The descriptions are so gruesome that I felt like a voyeur reading this book. I wanted to stop reading it yet the pages kept turning.
One can feel a certain empathy with Alex Cross, the hero. The scenes both in America and in Africa were described in enough detail to make them appear to be authentic. Corruption, horrific murder and incredible hardship and danger to Alex Cross make the story riveting. This must surely have been a difficult book to write – it is hard enough to read.
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I had a sense of how the tale would have to end from very near the beginning – but I still wanted to read it for myself. In fact, the book is almost impossible to put down. But my advice would only start it if you are either callous or hard.
This brings me to a point I was pondering. Does the reading of tough literature like this harden one and make one accept what is not acceptable? There is evidence that watching violent films can lead to violent behaviour in susceptible individuals. Is this true for thrillers?
I admit to being unable to put this book down, but I think I should have left it alone. James Patterson can certainly write exciting stories, his style is easy and flowing and the characters very well drawn, but my next book is billed as “an enchanting novel of love and happiness”.
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