Cross Country by James Patterson

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Cross CountryPatterson really does get Alex Cross into some jams in this one. Alex, the private detective, is mortified when he checks out the home of one of his friends. Elle Cox, mother and well known author of items in books and newspapers, has been brutally murdered along with her entire family. Cross and Elle had dated when younger and had remained close friends so he was devastated.

He realizes that she had been doing a lot of investigating into terrorism in the U.S. and even across the world. He finds as he begins his own investigation that the CIA is also deeply interested into finding out more about the event. The terrorism seems to be somehow tied into governments across the world.

Among some of her papers Cross finds that she has been doing a lot of her investigating into terrorism especially in Africa. And especially in Nigeria and Sudan. Also that although entire families were often killed over there, the young boys of the families were often taken away by the gangs of marauders. And then these young boys were being turned into gang members and were actually participating in the gang murders that were terrorizing the country.

Shortly after Elle’s family’s murders another family of a gentleman, who also was working on the African situation, was entirely killed. Cross decides that he will go to Africa on his own to find out more about the situation. He does know from what he learned in the U.S. that the ringleader is a huge young man who goes by the name of Tiger. Cross heads into more trouble than even he imagined when he lands in Africa.

On deplaning and thinking he was getting a ride to his quarters by some local cops he finds out nothing is as he thought. He is beaten up pretty badly and actually taken prisoner for a time before he is able to get out. He continues to track Tiger from one part of Africa to another and all the while he is being shot at, beaten up, or manhandled in some way.

Patterson continues this book for an extraordinary long time with mostly physical altercations of all types being described. He does bring one young lady into the storyline as she is also investigating the Tiger and his dealings.

Although Cross and the young lady do get fairly entangled nothing really happens between them before another major event happens. That event is the murder of the young lady and her family which does bring more police activity into the picture.

However it is pretty much slow moving other than Cross seems to be always being beaten up by either the young boys or finally Tiger himself.

This is neither my favorite Patterson nor favorite Cross book. It does seem to hold your attention all the way to the end just to see what and how it will all end. There is actually no sex and very little profanity anywhere in the book. Give it a try.