Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Kiss the Girls

Kiss the Girls: James Patterson, August 24—29, 2015

My rating: ♦♦♦◊◊

 Alex Cross is back and this time he has two serial killers to catch instead of one – and his niece has been kidnapped too.

For the “Doctor Detective” who is both psychologist and policeman, it’s an interesting set up. There’s Casanova, who kidnaps young women and keeps them as a harem before brutally murdering disobedient “rejects”, and the Gentleman Caller who has a similar modus operandi but chucks in some flowers.

The relationship between the killers becomes a focal point for Cross, and he explores the idea of “twinning”, whereby they are dependent on each other. Are they friends or competitors?

Not unlike Along Came A Spider, the premise overpromises and under-delivers. Patterson is more inclined to note Cross’s credentials and throw the term “twinning” around than really, truly tease out what that means for the killers. Again it lacks the depth and misses out on its potential.

The first half of the book spends time with Casanova and a victim named Kate which is the most interesting part. Their mental sparring makes Kate a strong and genuinely engaging character. The focus is more heavily on Cross in the second half, and his relationships are very well written. The investigation is less gripping; there is a fair amount of Deux ex machina and he appears to be neither a great doctor nor detective. Some quite obvious leads are missed.

The story builds towards a strong climax with a twist that is neither good or bad. It’s a bit run-of-the-mill, but the cliffhangers are gripping.

It was good to see Sampson having a little more page time, but most of the buddy cop stuff is still told, rather than shown. Other elements are improved: it feels more “present”, but split into some 130 chapters it feels many of the partitions are unnecessary and drama is artificially ramped up with melodramatic statements every few pages just to end the chapter on.

Overall, Kiss the Girls is better than the previous book and the series holds a lot of promise, though some of the niggles haven’t yet been ironed out.

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This entry was posted on August 29, 2015 by in 3 star, Alex Cross and tagged .

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@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare