Select one of the keywords
Roses Are Red    by James Patterson order for
Roses Are Red
by James Patterson
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2001 (2000)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I am beginning to wonder what Mr. Patterson did in previous incarnations - all these chilling ideas must come from somewhere! I had just finished watching a DVD version of his first Alex Cross thriller Along Came A Spider when I started Roses Are Red (number six), so of course saw Morgan Freeman on every page - in a preview of things to come, I hope. Alex is back in action along with his giant partner John Sampson and a new romantic interest that develops along the way.

The bad guy, who dubs himself the Mastermind with good reason, really leads District of Columbia detective / psychologist Alex Cross and the FBI by the nose, and the reader tags along with them for the author's usual fast-moving ride through chapters that speed past like bullets. The supervillain masterminds bank robberies and appears to be a control freak on their timing - he has hostages executed for any miniscule deviation from his schedule. Then he deals with the robbers.

Cross is pulled in to the investigation by FBI Assistant Director in Charge Kyle Craig, to whom Alex has owed a favor since Kiss the Girls. Kyle interrupts the christening party for Alex's baby son, born during his mother Christine's captivity in Pop Goes the Weasel. Christine is not herself - in a state of high anxiety from recurring nightmares and the recent knowledge that Geoffrey Shafer has re-emerged in London. On top of all this, Alex must deal with a medical emergency when his eight-year-old daughter Jannie has sudden, serious convulsions.

Roses Are Red reminded me of one of those painted Russian Dolls, each of which opens up to reveal another with the same tantalising Mona Lisa smile. The investigators make arrests, while the real Mastermind continues to pull the strings until the very last page. The identity of the villain comes as a big surprise but the author leaves his readers hanging as to motivation and what comes next ... we'll have to wait for Violets are Blue to find out.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews