James Patterson is a mass market behemoth. He has sold more novels in recent years than Stephen King, John Grisham and Dan Brown combined. He has crime writing awards up the ying-yang and his position as top barking dog in the world of crime fiction is therefore unassailable. Or so one would expect, as both he and his hard working team of crime-writing elves have a new top-selling-serial-killering-product-moving hit on supermarket shelves on an almost weekly basis. There in lies the problem, or at least part of the problem any way. First he gave us the Wolf, then the Weasel, now we have… The Tiger. No one paints the psychopathic super-villain in quite the same way as Patterson, but the furry animal bad guy names are just too cuddly for serious contention in the pantheon of mega-criminals.
Then there is his ‘world tourist’ take on the plot line, that Patterson has used before, in this instance Alex Cross ‘does Africa’. Nothing wrong with this idea in its self, but the end result is geographically confused and politically lite on the strife torn issues that Africa faces. Just when you think events couldn’t get any more far-fetched Alex almost gets eaten by a crocodile— oh, no! What were the chances of that happening…In Africa too?! Failings that would kill a story dead by any lesser author, but Patterson is made of firmer stuff, he blasts us with horror, he twists us off balance, and batters us with his relentless page turning mini-chapters. This is a must read for Patterson and Alex Cross fans alike. Long live the Tyranno-badger of crime fiction!