When two snipers begin killing corrupt Washington, DC bigwigs, Alex Cross is called in to investigate. He and Bree Stone are in the final stages of wedding planning, but the wedding must be postponed so that Alex can put a stop to the killings. Disappointed about the interference the case is causing for his wedding plans, Alex is even more distressed when FBI Agent Max Siegel is assigned to the investigation. Thwarting his progress and undermining his leadership Alex is unaware that Max is really Kyle Craig, the most evil criminal Alex has ever put behind bars. The listener is witness to Kyle's murder of Max and of his subsequent plastic surgery and voice training, but Alex does not know that the man working beside him is his sworn enemy. When he starts to receive telephone and email threats from Kyle he learns that Kyle has escaped from prison and that his family's lives are in jeopardy. Nevertheless, the wedding proceeds, the Washington snipers are identified and Alex and Bree leave on their honeymoon. The action from that point on is heart-stopping, pulsating combat--Patterson at his best.
As engrossing as this audio book is for its imaginative plot and Patterson's enhancement of Alex Cross's character, the most stunning aspect of this presentation is Andre Braugher's portrayal of Alex Cross. He is Alex Cross, with all his strength, courage, integrity, love and vulnerability. In an ingenious approach, Alex's nemesis' character is read by Jay O. Sanders, heightening the animosity and tension in their conflict. Patterson continues to add depth and complexity to his recurring characters. In this book we see Alex's tough outer shell softened by love and we see career-oriented Bree as a plausible mother to his children.
This book is very satisfying on several levels. The story lines are absorbing and converge credibly in a fitting conclusion. Alex Cross and the other characters become more fully defined and sympathetic as they encounter and overcome life's obstacles, both routine and extreme. Thrill seekers will find plenty of situations to keep the adrenaline pumping, and Andre Braugher puts a face on a virtual hero. With the added bonus of this title and Double Cross on individual CDs, listeners with MP3 players will appreciate the ease of listening to 2 Patterson books without changing multiple CDs. (FYI-- with the newer audio books, check the last CD of the set before starting to listen to Disk 1. )
Cross Fire by James Patterson
Read by Andre Braugher and Jay O. Sanders
Hachette Audio, unabridged: 6.5 hours on 6 CDs (includes MP3 editions of Cross Fire and Double Cross)