Roses are Red (Alex Cross #6) – James Patterson

Roses Are Red (Alex Cross, #6) by James Patterson
Also by this author: 1st to Die, 2nd Chance, 3rd Degree, The Horsewoman, 4th of July, The 5th Horseman, The 6th Target, 7th Heaven, The 8th Confession, The 9th Judgment
on November 20, 2000
Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
Buy on Amazon

In this heart-pounding but touchingly romantic thriller, Detective Alex Cross pursues the most complex and brilliant killer he's ever confronted - mysterious criminal who calls himself the Mastermind.

In a series of crimes that has stunned Washington, D.C., bank robbers have been laying out precise demands when they enter the building - and then killing the bank employees and their families if those instructions are not followed to the letter.
Detective Alex Cross takes on the case, certain that this is no ordinary bank robber at work - the pathological need for control and perfection is too great. Cross is in the midst of a personal crisis at home, but the case becomes all-consuming as he learns that the Mastermind is plotting one huge, last, perfect crime.

It’s Alex Cross vs. The Mastermind. Roses are Red is Alex Cross’s sixth adventure and he’s up against the cleverest killer he’s faced yet. There’s also a lot of personal fallout from the events of the previous book, Pop Goes the Weasel. In that book, Alex’s fiancée was kidnapped and held hostage for over a year. Everybody thought she was dead. She wasn’t. She was alive…and bearing Alex Cross’s child (gasp!). It’s that sort of over-the-top melodrama that took Pop Goes the Weasel from dating escapade to something more out of soap opera. Unfortunately, the song continues, now involving custody battles and rightfully-earned trauma.

There are two things that make Roses are Red not be a generic police procedural: the identity of the Mastermind and the Alex/Christine relational drama. Both of those elements are handled poorly, taking an otherwise entertaining novel down a notch. It’s frustrating that Patterson adding in connective tissue that ties the series together and trying to deepen the look into Cross’s relationships is a hindrance rather than help to the story.