The Return of Alex Cross... and The Wolf!
This, London Bridges, is the first Alex Cross novel I've read, so l'll apologise in advance if I offend any fans of the genre with my critique. It's not that I didn't like the experience of reading the novel by James Patterson, it's just that the ending is a bit drawn out, and well, disappointing.
First, the plot. A mysterious Russian Mafiosi, nicked-named "the wolf" plans to exhort two billion dollars out of the governments of the USA, GB, France, Germany and Israel, as well as getting them to release a number of political prisoners, mostly terrorists in the Middle-East.
The Wolf shows his intent by blowing up small towns in America , Britain and Germany with Daisy Cutter Bombs, and threatening total destruction of those countries capitals if his deadline for payment isn't met, or if the authorities try to find him and his accomplices.
We see the action from a number of viewpoints, the Wolf himself (or is it?), his cronies and our hero, Alex Cross.
Thrown in for good measure is another mysterious character, "The Weasel", a really nasty British murderer, ex army, who is sent on a number of errands by the Wolf, and who has a personal vendetta against Dr. Cross.
We cross the Atlantic in our search for the Wolf, as Bridges are blown up in New York , London and Paris , never really getting any closer to the truth, but with some excellent action set pieces along the way. The action heats up in the latter half of the book when the Wolf lets the French have one of his suitcase sized nuclear bombs - proof that he is capable of causing mass destruction wherever he pleases.
I won't spoil any more of the storyline - it does have some decent twists and the reader is kept guessing right up to the end about the fate of the Wolf.
So why aren't I raving about this book even though I enjoyed reading it? I guess it's because the hero, Alex Cross, doesn't seem to have any control about what is going on, and the breakthroughs that happen are more down to luck than judgment. Maybe that's the point - in the face of global terrorism we seemingly have little control over what happens, apart from reacting after the fact. I just like my heroes to be more proactive and the villains are little less perfect.
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