Violets are Blue (Alex Cross #7) – James Patterson

Violets Are Blue 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
Series: Alex Cross #7
on November 19, 2001
Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
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Detective Alex Cross must confront his most terrifying nemesis ever-and his own deepest fears-in this electrifying new thriller from the master of suspense, James Patterson.

Alex Cross has never believed in vampires. But when two joggers are found slain in a manner that suggests a macabre ritual, he has to reconsider. Someone believes in vampires enough to have committed a series of bizarre murders that appear to be the work of one. Local police are horrified, and even the FBI is baffled.
Cross takes on the case and plunges into a netherworld of secret clubs and role-players, a world full of poseurs and playactors-and someone demented enough to have crossed the line from dark ritual to real blood. At the same time, a lethal super-criminal from Cross's past known as the Mastermind is stalking him, taunting him, and threatening everything he holds dear. Cross has never been closer to defeat, or in greater danger. In a shocking conclusion, Alex Cross must survive a deadly confrontation-only to discover at last the awful secret of the Mastermind.

Violets are Blue puts aside some of the relational melodrama for a second and instead puts all the focus on a weird, macabre set of killers who seem more animal than human. It’s over-the-top, but Patterson grounds it just enough to convince readers to accept the story. Alex Cross is up against two wolf-like villains, perfect for a psychological criminologist. Their kills are aren’t just inhumane, they’re inhuman. Meanwhile, in the background, there are major movements in the overarching plot.

Seven books in finds Patterson in his element. He’s mostly gotten over the Christine/Alex storyline and fond new ways to develop Cross’s personal life. There’s also payoff to the Mastermind mystery—a long-awaited and long-overdue twist—and moving that plotline into better territory. The initial introduction of the Mastermind was underwhelming and overwrought. Violets are Blue corrects some of the errors and offers a solid B storyline. After this book, the Alex Cross novels move into a string of good-but-not-great stories. Violets are Blue is James Patterson at his best.