Title/Author: Kiss The Girls by James Patterson
Publisher/Year Published: Little, Brown and Company, 1995
How I got this book: Bought it at the library!
Why I read this book: I’d never read anything by James Patterson before and thought I’d try.
Rating: 2 stars
So I happened to be at a library a few weeks ago—I say “a” library rather than “the” library because I wasn’t in my local library—and I saw a cart of paperbacks with a sign that said “25 cents each.” Of course I couldn’t help but look (who could resist getting a book for a freaking quarter??). Most of the books looked to be trashy romance novels and super-corny chick lit, neither of which I’m into, but Kiss The Girls by James Patterson caught my eye (my dad likes the movie) so I bought it. I didn’t realize at the time that I was jumping into the second book of a long series about a detective/psychologist, but it ended up not being a huge deal.
Anyway, the premise is this: Naomi Cross, the niece of Alex Cross (the aforementioned detective/psychologist), has gone missing. It comes to light that she is probably the victim of Casanova, a serial kidnapper/rapist/murderer who has been working the Research Triangle in North Carolina. Simultaneously, another serial kidnapper/rapist/murderer who styles himself “The Gentleman Caller” is working his way through the West Coast—and seems to be in cahoots with Casanova.
So before I rip this book to shreds, let me give credit where credit is due: the basic story was good, and I can see why my dad would like the movie. I will also allow that I was kept guessing up until the very end about who Casanova was, and I still turned out to be ultimately wrong, so good on you, Mr. Patterson, for not giving up the goods too easily.
But oh my GOD, Alex Cross was a whiny bitch.
Okay, whiny bitch might be the wrong words. Maybe angsty bitch would be better. But his voice (this was written in first person from Alex’s point of view) was so freaking annoying. Some of it comes down to James Patterson’s writing style, no doubt, which was also horrible. He sure does love using italics, and not always in the most appropriate situations. The result was that Alex Cross came across as kind of self-righteous and overly earnest. And the good basic storyline was obscured by terrible prose—the kind of terrible prose that really makes me wonder how in the world James Patterson manages to sell millions upon millions of books every year.
Something else that really bothered me was how flat the characters were. No one underwent any significant—or even insignificant—changes throughout the entire book. All Alex could think about the majority of the time was Naomi or his kids, and definitely had something of a savior complex going on. Sampson, Alex’s colleague and friend, is perpetually snarky despite the harrowing situations they find themselves in. Kate McTiernan was probably the least realistic character of the bunch, the impossibly beautiful, incredibly intelligent and talented doctor who overcame her tragic past and blah blah blah.
Basically, this was a really fluffy book that I only continued to read because I was grudgingly interested in finding out who Casanova was. So James Patterson can create suspense, but definitely not much else.
Rating: 2 stars