Disclaimer: Please note I received an Advanced Review Copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
The latest Alex Cross thriller by James Patterson did not disappoint. A well-known best-selling author of fast-paced crime stories, Patterson is back on the stands with another gripping detective story that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.
The blurb leaves everything to the imagination, which makes the thriller even more intriguing:
Alex Cross ventures into the rugged Montana wilderness — where he will be the prey.
He’s not on the job, but on a personal mission.
Until he’s attacked by two rival teams of assassins, controlled by the same mastermind who has stalked Alex and his family for years.
Darkness falls. The river churns into rapids. Shots ring out through the forest.
No backup. No way out. Fear no evil.
Renowned detective Alex Cross is faced with another puzzling case of political murder. Victims keep dropping left, right and centre. All of them are state dignitaries or officers of the highest intelligence. All of them were forced to write their confessions before being killed.
When the families of each murder victim follow, Alex Cross and his partner and best friend, John Sampson, know this is more than hatred towards the state. Someone is trying to annihilate every single person who has ever had anything to do with the Alejandro drug cartel the US forces worked so hard to dismantle.
But when the dangerous assassins turn their guns towards Cross and Sampson, the real hunt begins.
This is the first thriller I’ve read in a long time and I enjoyed every minute of it. It’s a very quick read, drawing you in from the first chapter. The characters are well-rounded, which makes you root for them, experiencing every intense moment even more closely.
I enjoyed the parallel thriller where Bree, Alex Cross’s wife, goes to Paris to investigate and eventually arrest a charming mogul accused of sexual abuse. I must admit I wanted this side-plot to carry on further in the book, whereas it was actually cut short very early on.
I liked that the book didn’t follow the usual who-done-it style, but was written so that the reader was a silent observer to all parties’ actions. Alex Cross’s chapters are written in the first person, while all the other ones are written from a third person, omniscient voice.
So, as you read, you get to experience every key side of the story: Alex’s, Sampson’s, the assassins’, and the drug cartel’s. The book is action-packed and that’s what makes it so gripping.
My biggest complaint (and probably the only one of note) is that, through the multiple perspectives, you sometimes lose track of who’s who and who does what.
Fear No Evil is a political thriller that reads like a chase, rather than a mystery. If you’re not from the US, that might pose a problem to how you follow the story. There are some political technicalities that I struggled to understand, but they’re not that essential to the story, so it didn’t hinder my reading experience all that much.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Anything I rate above 3 stars is a good book that I would recommend without hesitation. Thrillers very rarely score higher than 4 stars for me, simply because I’m too used to all the shapes and turns the plots can take.
Fear No Evil is definitely an entertaining, fast-paced read you can demolish in a weekend. I enjoyed myself very much while reading it, and, if you’re in the mood for a thriller before the jingle bells start ringing, this is one for you.
The book comes out tomorrow, 25 November, from Century publishing, an imprint of Penguin. Pre-order here.
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