Review: Along Came a Spider, by James Patterson

A handful of observations about this book — the first in the long-running Alex Cross crime novels.

First, it is a very long book, much longer than, for example, Roses are Red, the sixth book in the series, which I recently read. Patterson’s sense of pacing probably improved after this one.

Second, two important aspects of Alex Cross’ life — the fact that he is a psychologist and the fact that he is Black — take centre stage here. In some later books, both are on the back burner.

Third, the book has almost nothing in common with the film based on it. It’s been a while since I saw the film, but I remember it as being tighter, with better command of plot twists than this book.

And finally, if this had been the first James Patterson book I read, or if I’d never seen the films, I’m not sure I would have continued with the series. But the books do improve after this one.