Short Take: “Cross Kill,” James Patterson

Pros: I do like crime dramas
Cons: But maybe not this one
Rating: 2 out of 5

James Patterson’s Cross Kill: An Alex Cross Story (BookShots) has Alex Cross and his partner, John, helping with a before-school meals program; they’re in attendance because of nearby gang activity. An old enemy of theirs (Soneji) who’s supposed to have been dead for years appears and in shooting at them, lands a head shot on John.

Alex goes more than a little crazy trying to track down Soneji while John hovers between life and death and nobody else believes it could be Soneji. It’s a halfway decent book, rendered almost entirely unreadable by the total cliffhanger of an ending. Generally the point of a short story/novella/”BookShot” is to provide something you can relax and read in a short time. Ending it with a vast hole in the story is incredibly annoying, and watching Alex go crazy over Soneji wasn’t enough to hold my interest through the entire piece of fiction.

Thus, summary of story: Alex goes crazy (with a little pushing), John might die, and there’s no half-satisfying ending.

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