Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cross Fire by James Patterson

 This was a really quick read. In fact, I started it as I got on the plane in Washington, D.C., and finished it about an hour and a half out of Boise. I'm fairly certain I've read a few of the Alex Cross series in the past, given to my by my late bibliophile friend, Tim G., in one of his library clearing binges. But I certainly haven't kept up to date with the series, and the many loves of Alex Cross, so it was a bit like jumping into the middle in some ways, when Alex proposes to Bree, whom he's been seeing for a few novels, I guess, and his old archenemy Kyle Craig returns...I have no recollection of this villain. Oh well, it still reads quite well, and nothing is lost by not knowing the backstory as long as you understand that Alex is a mega-smart detective, and there are bad guys about.

The plot centers around Kyle's plans for vengeance on Alex for putting him in prison some unknown number of plots ago, and how he assumes the identity of an undercover FBI agent who is returning from the field after years away in order to get close to Alex on a convenient cross-jurisdictional investigation, as Alex is now working for the DC Metro PD. Hey, maybe Murphy's Law knows him!

A pair of snipers who are at least marginally more competent than the last batch to ravage Washington have decided to begin eliminating the "foxes in the henhouse" in the U.S, such as congresscritters who are in bed with the banking industry, corrupt businessmen, and activist federal judges. The bad guys masquerade as homeless men in order to wander around the city without being noticed, and get away with several major assassinations, ratcheting up the pressure on Alex and his team, which includes his masquerading nemesis, Kyle.

There's also a side plot where homeless men are being murdered and mutilated by a paranoid schizophrenic mathematics professor, which provides a bit of entertainment along the way.

After building the tension for hundreds of pages, it all comes to an abrupt climax far to easily resolved.

A good airplane book.

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