Thursday, May 03, 2012

Review: Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson

First line: A few months after I hunted a vicious killer named the Tiger halfway around the world, I began to think seriously about a book I had been wanting to write for years.

From the inside cover: The irresistible story - passed down through the generations - of a courageous fight for freedom by one of Alex Cross's ancestors.

From his grandmother, Alex Cross has heard the story of his great-uncle Abraham and his struggles for survival in the era of the Ku Klux Klan. Now Alex passes the family tale along to his own children in a novel he's written - a novel called Trial.

As a lawyer in Washington, DC, early in the 1900s, Ben Corbett represents the toughest cases. Fighting against oppression and racism, he risks his family and his life in the process. When President Roosevelt asks Ben to return to his hometown to investigate rumors of the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan there, he cannot refuse.

When he arrives in Mississippi, Ben meets the wise Abraham Cross and his beautiful daughter Moody. Ben enlists their help, and the two Crosses introduce him to the hidden side of the idyllic Southern town. Lynchings have become commonplace, and residents of the black quarter live in constant fear. Ben aims to break the reign of terror -but the truth of who is really behind it could break his heart. Written in the fearless voice of Detective Alex Cross, Alex Cross's "Trial" is a gripping story of murder, love, and above all, bravery.

My thoughts: As many of you know I love James Patterson's books and read most of his series, including the Alex Cross series. When I first saw this book, I thought it wasn't really part of the series and so I didn't read it at the time. I recently decided to read it and despite the tough nature of the story, I found it to be a good book.

Alex Cross's Trial is the story that Alex Cross writes about his ancestors. It is set in 1906 when Theodore Roosevelt is president and the Ku Klux Klan is alive and active, conducting lynches and burnings in the deep south. Alex's great-uncle aids the young lawyer sent to Mississippi on the president's behalf to find out what's going on. 

This story follows some of the typical Patterson qualities readers have come to expect - short chapters, twists and turns with some suspenseful moments thrown in. However, it is more a compelling story than the typical thriller one associates with an Alex Cross story. I'm glad I finally read it, but I have to admit, it really doesn't have much to do with Alex Cross himself, other than the fact that he "wrote" this story.

Have you read this one yet? How do you feel about books that are marketed as part of a series but really have nothing to do with the series?

(I purchased this book from a library book sale.)

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


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