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Kiss The Girls (1995)
Fiction Review by The Mortician

Kiss The Girls (1995) The second novel featuring Detective Alex Cross. I believe this one was made into a movie first, and when I first heard that Morgan Freeman was going to portray Alex Cross, I shuddered. As author James Patterson describes Cross, you picture at least a Denzel Washington type of actor playing the role, simply because he's supposed to be a young guy in really good shape. Freeman has played cops ready to retire (as in SEVEN) and just does not fit the part! I picture a Virgil Tibbs type of character (the black cop from IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT) as opposed to a dude ready to retire...Freeman does a credible job, but come on, he sure doesn't fit the literary profile of Alex Cross as originalled penned by Patterson!Anyway, to get to the book, it's way better than the movie. Washington D.C.'s Cross is called to North Carolina to help solve a serial killer case...one that has special interest to him because one of the gals that may have been kidnapped by the murderer is his niece!Patterson takes a cue from Thomas Harris' work here and throws yet ANOTHER serial killer into the mix as the two compete with each other...on different coasts! This is a most intriguing idea, playing off of Harris' RED DRAGON idea that the Tooth Fairy and Lecter admired each other. Here, the ante is raised because both killers are FREE, killing as they please.This is an engrossing thriller, full of spectacular twists and turns...threads of which are not resolved until eight years later in Patterson's VIOLETS ARE BLUE novel! These books can be read independently or as an entire series because they all have links and connect well.As a matter of fact, Kate McTiernan (the Ashley Judd character in the movie version) and a few other characters from KISS THE GIRLS return in VIOLETS ARE BLUE, which is great. It also shows how well Patterson plans things as all the pieces to a very large puzzle are completed within all the Alex Cross books between KISS and VIOLETS...KISS THE GIRLS is an exciting book, although not exactly original (again, obviously inspired by the work of Thomas Harris), but this is a real page turner. Everything is balanced perfectly: Alex's home life, the police procedural parts as the killers are tracked, and the motivations of the killers themselves. You won't be let down with this thriller!
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