James Patterson has had seven international number one bestsellers in a row. KISS THE GIRLS was filmed by Paramount Pictures in 1997 and became a number one hit movie.
Alex Cross is backÄand that alone will have this novel crowning bestseller lists, a feat Patterson's books have achieved often of late, both his Cross (Pop Goes the Weasel) and non-Cross (Cradle and All) thrillers. Patterson won an Edgar for his first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, but he hasn't won one since. One reason is that his prose, though sturdy as a trusted rowboat, is just as wooden; another is that his plottingÄhere detailing Washington, D.C., homicide detective Cross's pursuit of a crazed but crafty homicidal criminal known as the MastermindÄis about as sophisticated as that of a Frank and Joe Hardy tale. So why are the Cross novels so popular? In part because Patterson constructs them out of short, simple sentences, paragraphs and chapters that practically define the brisk, fun, E-Z read, and in part because, here and elsewhere, he engages in the smart and unusual tactic of alternating third- and first-person (from Cross's POV) narrative. Mostly, though, readers adore them because Cross is such a lovable hero, a family-oriented African-American whose compassion warmly balances the icy cruelty of Patterson's villains and their sometimes graphically depicted crimes (as is the case here). In the new novel, Cross suffers lady problems as his old love, who's in terror of Cross's job, leaves him, and he fumbles toward a new romance with an FBI agent; he also suffers personal trauma as his beloved daughter develops a brain tumor. That's back-burner action, though. The main focus here is, first, on a series of shocking Mastermind-engineered bank robbery/kidnappings involving wanton killings and, second, on the hunt to ID the MastermindÄa hunt both absorbing and annoying for its several (rather smelly) red herrings, and concluding with a revelation that screams sequel. While there's nothing subtle in this novel, every blatant element is packaged for maximum effect: roses may be red, but Patterson's newest is green all the way. U.K. and translation rights, Arthur Pine Associates. 1.25 million first printing; Literary Guild and Doubleday Direct main selections; simultaneous Random House large-print edition and Time Warner Audio. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Roses Are Red was no.5 in the Observer and no.9 in the Daily and Sunday Telegraph bestseller lists 'Patterson's simple but effective style and short, punchy chapters keep the action moving nicely' The Mirror 'Patterson's simple but effective style and short, punchy chapters keep the action moving nicely' Daily Mirror
The latest "nursery rhyme" adventures of Dr. Alex Cross pick up where Pop Goes the Weasel (LJ 7/99) left off. Girlfriend Christine has just had baby Alex Jr. but is still haunted by her kidnapping and can't face life with a policeman. Alex is off catching yet another maniacal murderer, a creep who calls himself Mastermind and is terrorizing suburban Washington, DC, by robbing banks and killing indiscriminately. Working with the FBI rather than dependable partner John Sampson, Alex is frustrated again and again as the killer eludes them, until finally a break in the case leads them to their quarryDor does it? Patterson's formulaic suspense machine is once again in high gear, and fans of his usual breakneck plotting won't mind that the story is implausible and the surprise ending so surprising that any hint of motivation is sacrificed. They'll be waiting for the next installment. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/00.]DRebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.