Criss Cross (Alex Cross, #27) (2024)


2,979 reviews25.5k followers

October 23, 2019

James Patterson's long running Alex Cross series is one I have dipped in and out of through the years and enjoyed, this is the 27th in the series, set in Washington DC, which takes Cross back to traumatic cases in his past. It opens with Cross at the Greensville Correction Centre, a high security prison in Virginia, to witness the execution of Michael 'Mikey' Edgerton, a upsetting and unsettling experience as he chooses to die on the electric chair. He continues to claim his innocence, his wealthy family are present, and vow vengeance on Cross. Cross, whilst disturbed by the whole sorry affair, has no doubts of Mikey's guilt, certain he is responsible for many murders. Barely a few hours later, Cross and John Sampson find themselves at a copycat murder scene, with a note on the corpse saying 'You messed up big time, Dr Cross' signed by 'M'.

Could the Edgerton family be behind this? However, it soon becomes clear that Cross is familiar with M, in fact he has been aware of him for twelve years. Cross visits a former FBI agent in prison in his professional role as therapist, Martin Forbes is adamant that he is innocent and has been framed for the murders he is alleged to have been convicted of. Cross and Sampson find themselves at numerous brutally gruesome murder crime scenes, all with echoes of well known killers from the past, including that of the dead FBI agent Kyle Craig. Cross was present at Craig's death, surely there is no way Craig could still be alive? As Cross and Sampson chase the elusive M, who is engaging in unpredictable actions, like a kidnapping and ransom demand, the danger edges ever closer to Cross's family.

In this latest addition to the series, Patterson continues to write a fast paced, intense, compulsive and twisted story. Cross's family play a central part in the book, with his wife, Detective Brianna 'Bree' Stone of the Metro Police Department, Nanamama with her fabulous cooking, his 17 year old daughter, Jannie, and his precociously bright 10 year old son, Ali, who becomes obsessed with cycling. This is an entertaining read, with much that feels familiar about it, but still a thrilling and exciting affair. However, here and there the plotting felt a little on the creaky side and I was a tad disappointed in the characterisation of M at the final reveal, and the ambiguous ending felt a little too predictable. This is probably just me though, as I can see die hard Patterson and Cross fans absolutely loving this to bits. Many thanks to Random House Cornerstone for an ARC.

    crime-fiction mystery netgalley


4,099 reviews12.9k followers

December 6, 2019

James Patterson returns with one of his foundations series, exploring the further adventures of Alex Cross in this intense crime thriller. As the novel opens, Dr. Alex Cross is on his way to the execution of a man he helped put away for some gruesome murders. While the man’s family professes this is a frame-up, Cross is sure the evidence tells a different story. After watching the electrocution, Cross and his partner are called to the scene of a crime, one that makes he wonder if he might have made a major mistake. A crime scene awaits him, similar to those the aforementioned killer appeared to have left, along with a mocking note signed “M”. Cross scrambles to understand what’s going on and how this will reflect on him. As Cross thinks back to the case from years ago, he is forced to wonder if he got wrapped up in a quick solve, rather than weighing all the evidence. As he tries to crack open the ‘M’ case, Cross is faced with a few more copycat killings from other notorious killers he’s put away. Nothing is more disturbing than a few sightings of his greatest nemesis, Kyle Craig, who apparently died right before Cross’ eyes a few years before. As Cross seeks to uncover the great ‘M’, he is taunted repeatedly and is surely being watched from afar. When terror strikes within the Cross household, ‘M’ claims responsibility, but will stop at nothing until Alex Cross is permanently neutralized. An interesting addition to the series, which has gone on for quite a while. One must wonder if Cross might want to hang up his cuffs and enjoy a quieter life. Recommended to those who enjoy Alex Cross and his various adventures, as well as those who find solace in James Patterson’s work.

I admit that I have long been a critic of Patterson’s work, as I find it is usually rushed and slapped together in haste, selling so well because of a name and not the quality of the story. The Alex Cross series has usually been quite well written and the stories remain believable throughout the many novels that are pieces of this collection. There is little room for backstory with Alex Cross, but Patterson os keen to show how he is always on the ball to catch a killer in new and interesting ways. Cross is a family man to the core, balancing work, marriage, and his children as best he can. Patterson offers up some added information about the youngest Cross, Ali, which likely parallels his decision to create a young adult collection featuring Ali going forward. The reader gets a little more about the middle child, daughter Jannie, who is set to make some major academic decisions, fully supported by her father. Other characters find their spots in the narrative and keep the reader on their toes, while never distracting from the larger plot. The use of ‘M’ as a copycat-cum-new villain will have interesting impacts, should the series continue for the foreseeable future. The story was well written and in line with much of the past novels in the series, with Patterson using his quick chapters to lure the reader to “read a little more”. While not the best of the collection, it will keep me reading this series. On that note, one must wonder if Cross is ending his run soon, as he has reached a large number of adventures. If so, perhaps he, Michael Bennett, and Lindsay Boxer could work together, even once? It has been my long-time plea.

Kudos, Mr. Patterson, for another good read. I hope series fans are satisfied and that you will focus your attention on these stronger series and keep the vapid writing for others to pen.

Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge:



1,506 reviews777 followers

December 31, 2019

It's been a long time since I read an entire book in a single day, but as I think about it, I'm pretty sure the last time it happened it was a book in this long-running series featuring Washington, D.C., Metro Police detective and FBI behavioral specialist Dr. Alex Cross (this is the 27th). It is also my favorite series from the prolific James Patterson, and this one was a bit more special because some of the action takes place in northeastern Ohio not far from my home.

I've enjoyed reading about Alex, his elderly grandmother, Nana Mama, and his police partner, John Sampson, right from the start; admittedly, it took me a little longer to warm up to his second wife, Police Commissioner Bree, and even Alex's kids. But by now, they're like old friends. And happily, they all get plenty of face time in this book, although much of what happens is pretty scary - one reason I didn't want to put it down (the other is that Patterson's usual short, bullet-like chapters make it extremely easy to keep going). The story begins as Alex and John are in Virginia to witness the execution of a murderer the two brought to justice. They're not too happy about the prospect, and the situation is made worse by accusations by the soon-to-die prisoner's mother (why she'd want to watch her son die in the electric chair is beyond me, but it gets across a point that will be important later in the story).

Worse, there's no rest for the wicked; the minute they get home, Bree calls them to a murder scene at which a note, ostensibly from the killer, tells Alex that the guy who's execution he just witnessed was wrongly convicted. The only clue? The simple signature of "M" - a moniker known to Alex for at least 12 years. Shortly thereafter, a former cop now in jail who's been telling Alex he was framed claims to have been visited by an old nemesis of Alex - a man whose death Alex witnessed four years earlier. Whoa - could it be that the man isn't really dead? Not possible, both Alex and John insist, trying to put that possibility out of their heads.

Other nasty acts happen and characters appear that may be tied to the mysterious "M," but all avenues of investigative exploration lead to dead ends (so to speak). Throughout, chunks of the book are devoted to Alex's recollections of situations from years past that involve current developments. And along the way, two of Alex's children - Jannie and Ali - find new interests that could lead to very successful futures. That is, until "M" turns his (or her) attention to Alex's family and turns their happy home world upside down.

The ending doesn't resolve everything, alas, but it does provide fodder for upcoming books. And as usual, I'll be in line when the next one comes off the presses. Good job!


4,505 reviews2,863 followers

May 31, 2021


After watching the execution of the man Alex Cross had put away for dreadful crimes, he and his friend and partner Detective John Sampson were called to a crime scene which had all the hallmarks of the killer who had just been executed. Had he got it wrong? What was to follow would test Cross, his wife, Chief of Detectives, Bree Stone, and their team, as well as Nana Mama, Jannie and Ali.

The person calling himself ‘M’ was always steps ahead of Cross, seemingly knowing what Cross and his family were doing every moment of the day and night. When images of the perpetrator came to light, Cross thought he was losing it – the images showed a criminal who was long dead – wasn’t he? Could Cross and the Metro Police Department, along with the FBI, find the answers they needed before it was too late?

Criss Cross is the 27th in the Alex Cross series by James Patterson and once again I thoroughly enjoyed it. The tension and pace kept the pages turning; I was positive I knew who the perp was and when he was caught, I thought I was very smart! Until the twist which made me realise I was wrong! JP is much smarter than me! 😉 Highly recommended.

    2019-release 5000-2021 crime


8,938 reviews981 followers

January 15, 2020

Alex Cross goes up against a serial killer who has been toying with him for years. He copy cats other killers Alex has arrested and then leaves notes to Alex at the scenes. Patterson does seem to be repeating himself some here. There are several elements that have been used in previous books like . I also didn't care for how Alex Cross flaunts the law in this. He plants evidence. He breaks into a suspect's home. It seems very out of character for a man with integrity like Alex, let alone a police detective in general. Maybe Patterson should limit himself to releasing less than 6 books a year and focus on the writing of his established characters.


Todd Glaeser

777 reviews

November 30, 2019

Fun while I was reading it. Then I saw how Patterson repeated himself. Wasn’t Alex’s house bugged in a recent book? Wasn’t Ali, along with the rest of the family, kidnapped? Hadn’t Alex gone off the deep end, or pretended to? Wasn’t there a look-alike to one one of Alex’s past nemesis?
It’s no wonder I liked it, I liked it the first time I read it.


924 reviews166 followers

December 4, 2019

Oh how I love the Alex Cross series. This one was crazy fast to job into with a great story that takes hold of most of the characters we have come to enjoy and attach ourselves to throughout. Really good installment. Now I need to catch a few hours of sleep since finishing the book kept me up!


502 reviews50 followers

January 19, 2020

I’ve been reading James Patterson books for over twenty years. During that time, like most of his fans, my favorite character has always been Alex Cross. He was Patterson’s first detective series that helped lay the foundation for his kingdom of several bestselling series and stand-alone novels. For me, Alex has remained a fierce, intellectual knight of moral character and one of the world’s greatest serial hunters.

I remember reading the Alex’s first adventure, “Along came a Spider” and almost cried when Alex, then a widower, faced the loss of his new love in an ending twist I would never forget. In the twenty-seven years following, there have been some good (and excellent) adventures, including about four books back when Alex discovered and met his father, who was thought dead for many years. There were also some less-than-stellar outings along the way, but I generally looked forward to the end of each year when another Alex Cross adventure was published.

Now, the 27th book in the series – “Criss Cross” – is in my hands and the reading completed.

The book opens with Alex and his longtime partner and best friend, John Sampson, witnessing the execution of a killer, Michael Edgerton, they helped get convicted. Immediately following that emotional act, they are called to the scene of a crime back in their hometown where they find a murdered wife and a note personal y left for Alex that reads – "You messed up big time, Dr. Cross" and signed, simply – “M”. This is the fourth note over the last twelve years that Alex has found left for him, and the worst part is that he thought they had already removed this killer when Edgerton was executed.

Alex must figure out whether they get the wrong person or if is this a copy-cat killer as “M” sends Cross on a roller-coaster ride of multiple criminal activities, including kidnaping and multiple homicides, all set-up to trick and humiliate him. Each crime sends Alex down a false trail and leaving him frustrated, and his family at risk. As “M” decides to come after Alex’s family members and make him pay for the sins of his past…

As any avid fan would expect, Patterson runs multiple plots, jumping all over the place from Alex’s professional life one moment to his family situations the next. In this outing though, much of the novel is spent with Cross running from one criminal activity to another, leaving him and the reader little time to process what happened and how it fits into the bigger storyline picture. Alex spends most of the book chasing and being manipulated by the elusive villain that is called “M”.

Like a typical Patterson thriller, the tempo is fastmoving with lots of action and drama, as well as violence and death. The plotlines pretty much follow’s Patterson’s usual developments, including curveballs thrown in to make the outcome more interesting. However, things move along at such a breakneck speed that it created two problems for me.

The first is that the plot lost several layers of reality. Yes, those plot choices made the story more entertaining, but it went too far at times. That disjointed, breakneck speed of plotting took some of the heart out of the story and left it a bit too mechanical and predictable at key moments. All of the running around took away from the human attachment that connects us with the strength and power of Alex Cross’ character

Second, and more importantly, it seems that Patterson is having challenges with creating strong foes to challenge Cross. Ever since Alex’s greatest foe, Kyle Craig, was finally vanquished (or was he?), finding a worthy opponent has sometimes been lacking. To be fair, it’s probably not easy to come up with new and interesting serial killers that provide Alex a real test. As much as the build-up to who “M” is and what drives him or her to terrorize Cross and his family, the ending was a bit predictable, as well as a letdown.

Overall, this was an okay book for me, but not one of his stronger books. Patterson tends to focus on large -scale plotlines that end-up going all over the place in a schizophrenic, shotgun approach that ends up being messy and disconnected. In contrast, I find that I enjoy a more personalized Alex Cross story where his hunt for a serial killer is layered, builds steadily and consistently with quality clues, and his family members are fully involved in active roles. The pace and villain detracted from the mystery and tension, and the story really felt like it could have been better developed and less predictable. Here’s hoping to better outing next time…

8stitches 9lives

2,856 reviews1,665 followers

November 14, 2019

Criss Cross is the twenty-seventh instalment to feature psychologist, police force and FBI consultant Dr Alex Cross, and I am amazed at how the series continues to go from strength to strength. The plotline is very much ripped from today's headlines: terrifyingly a convicted killer and serial rapist Mikey Edgerton who was handed the death penalty as punishment has just been executed when a murder using his very modus operandi occurs. Is someone taunting the police to make sure they know they got the wrong man and he is still free or is it merely a sick hoax and a copycat killer? Alex finds a letter from the enigmatic person known only as M who has been dropping hints and guiding him in the right direction in terms of this case for years. But who knows who can really be trusted in a game where everyone plays to win.

As always with Patterson's books so long as you can suspend your disbelief and turn a blind eye to the believability factor then you're going to enjoy the ride. Every chapter has action and thrills and this serves to keep you reading just one more even when you really should be doing other stuff. Patterson knows exactly how to grip you and not let you go and this book is no exception; it's a page-turner simply overflowing with wicked deeds, twists and surprises, exciting action and a fast-moving narrative. I always try to savour his books because they are so riveting and addictive but it's an impossibility. This is an absorbing, high-octane and compulsively readable thriller that will delight fans both old and new. Many thanks to Century for an ARC.

Sandra Hoover

1,316 reviews219 followers

April 6, 2024

Another intense segment in the drama of the life of Alex Cross! This time the man known as "M" is taunting Alex while threatening his family. When young Ali disappears, Alex's world is torn apart. Can they save Ali and catch the killer who's haunted Cross for years? Has another old nemesis returned? This is another fast-paced, high action installment of the Alex Cross Series. I can't believe I just finished book #27! On to #28!!

    audio-2024 crime-fiction mystery-thriller


672 reviews8 followers

September 3, 2020

I really wanted to like this book, but there were just too many things working against it. Slow to start, I had a struggle getting into the story itself. Alex behaved in ways that were contrary to his nature as a parent and as former law enforcement. When a strange adult male takes an interest in your 10 year old son, exchanges contact information, and pursues opportunities to spend time with your child, that should be concerning. Alex's obsession with M is unhealthy. As a psychologist, he should have seen that. And once Alex had M in custody at the hospital, he should have been handcuffed to his hospital bed and guarded by armed law enforcement officers after making his confession to Alex. There should have been no opportunity for M to escape. And then there is the issue of Ali, Cross' 10 year old son. Why is the child not out playing and riding his mountain bike with kids his own age. This little fellow has a rather off-putting personality, that of an annoying know it all. Here's hoping the next book in the series is better. I expected much better from you, Mr. Patterson.


2,178 reviews1,094 followers

December 9, 2019

Guess I miss out some in Criss Cross since this "M" is from previous book and I have lots to catch up.
The book is still very good and exciting to listen to. Is JP's Alex Cross the only audio book to get sound effects?
The mystery was good, his antagonist is always on the crazy side. I love the Cross family dynamic especially when they are together doing family thing. It makes me want to eat nana mama's cooking too.🙂

    audiobook fiction james-patterson

Lisa from Ohio aka: Square Granny

793 reviews50 followers

December 22, 2019

I do love this series!

    4-4-5-stars horror-thriller-suspense-just-scary in-a-series

Natalie all_books_great_and_small

2,480 reviews116 followers

November 6, 2019

This book was sent to me to read and review in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

Alex Cross goes through a really gruelling time in this book - from witnessing an execution to having to revisit past cases and events from the resurfacing of someone who has been taunting him for years - the mysterious M.
A fast paced story full of action, this book was fantastic from start to finish.
Everytime I thought I had M figured out the book twisted and I had to rethink the direction of the story.
Will he uncover who M is? And can he protect those he loves most from danger?
Find out for yourself - you wont be disappointed!
James Patterson has done it again and created another fantastic read!

Kevin McGill

49 reviews

February 5, 2020

I am finished with the Alex Cross series - a sentence I thought I would never say.

The Alex Cross series has gone downhill over the past few novels, but this novel (the 27th in the series) is the one that I need to draw the line at. I didn't enjoy the storyline and I'm not enjoying the characters as much as I used to. I'm stopping the series and preserving the characters in my mind as I saw them in the early novel, not who they are in these later novels.

Carol Jones-Campbell

1,797 reviews

October 1, 2021

With the new book "Fear No Evil" coming out, I realized that I remembered not all the key points
in the Criss Cross book, 27th installment with James Patterson. I'm finding that reviewing this book has been hugely helpful and now able to remember things I'd forgotten. I also had the opportunity to clean up my review that had some weaknesses so it is stronger than it was before. I'm a big Patterson fan, and am very much looking forward to the new book. I appreciate the friends that have shared comments that help me be better too.

When a mysterious serial killer known as "M" launches a deranged " investigation", Alex Cross and I've read every Alex Cross novel, but I hadn't read any of James Patterson's young adult books. When I saw that this YA novel was also about Alex Cross and involved a mystery told through the eye's of his son Ali, I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did. The youngest member of the Cross family puts his intellect to use when his school friend Gabe goes missing. Meanwhile, Alex is on trial for assault after a man he was questioning takes a tumble down a flight of stairs and falls into a coma. If the man dies, the charge could be upgraded to murder. Christmas is all but ruined when a burglary takes place at the Cross residence, with all the presents being stolen, along with Alex's and Bree's service revolvers. Ali's persistence is impressive, as he organizes and leads his friends into a full-fledged investigation into Gabe's disappearance, complete with canvassing the neighborhood, distributing flyers, and setting up a social media account. Young readers will be attracted by the inclusion of video gaming as a tool to solve the mystery and by Ali's struggles with bullies at his school. For this senior reader, anything with the Cross family always falls into the "must read" category, and I didn't miss the blood and guts at all (until the next adult Alex Cross book comes out, anyway). His partner must unearth long forgotten secrets to survive--or risk getting buried themselves.

Cross had been told by relatives that at age eight his mother died of lung cancer and a year later his father died of alcoholism, so he was sent to Washington, D.C. to live with his grandmother, whom he calls Nana Mama. Later, he finds out the truth about his parents deaths, as detailed below at "Parents." He eventually received a doctorate in psychology from Johns Hopkins University and then worked as a migrant farm worker for a year. Afterwards, he started a private practice and worked as a psychologist for two years, but eventually decided to become a policeman after he had become disillusioned with the politics of the medical community (Violets Are Blue).

Cross joined the police force because the people in his neighborhood could not afford his services. His first case involved two men who were shot and whose killings were written off as drug-related. Since he knew both men, he began to investigate and found one of the men was dating a woman who was also dating the local drug dealer.

He was still living with Nana Mama and his children, Damon, Janelle (Jannie), by his late wife Maria Simpson-Cross and Alex Jr. (Ali) from his fiancée, Christine Johnson. Cross teaches his two elder children boxing in his home's basem*nt (Pop Goes the Weasel).

Cross carries a Glock 9 mm pistol. He drives a 1974 Porsche and bought a Mercedes-Benz R350 to replace Maria's old Toyota. He plays the piano to relax and owns an Abyssinian cat named Rosie, who showed up one day and never left. (Have you seen my new cat in profile picture, named Slicky
a black and white beauty and 4 years old?)

Cross had been told by relatives that at age eight his mother died of lung cancer and a year later his father died of alcoholism, so he was sent to Washington, D.C. to live with his grandmother, whom he calls Nana Mama. Later, he finds out the truth about his parents deaths, as detailed below at "Parents." He eventually received a doctorate in psychology from Johns Hopkins University and then worked as a migrant farm worker for a year. Afterwards, he started a private practice and worked as a psychologist for two years, but eventually decided to become a policeman after he had become disillusioned with the politics of the medical community (Violets Are Blue).

Cross joined the police force because the people in his neighborhood could not afford his services. His first case involved two men who were shot and whose killings were written off as drug-related. Since he knew both men, he began to investigate and found one of the men was dating a woman who was also dating the local drug dealer.

Cross volunteers at St. Anthony's soup kitchen frequently, where he is known as the "Peanut Butter Man". He began doing this with Maria. His partner in the PD, John Sampson, also volunteers there. Sampson calls Cross "Sugar" as a term of endearment while Cross calls Sampson "Man-Mountain" or "Two-John". They have been best friends since the age of 10.

It was a very good read. Highly Recommend.

Ron Wroblewski

615 reviews154 followers

September 22, 2022

Listened to this on CD while driving. Why must there always be someone after Alex's family. Would discourage anyone from wanting to be a cop. As always Alex is after a serial killer, this one chops the heads off his victims. It does get into survivalist thinking and preparation - you read about the Ant Hill. The Mastermind shows up again and we are sure to see him in future books.



748 reviews186 followers

September 10, 2020

Though I was unfamiliar with the recurring characters, the story still worked as a standalone. Quickly paced with short chapters, the plot draws you in to a plausible conclusion.

Elaine Tomasso

3,200 reviews62 followers

November 3, 2019

I would like to thank Netgalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone for an advance copy of Criss Cross, the twenty-seventh novel to feature psychologist Dr Alex Cross, consultant to the FBI and Washington DC Police Dept.

Hours after watching Mikey Edgerton executed for serial rape and murder Alex Coss is called out to a copycat murder. Has he made a mistake or is there more to it? A note from the mysterious M who has been contacting him for years would suggest so. As M ramps up his campaign it would seem that everything Alex Cross holds dear is under threat.

I thoroughly enjoyed Criss Cross which, as ever, is a high octane thriller with several twists and what seems like action in every chapter. Obviously the reader has to park their scepticism about realism, like how M could know so much and be so flawless in his planning and execution, on page one and go with the flow. It’s worth it as this is an exciting read that seems to fly by. It is told in the first person from Alex Cross’s point of view and is mostly set in the present although there are flashbacks to some of his previous crimes that link to the present. It could be confusing in the hands of a lesser storyteller but it all makes sense within the reality of the novel. I particularly liked the final twist which seems fitting, given the rest of the novel.

This is not a novel that requires much in-depth thought, being more of a series of action scenes with the thread of catching M. It does, however, present a more reflective Alex Cross who has doubts and despair about catching M but who never gives up the effort, to the extent of recklessness, another out of character trait. It all adds up to a compulsive narrative.

Criss Cross is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.


3,367 reviews531 followers

December 31, 2019

M is back and seeking retribution: he wants to make sure that Alex doesn't forget that he is not the hero everyone believes. In fact, the opening scene in the book is the execution of a serial killer, where Alex cut a corner. There are a series of women abducted and decapitated, and an ex-FBI agent Martin Forbes is in prison awaiting trial for murdering/decapitating human traffickers on a yacht. As Alex and John Sampson start to investigate, they catch glimpses of their adversary, who seems to be ... the mastermind, Kyle Craig, who Alex saw burn to death (or did he?) A lot of misdirection as M plays with Alex until things get very personal as someone close to Alex is kidnapped. I liked some of the new technology Patterson uses: crypto-currency, backtracing, disappearing messages on Wickr, etc. Maybe 3.5 stars.


Adah Udechukwu

668 reviews87 followers

December 24, 2019

Criss Cross is another James Patterson masterpiece. The novel does not disappoint. It's a great thriller.


925 reviews218 followers

December 2, 2019

I am an Alex Cross fan – not a James Patterson fan. (Yes I know Cross is a fictional character).
Kudos to James Patterson for keeping Dr. Alex Cross interesting since 1993.
This being #27 in the series it’s quite an achievement.
“Criss Cross” is not only suspenseful but also emotional as Cross is faced with a family (almost) tragedy.
I was sure early on that I knew who the villain was. I was wrong. Nice trick.
Furthermore #27 has left the reader no doubt that there is a #28 in the making.

Barbara Nutting

3,025 reviews144 followers

July 5, 2023

Somehow I missed this episode of Alex Cross, but I didn’t miss much! This was pretty run of the mill and kind of muddled up. I’m tired of Jannie’s running prowess. Since I recently read Book #30 I know how her track career goes and that M is still on the run. I guess that is why this book barely held my interest.


1,330 reviews107 followers

April 6, 2024

Another entertaining read introducing a new villain called Mr M. Alex Cross and his family are being stalked by a Kyle lookalike or is he back from the grave. Nana is still cooking, his kids are still sickening perfect and Sampson is still his partner.

I enjoyed this story more than the previous one. Nana is still cooking and his kids are still sickening perfect. Sampson is still his partner.



999 reviews157 followers

November 25, 2021

Criss Cross (Alex Cross, #27) by James Patterson.

File this one under my favorites. Alex is caught up in an never ending battle with a murderous fiend who has now kidnapped his beloved youngest son Ali. This monster known as M has it in for Alex for reasons unknown. His identity cannot be traced that is until forensics uncovers 26 different aliases.

This is Alex at his best.

    alex-cross my-favorites patterson


830 reviews53 followers

March 2, 2020

I've read all the other books in the Alex Cross series, so I will never drop it, but I have to admit, these installments, despite being exciting and fast-paced, just don't measure up to most of the other books I read these days. I found myself just wanting to get through with it, which is never a good sign, and the abrupt ending means that I hope I can remember enough details of this one by the time I get my hands on #28 in the series, since it will likely be at least partially a continuation.

I do love Alex and his family (most especially Nana Mama, though she can't live forever, can she?), but these books just really aren't my cup of tea any longer. The writing just isn't that good. I do have James Patterson to thank for getting me interested in reading fiction again after too many years away when I first retired in 2011, but I think I've moved past his style at this point.


1,533 reviews13 followers

April 20, 2020

I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

This was a good story spoilt in places by poor formatting making some sentences almost impossible to read on my kindle.
The story moved at a good pace and certainly had me guessing all the way through.
Unfortunately it was spoilt at the end by a pretty far fetched story line.
I mean a doctor stating that someone might never walk again and all of a sudden they are up and killing.
That really did spoil the whole story.
Was still a reasonable read though.

    netgalley thriller

Mary Jane

13 reviews1 follower

April 7, 2020

I love Alex Cross but he’s one of those characters who always skips heartache. In this book I thought we were really going to see a darker character come out but once again he comes out unchanged with a perfect family life. Every so often it is nice to see a little different ending.Alex Cross is only human after all.

Ryan Monson

94 reviews

March 2, 2021

How does one rate an Alex Cross novel. It is challenging because when I read them I struggle with so many things that make no sense and yet I never struggle to finish them or to pick up the next one. This is book 27 and I have probably read 23 of them so I obviously keep coming back and it is hard to say why. So first I will give the good or at least what I find interesting. Then I will switch to the bad which will contain some spoilers so be warned.

I like the character of Alex Cross. The idea of this clever detective and psychologist who uses all his intelligence and physical prowess to stop the bad guys. I also like his family and I like how much of the story is focused on them. I enjoy how the kids have grown up through the books and the #thingsmygreatgandmothersays from Nana Mama are actually good sayings (often in books a wise character says things the author thinks are clever but they aren't, in this series, Nana Mama has always come across as wise, sensible, and full of one-liners packed with wisdom)

Now on to the bad, so if you haven't read it, you have been warned...The biggest bad of all is that Alex never does any detection. I think we may have been brought through 27 books of a series where the main character never actually follows a clue and has a clever deduction. The story progresses by Cross going someplace, then either doing something illegal himself - in one scene he breaks into a guy's house and starts digging around, then when he thinks he hears a woman crying he leaves because he has been in their too long which drove me crazy, you already ruin the investigation if the house does belong to the bad guy and when you think you hear a woman you just give up and leave, what? - or by something happening to him at that scene that propels him into action. Early in the series Cross' method of taking in a crime scene was described but he never actually takes in a scene. He never finds any evidence or has a clever deduction. Instead, he is an action hero that runs from scene to scene propelled by external factors, like when he surveys a crowd at a crime scene and somebody sees him and runs away which causes him to give chase. If police work was this easy, there would be no criminals.

The next issue runs along the same line but in the opposite direction. Cross never seems to do any clever police work, but in order for the plot to work, he has to do so many stupid things. Oh, the bad guy tapped my phone and knows my every move, but we never thought to check the house for bugs? Oh, my son has been kidnapped by a killer who copycats many of my old cases but I never go back to any of the old locations (and where is he being kept? In one of those old locations). Oh, I found out where my son is being held and I see evidence that he was there but I fail to notice all the signs that they escaped like a locked door that was blow-torched off its hinges so instead of looking for my son in the area, I leave and I make sure every other cop leaves as well. There are just so many times when Cross does something completely boneheaded or the cops around him just act like window dressing and don't do anything. If Cross isn't there, all the cops disappear and don't do their jobs so obvious things that should have been done don't get done. Also, Cross has to do everything himself so when he finds out where his son is being held he rushes there (I don't know how far away and I am not going to check but Cross lives in DC and his son is being kept on a large multi-acre plot of land next to a national forest or something, so let's say 1 hour or 2 away, minimum). He leaves his son in a cell for extra hours because he won't call other cops to go get him? That's crazy.

There are just too many reused plot points. The maybe it's Kyle Craig who didn't die 10 books ago was ok but his son being kidnapped - his former girlfriend was kidnapped and had this very son while held captive and now this son is kidnapped again. Also, I don't specifically remember but I feel like other family members have been kidnapped before. Another is "the criminal is in the Cross house", mwahaha. Then there is the villain who plays a cat and mouse game with Cross. There is also the use Cross as bait idea which has been done multiple times.

This villain is terrible. You expect some big reveal (which would have added it to the previous reused plot points paragraph) but instead, it is some random nobody. This might be ok, but there is so much build-up that makes this just fizzle out. It also makes him not fit the profile. The guy needs to be rich to do all this stuff, but they don't indicate that he has any money or how he got it. The guy has all this inside information about Cross and secret parts of classified criminal investigations. How does he know these things and how has he known them for the past 12 years? We just don't know. And what is his impetus for his 12-year murder spree? It was a magazine article about Cross. And finally, let's not forget that the villain's plan was foiled because he became so upset and agitate because Cross didn't even try to find his son and instead went on a bender so he became irrationally unglued and decided to confront Cross.

This villain has been in Cross' life for 12 years and contacted him during many of his cases - all of which must have been his minor cases because they never made the cut for a book. Why have we never heard of this guy before and why, if he is such a mastermind who has been following Cross for 12 years, has he never stuck his nose in any of Cross' big cases?

The books starts out with an execution followed by the big bad telling us the guy was innocent. We later learn that Cross did in fact plant evidence to get the guy convicted and we are fairly confidence the guy did rape multiple women, but I don't think we ever learned if he was in fact innocent of the crime he was executed for - there was something at the end so maybe we did, but if so, I missed it and I am not going to reread to find out. Regardless, this book puts Cross in a pretty bad light several times in this book.

The last one is a nit-pick. Cross' son is kidnapped, found, and recovering in the hospital but we never hear from Cross' oldest son who is off at school. Really, he never came home to see his brother post kidnap and severe concussion? Also, Cross never once thought that the super mastermind villain who was after his whole family would go after Cross' relatively unprotected older son?

So overall, it is not a good book but as I said at the beginning, none of the books in the series have been particularly good but I am still reading them, so that is something.

Criss Cross (Alex Cross, #27) (2024)


What number is Triple Cross in the Alex Cross series? ›

Triple Cross (Alex Cross series 30.)

What number is cross the line in the Alex Cross series? ›

Cross the Line: (Alex Cross 24)

How many times has Alex Cross been married? ›

His first wife, Maria, was tragically killed in a drive-by shooting. Cross has three children, Damon and Janelle from his first marriage and Ali (Alex Jr) from another long-term relationship. He is now married to Brianna (Bree) Stone, the rising star detective at the MPD.

What book does Alex Cross catch the mastermind? ›

In Violets Are Blue, Craig, as the Mastermind, continues to taunt Alex and later reveals himself at the end of the novel. When he tries to kill Alex, he is defeated and arrested by Alex himself.

Is the Alex Cross series finished? ›

This may be the final book on the list, but James Patterson is by no means finished with the Alex Cross series. A new book is scheduled for the end of the year, so feel free to race through Deadly Cross with as much zeal as it calls for — you won't be without Alex Cross for long.

Is there a 3rd Alex Cross movie? ›

The Alex Cross film series is an American film series of three thriller films, based on the fictional character Alex Cross, who originally appeared in a series of novels of the same name by James Patterson. In the film series, Morgan Freeman and Tyler Perry have portrayed Alex Cross.

Who is Alex Cross best friend? ›

John Sampson, is Cross's best friend since childhood and also his partner. Sampson, in Cross is known to have killed Jimmy Hats Galati, Alex's deceased wife's killer.

Who was Alex Cross' first wife? ›

His first wife, Maria, a social worker, was killed in a drive-by shooting that was never solved. He was left with their two children; Damon and Janelle. Alex Cross has another son, Alex Jr. His mother, Christine Johnson, was a principal at the Sojourner Truth School.

Does Alex Cross get his son back? ›

At home, Christine decides to give Ali back to Cross permanently, giving him full custody. Later on, Alex, after being told by Nana to not make his children "orphans" like Alex was, ponders if he should stay in the FBI.

Is there an Alex Cross movie? ›

Alex Cross is a 2012 American action thriller film directed by Rob Cohen, and starring Tyler Perry as the title character, and Matthew Fox as the villain Picasso.

Who is Alex Cross' enemy? ›

His enemy, Thierry Mulch, is holding his family hostage. Driven by feelings of hatred and revenge, Mulch is threatening to kill them all, and break Cross for ever. But Alex Cross is fighting back. In a race against time, he must defeat Mulch, and find his wife and children - no matter what it takes.

Is Alex Cross a TV series? ›

Cross landed a series order at Prime Video in October 2022 after more than two years in development. The show comes from Paramount Television Studios and Skydance Television, which also produce Prime Video's Reacher — one of the streamer's biggest series — and Jack Ryan.

What is book 28 in the Alex Cross series? ›

Deadly Cross in the twenty-eighth instalment in the psychologist Dr Alex Cross series, which revolves around the murder of a glamorous Washington DC-based socialite.

What is book 30 in the Alex Cross series? ›

Triple Cross is the thirtieth book in the popular Alex Cross series by prolific American author, James Patterson.

What is the triple cross? ›

Triple Cross or triple cross may refer to: Papal cross, also called a triple cross. The three-barred Russian Orthodox cross. The three-barred Maronite cross. Triple Cross (1966 film), a British film directed by Terence Young.

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