For other reviewers--please resist revealing the ENTIRE plot in your reviews. Sheesh, it would be nice to have at least ONE surprise left while reading. (Although in this particular book there's not much "plot" to reveal.)
Now, the book itself. Yes, it was cheesy. Yes, it was a bit dopey. But did you expect otherwise?
It kept my interest, it was fast-paced, it was everything I expected it to be.
Was it filled with cliches? Yes. Did the descriptions of Cross's family life grow tiresome? Yes. Was the ending contrived? Sure.
But it's not like you pick up James Patterson to read great literature.
First, James Patterson actually had Cross do some investigative work. In the last several novels in the series, Cross tended to stumble upon leads and just wait for the 'bad guy' to screw up. In 'The Big Bad Wolf,' Cross puts his doctorate in Psychology to work. In addition, he follows his instincts and follows leads that not every one else had thought about.
Second, Patterson seemed to put more thought and effort into this novel. In past novels, Patterson seemed to be living off the reputation of earlier novels in the series, such as 'Kiss the Girls' and 'Along Came a Spider.' More recent novels featured villains that were always one step ahead of the police without any real great tricks until Cross stumbles upon them. In 'Big Bad Wolf,' Patterson created lairs of intrigue from the beginning and lets them unfold throughout the novel instead of just springing them on the reader. In addition, a portion of the story takes place in Dallas, Texas. Since I live in the Dallas area, I was pleased to see that he did enough research to at least get most of the details of the area correct.
Third, and this is a very minor spoiler, the 'bad guy' of the novel is not some high ranking government official or someone close to Cross. This theme had gotten redundant in recent novels in the series.Read more ›