Thursday, December 06, 2012

Review: Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson
Little, Brown and Company
November 2012
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages

First line: The rear door to St. Anthony's Church had been left open.

From the inside cover: Detective Alex Cross is ripped away from his family on Christmas Eve - but that's nothing compared to what awaits him on Christmas Day.

It's a snowy Christmas Eve, and Detective Alex Cross is at home celebrating with his family. Nana Mama's famous pecan pie is in the oven, and the kids are hanging their favorite ornaments on the tree. Just as Alex's wife emerges from the kitchen with a bowl of homemade eggnog, his phone rings with news that shatters the night: At a nearby home, a family has been taken hostage - and the situation is spiraling out of control fast.

Alex rushes to the scene and confronts the unthinkable: A father is threatening to murder his children and ex-wife. And just as the insanity peaks, a second horrific situation explodes - one that no one could have foreseen and that puts millions of people at risk. This is a red alert of the darkest kind, and Alex is forced to make a decision that could end as many lives as it saves - including his own.

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross is James Patterson's most shocking Alex Cross novel yet: a break-neck-paced and heart-pounding adrenaline rush of a thriller, written by the world's #1 bestselling author, who "knows where out deepest fears are buried."

My thoughts: This is the latest in the Alex Cross series and it was jammed-packed with action. In this 19th installment, we see Alex being pulled in all directions. As is usual with James Patterson's books, there are short chapters that sometimes end with mini-cliffhangers and just beg you to read one more chapter until you find yourself devouring the book in one sitting.

The holidays are meant for spending time with family and Alex Cross is looking forward to all the family time he can get. Unfortunately it is just not meant to be. First, he is called to a church to help catch a thief stealing from the offering boxes. That get quickly resolved and Alex heads home. But he is quickly called back out to handle a hostage situation. A man is holding his three children, his ex-wife, her new husband, and a neighbor hostage and he is threatening to murder them all. Putting himself in danger to resolve the situation, Alex finally heads home early Christmas morning only to be called out once again - this time by the FBI when a well-known terrorist (and a character we met in an earlier book) is spotted at Union Station.

It is quite evident that Alex Cross is the go-to guy anytime there is a tough case. Not only do the police have his number on speed-dial, but so do the FBI. Unfortunately his family often suffers during these cases. Especially during the hostage case, Alex's family struggles to remain in the holiday spirit. But luckily Nana Mama is there forcing everyone to carry on. Her strength really carries the family through but that doesn't mean she doesn't give Alex his due when he does get home!

I was a little disappointed that there has not been a cross-over between Alex Cross and the ladies from The Women's Murder Club. Book 17, Cross Fire, ends with Alex receiving a call from Detective Lindsay Boxer. Why put that in a book if you don't intend on using it? Will I keep reading each series if there is no cross-over - yes - but I would love to see these characters team up. Luckily we don't have to wait until next fall for the next Alex Cross book - book 20 is due out in a few months and you can be sure I will be at the bookstore the day the book is released!

Do you have any series or specific authors that have you running to the nearest bookstore on release day?

(I purchased this book.)

Books in this series:
  1. Along Came a Spider                   11.  Mary Mary
  2. Kiss the Girls                                   12.  Cross
  3. Jack and Jill                                    13. Double  Cross 
  4. Cat and Mouse                               14.  I, Alex Cross
  5. Pop Goes the Weasel                   15.  Alex Cross's Trial
  6. Roses are Red                                 16.  Cross Country
  7. Violets are Blue                             17.  Cross Fire
  8. Four Blind Mice                            18.  Kill Alex Cross
  9. The Big Bad Wolf                          19.  Merry Christmas, Alex Cross
  10. London Bridges                            20.  Alex Cross, Run - due out Feb 2013



  1. This is definitely one of those series. The "In Death" series is another. Looking forward to this book.

    1. I haven't tried the "In Death" series...not really sure they are my thing.

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  3. I'm a huge fan but Cross Country made me so angry I gave up for a little while lol. Maybe it's time to get back on the Alex Cross wagon?

    Here's my naughty review of Cross Country if you're interested :)


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