A Not-So-Merry Christmas, Alex Cross


Photo Credit: Kelly Branco

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross is for readers who love mystery and action.

By: Kelly Branco, Reporter and Book Nook Editor

James Patterson wrote Merry Christmas, Alex Cross in 2012. It is the 19th novel in the Alex Cross series. The story follows detective Alex Cross on Christmas and how he has to leave his family in order to solve crimes on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It received 3.87 stars on goodreads.com.


Before I even start this review, understand I couldn’t finish this book. So, this summary is only about what I read.

Alex Cross is a detective and is coming home from a job on Christmas Eve. He’s excited to get home to his family because he’s always working. Once he gets home, he spends time with his family until he gets a call saying that he is in need. His family becomes disappointed and he leaves longing to be home. Once he arrives on the scene of the crime he is told that a man is keeping his ex-wife, her husband, and his children hostage and threatened to hurt them with a gun if anyone tries to come in. Alex tries to diffuse the situation and find out about this man. After negotiating he ends up going inside. The name of the man is Henry Fowler and Alex tries to negotiate with him.

Eventually he catches Fowler and goes home on Christmas Day and naps. He spends more time with his family until another call interrupts him. Someone is trying to set off a bomb in Grand Central Station. So he has to leave, much to his family’s dismay and goes to solve the problem.


As I said before, I had to put the book down. I was interested in the first 60 chapters (these chapters are super short) but then once he solved the first problem, I was bored. It was the same thing over again. He got a call, had to solve another threat, and his family got super angry that he had to leave.

To me Alex Cross didn’t have much of a personality. He was kind of two-dimensional. The scenes where his wife begged him to come home, I couldn’t really understand what he was feeling. He just sort of was blank.

Also I realized that this book is the 19th in the series, so there were references to previous books that I couldn’t catch on. For example, Alex mentions how his first wife died in his arms, I was so confused.

I feel like Patterson could’ve ended the novel after the first problem ended. I love mystery novels and thrillers, but this novel just wasn’t a thriller to me at all. I’m not saying to not read it, but I didn’t enjoy it.  It dragged too much.

I didn’t feel much of the Christmas vibe from the book either. The scenes where Alex was with his family doing Christmas related things didn’t make me feel that holiday feel that comes along with Christmas.

I know there are a lot of Patterson fans out there and many of you love the character Alex Cross, I’m just not one of them.