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Review: Alex Cross’s Trial

June 17, 2011

Ben Corbett was originally from Eudora, Mississippi but found himself practicing law in Washington, DC at the turn of the century.  When President Teddy Roosevelt asks him to go back to Eudora to investigate the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan and a rash of lynchings there, he feels like he can’t refuse.  Ben witnesses many horrible things and befriends Abraham Cross and his granddaughter Moody.   The three of them find themselves in the middle of the trial of the century in the sleepy little town of Eudora.

I used to read just about anything James Patterson wrote, but, here lately, it’s gotten so the only series I’m interested in keeping up with is his Alex Cross books, so I picked up Alex Cross’s Trial expecting a book about Alex and his family.  I guess the fact that it’s co-written by Richard Dilallo should have clued me in that it’s not, but it didn’t.  Rather than being about Alex Cross, this book is about his great-uncle, Abraham.  The premise is that Alex has heard this story his whole life and he’s written it for his family.

The book ended up being just okay for me.  While I think the premise of the story – the lynchings that were prevalent at that time – needs to be told and remembered – somehow it didn’t all gel for me.  The characters were almost like caricatures – Ben and the Cross’s were almost too good and most of the other characters were too evil.  There were a few twists and turns that didn’t ring true for me either.

The book is written in Patterson’s trademark style – short chapters with lots of action and suspense – and if you’re a big fan of his work, you’ll want to check it out.  If you’re interested in reading about that period of time, I feel like there are probably better books out there.  By the way, there are several real people mentioned in this book, but as far as I could tell, it’s purely fictional.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
26 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2011 5:54 am

    I am sorry that the book didn’t work for you. I have read few of James Patterson’s books; though I am not a big fan, I find his books enjoyable. I will avoid this one.

  2. June 17, 2011 6:44 am

    The books that were made into movies? The name sounds familiar

    • June 17, 2011 3:13 pm

      A few of Patterson’s books have been made into movies, including Kiss The Girls and Along Came a Spider.

  3. June 17, 2011 9:10 am

    I still haven’t gotten into the Alex Cross books, although I know they are very popular. I think I missed my opportunity (that I probably would have enjoyed them best in my college years).

  4. June 17, 2011 9:48 am

    I didn’t get this one – I used to like Alex Cross, but I haven’t forgiven James Patterson for switching to co-writing! :–)

  5. June 17, 2011 10:20 am

    I also kind of have a problem with Patterson farming out his writing, and that is something that makes me want to just ignore his books. At the UCF Book Festival, during the presentation, they actually had one of Patterson’s ghost writers read a portion of a book that she had co-written for him. I thought it was sort of strange, and felt sort of sorry for her.

  6. June 17, 2011 11:45 am

    I normally like the Alex Cross books but I may just wait for the movie on this one… Great review!:)

  7. June 17, 2011 12:21 pm

    I have been hanging by a thread with Patterson. He’s an author that I’ve stuck with a lot longer than I have with some others, Patricia Cornwell for one. Sometimes, I really like the short chapter format, but I think I’m about done with him. I have read most of the Alex Cross books, most of the Women’s Murder Club books, and I’ve also read some of the ones with the New York cop that has 10 kids (can’t think of his name). Although the idea of this one sounds promising, I did not rush out to get this one. Like I said, hanging by a thread and probably done. 🙂

  8. June 17, 2011 1:25 pm

    James Patterson lost all appeal for me when he started hiring other writers to write for him, excuse please, with him. 🙂 Too bad, I used to enjoy his books, but no more.

  9. June 17, 2011 1:33 pm

    I’ve only seen some of his suspense books on film, but read a sweet one (Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas) and really liked it.

  10. June 17, 2011 1:52 pm

    I have never read any of Patterson’s suspense books but have enjoyed his Sam’s Letters to Jennifer. It still amazes me that he writes both genres and usually does it well. Sorry this one didn’t work for you.

  11. June 17, 2011 3:17 pm

    Sorry this one didn’t work for you. I liked this one better than some of the other co-written books. But knowing what it really means when his books are co-written, its harder to read these thinking they are pure Patterson.

  12. June 17, 2011 4:40 pm

    Sorry this one didn’t work for you Kathy. I have it on my shelf somewhere but I really haven’t been too motivated to read anything much by him lately.

  13. June 17, 2011 5:26 pm

    i never really got into james patterson novels but admit to listening to a few as audiobooks. they are fine for the car–action packed and fast paced–but i don’t have to worry about staying focused every second. 🙂

  14. June 17, 2011 6:55 pm

    I haven’t yet read an Alex Cross book, but Serena’s always trying to get me to. This does sound like a good one.

  15. June 17, 2011 8:31 pm

    I’m not a big Patterson fan and this kind of shameless marketing by using the Alex Cross name but not really giving an Alex Cross book is just one of the many reasons why!

  16. June 17, 2011 9:02 pm

    I totally agree…I used to love him but he is too much of a formula writer now…I have not read him in ages nor do I want to…

  17. June 17, 2011 9:02 pm

    I have never read a Patterson book. Great post. I might pick this one up.

  18. June 17, 2011 9:50 pm

    I only read the Cross series too, but thanks for the heads up on this one!

  19. June 17, 2011 10:06 pm

    I’ve only read one book by James Patterson, which was a colossal failure for me. Some day, I need to pick one of his better known works – hopefully that will change my impression of him.

  20. June 17, 2011 11:11 pm

    I read a couple of his books years ago, and they never really stuck with me. I then tried an audiobook of his and hated it. Now, I steer clear from the Patterson franchise.

  21. June 18, 2011 8:02 am

    Thanks for reviewing this, I was curious about it. I have a penchant for Alex Cross books!

  22. June 19, 2011 12:39 am

    I have yet to read a James Patterson book and I have yet to be convinced that I need to. Thanks for the review and confiming my theory (at least so far)

  23. June 19, 2011 9:38 am

    We have a huge following for Patterson at work. I’ll let them know since they’ll jump at the chance of reading anything by him.

  24. stacybuckeye permalink
    June 19, 2011 9:56 pm

    I just read that the next Alex Cross movie is being filmed here in Cleveland this summer 🙂

  25. June 20, 2011 12:44 am

    I have not read anything in this series. I think Patterson’s writing is OK.

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