Jack And Jill ★★★★☆
Genre(s) | Mystery, Thriller, Crime
Goodreads Rating | 3.95
Humpo Show Rating | 3.65
Published: 2003 (I’m reading the 2017 edition)
Publisher: Arrow Publishing
In the middle of the night, a controversial U.S. senator is found murdered in bed, the killers have left a note signed “Jack and Jill” promising that this is just the beginning. Homicide Detective Alex Cross works on both cases, and the killers strike again. And again. No one in Washington is safe – not children, not politicians, not even the President of the United States. Only Alex Cross has the skills and the courage to crack the case-but will he discover the truth in time? Jack and Jill is a relentless roller coaster of heart-pounding suspense and jolting plot twists, Patterson has written a compelling thriller, and a nonstop nightmare for Cross.
In this edition of the Alex Cross series, he has two simultaneous cases that serve up plenty of tension and excitement. There is the matter of a child killer that strikes close to home when a little girl is found dead near his son’s school. However, at the same time, a pair of killers going by the names Jack and Jill, start a spectacular spree of celebrity killings and leaving notes with the corpses. The child killer is a personal matter as much as a professional one, but Alex is forced by his chief to put most of his energy into the Jack and Jill case- and this is to have a devastating impact on both cases.
A facet of the Alex Cross’ character that Patterson manages well in his detective-thriller novels is the presence of a home life and a family. It enriches the character of Alex Cross, as he becomes someone more real due to the added dimension to his character. We get to see what a homicide detective does to unwind and relax, and how he is in normal family environments. We as readers, become even more thrilled, but also concerned, when the child killer makes it known that Alex Cross and his family is on his hit list. The intensity increases for Alex as the threat is directed at those he loves, and it becomes difficult when he tries to manage two cases simultaneously. The lines between predator and prey become blurred.
Another couple of aspects which I found excellently done were that the character of the killers are nearly as developed as that of Cross, Sampson and the President. Giving the villains of the piece plenty of pages to demonstrate their abilities, inabilities and mindset made the reading experience even better. The second aspect which I found to be executed well was the foreplay scenes that Jack has with a female TV star, as well as with Jill. The writing concerned with the famous female TV star was probably the sexiest writing I have encountered, and that is something I don’t really notice, so kudos to Patterson for that!
Jack and Jill is everything you would expect from a James Patterson thriller. Suspenseful, action-packed and entertaining. This isn’t the first Alex Cross novel I have read, and it certainly won’t be the last. This book was gifted as a Christmas present, and it was originally released over a decade ago, but the sense of a divisive President- albeit for different reasons- was fascinating to read. Add in the fact that a killer was shooting school kids, mirrors America’s problem with guns even today, when there are shootings at schools that seem to occur on a weekly basis.