I mentioned yesterday in my review of the audiobook version of Patricia Cornwell’s The Front that I felt like it wasn’t an easy book to jump into. Thankfully, I didn’t have that problem with James Patterson’s Double Cross, though I did have a series of problems with it that I will get to. This is the 13th entry in the Alex Cross series and I didn’t have any problem understanding the relationships or the characters or anything like that. The story revolves around Cross and his new girlfriend/cop Bri trying to stop a serial killed dubbed the DC Audience Killer who likes to create and play characters with the aid of makeup and other disguise techniques and then kill people in front of large groups. There’s also the matter of criminal mastermind Kyle Craig who apparently used to work with Cross who has broken out of a supermax prison and is working his way up to Cross.
Plot-wise, the story was really interesting. They split the reading up between Peter J. Fernandez and Michael Stuhlbarg with one of them reading all of the hero parts and the other reading all of the bad guy parts (both DCAK as he’s called and Craig). I got into the story, was curious to find out what the deal with DCAK was and how he was finally going to get caught and how Craig was going to play into the whole thing. For that I’m grateful because otherwise, the 10 hour drive to Ohio would have been a pretty dull and boring one.
However, I would not call this a well-written piece of fiction. For one thing, everyone comes off as way too perfect. Bri Stone (terrible, made-up sounding name) is basically the pinnacle of womanhood. She’s cool and smart and funny and hot and can kick ass and a supercop and on and on and on. She seems to have zero flaws. Meanwhile, Cross–who came off as super smarmy to me and the missus as we were listening–just bugs me. He’s full of himself and arrogant and I just can’t get away from the word smarmy when I think about him (possibly do to his narrator, but I think it’s inherent in his character). The biggest problem the missus and I had with him though was that he never once tried to hide his three kid or grandmother even though he had not one but TWO crazy serial killers after him. That would be the first thing I’d do and yet you hear little to no mention about his kids except one moment where the oldest runs away after dad missed a meeting with a prep school basketball coach. Even that gets solved in moments and is wrapped up in a nice little bow.
Listening to Double Cross was kind of like watching a movie on a Saturday during the day that you’ve never really seen and don’t need to watch again but might check it out sometime in the future if there’s nothing on again. I didn’t realize until reading a few things online, but the character of Alex Cross is the same one from movie adaptations Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider which I haven’t seen but star Morgan Freeman. I think I’d like his take on the character a lot more than this one.