Book: Kiss the Girls
Author: James Patterson
Year: 1994
Bookhad Rating: 

James Patterson came up with a sequel to Along came a Spider within a year! Yeah, he does that pretty often. We’ll get to that later, because there is a part that unsettled me about it.

Anyway, Kiss the Girls features the same kick ass Dr. Alex Cross as the shrink cum detective and his partner Two John Sampson. Kiss the Girls begins with 2 homicides which sets the backdrop of the story. The book begins with a young boy killing 4 kids for no apparent reason and another young-un killing a couple romancing in a boat. “Casanova” and “The Gentleman Caller” are two deviant psychopaths who go into a murder spree on the East and the West coast respectively. Beautiful women are missing and some are found murdered and raped (sometimes in that order) after being.

Casanova wants to commit the “perfect” crime by raping and degrading the “perfect” women. He has a personal shack where he keeps these abducts and is creating his personal Harem. He is a psychopath who has “rules” for his harem and punishes these women if they break the rules.

The Gentleman Caller, on the other hand, although operating along similar lines, isn’t bothered about keeping women as captives at all. He maims and kills them after severely mutilating them.

That’s all for the basic premise. Two killers. Many beautiful women missing and then murdered. Oh wait! There is another very interesting concept that makes up the story.

Twinning.

Kiss the Girls (film)
Kiss the Girls (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a certain spate of murders and kidnappings Cross floats this theory when he sees that their victims are getting killed and degraded with more enthusiastic madness. There are times when a body is found with mutilated genitals. From mutilation it graduates to keeping “trophies” of every victim. Body parts are sliced out and cut but never found. Twinning is the case when two killers are competing with each other, not necessarily out of spite, but simply to enjoy a game!

The gruesome card is well played by Patterson and there are certain parts which actually put me off. There is a scene with a snake involved which was well written in a way that made me WANT to skip the pages. I didn’t.

Patterson has written a racy thriller and it has worked for me. Short chapters give it a more urgent feel. The writing is not top notched and pretty mediocre in parts. But Patterson isn’t read for his writing acumen; it’s for his taut story-telling.

The story is well paced with Dr. Cross falling in love with the ONLY victim who successfully escapes Casanova. The fact that she returns his affection is something that didn’t go down well with me. I mean Cross is a family guy and he misses his dead wife and everything but he needn’t fall for one positive female lead in every book! Also, Kate (the name of Cross’ love interest) was raped repeatedly and had a traumatic experience.

And, yet she falls for Cross. I don’t get it! Isn’t it insane and bat-shit crazy to “fall” for a man AFTER having gone through that experience?

Anyway, this is not the only thing that as put me off Patterson lately. I have read a dozen of his books in the Cross Series and that itself put me off initially. When I searched for it online I found that a lot of people have had issues with the “speed” with which he churns out books. It’s pretty obvious that he’s got an army of ghost writers doing it for him. It’s saddening that a novelist I enjoyed turns out to be not a writer after all, but a mass market seller.

I’m still going to finish the Cross Series, but I’ll always eye it more critically henceforth!

Bookhad
(28.04.2014)

PS: Morgan Freeman is WAY too old to play Alex Cross!

Related stuff:
James Patterson: Genius or Cheat
Why I Hate James Patterson

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