book. Cross has begun to receive some anonymous notes asking for help. He also starts seeing a patient in his private practice, someone who Cross finds particularly intriguing. Cross has little time to spare for these distractions, something which he later has cause to regret…
There was, however, one thing which rankled with me a little bit – the number of references made to Uber. I know this is a popular taxi choice at present, yet it was enough to feel like product placement (maybe it was?). It doesn’t really matter, yet for some reason it stuck out to me and niggled ever so slightly.
As with all of the books in the Alex Cross series, Target Alex Cross can be read as a standalone novel. I have not read the entire series and those which I have read previously were not in any particular order. I have never found this to be a problem, as whilst there are some subplots running through the series, none of those threads gets in the way of the main story line.  
Target Alex Cross certainly does not disappoint. It is yet another thrilling adventure from Patterson, a suspenseful and gripping tale that will leave you on the edge of your seat. If you enjoy an action-packed, adrenaline-fueled political thriller, this may well be the book for you.  Plus, the addition of a cliffhanger ending means that I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the next book in the series, if only to find out who wrote the notes!    

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for providing a copy of the book for review.

About the Author

JAMES PATTERSON is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. His books have sold in excess of 375 million copies worldwide. He is the author of some of the most popular series of the past two decades – the Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, Detective Michael Bennett and Private novels – and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers.

James is passionate about encouraging children to read. Inspired by his own son who was a reluctant reader, he also writes a range of books for young readers including the Middle School, I Funny, Treasure Hunters, Dog Diaries and Max Einstein series. James has donated millions in grants to independent bookshops and has been the most borrowed author of adult fiction in UK libraries for the past eleven years in a row. He lives in Florida with his wife and son.


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