Friday, September 25, 2009

Review ~ Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson

I've been noticing that some people are feeling mislead by Patterson's newest book ~ Alex Cross's TRIAL.  I'm honestly not sure why because it was clear to me from the start, before even picking up the book that it was  'written by Alex Cross, not about him'.  It is about one of his relatives.  If you are a fan, it is one book that can be skipped in the series.  It only has about 2 pages actually about Alex Cross.  

A Preface to Trial By Alex Cross
A few months after I hunted a vicious killer named the Tiger halfway around the world, I began to think seriously about a book I had been wanting to write for years. I even had the title for it: Trial. The previous book I'd written was about the role of forensic psychology in the capture of the serial killer gary Soneji. Trial would be very different, and in some ways even more terrifying.
Oral history is very much alive in the Cross family, and this is because of my grandmother, regina Cross, who is known in our household and our neighborhood as Nana Mama. Nana's famous stories cover the five decades when she was a teacher in Washington—the difficulties she faced during those years of civil rights turmoil, but also countless tales passed on from times before she was alive.
One of these stories—and it is the one that stayed with me the most—involved an uncle of hers who was born and lived most of his life in the small town of eudora, Mississippi. This man, Abraham Cross, was one of the finest baseball players of that era and once played for the Philadelphia Pythians. Abraham was grandfather to my cousin Moody, who was one of the most unforgettable and best-loved characters in our family history.
What I now feel compelled to write about took place in Mississippi during the time that Theodore roosevelt was president, the early part of the twentieth century. I believe it is a story that helps illuminate why so many black people are angry, hurt, and lost in this country, even today. I also think it is important to keep this story alive for my family, and hopefully for yours.
The main character is a man my grandmother knew here in Washington, a smart and courageous lawyer named Ben Corbett. it is our good fortune that Corbett kept first-person journals of his incredible experiences, including a trial that took place in eudora. A few years before he died, Mr. Corbett gave those journals to Moody. eventually they wound up in my grandmother's hands. My suspicion is that what happened in Mississippi was too personal and painful for Corbett to turn into a book. But I have come to believe that there has never been a better time for this story to be told.

Trial by James Patterson is a lot like his other books, you get the famous short chapters that I love!  I will be honest though, I have really struggled with this book.  Not because of the writing, but the subject matter.  It was very sad to read.  I prefer books that make me forget my problems.  Granted, black issues aren't my problem but it is a very sad time in our history.  If you enjoy reading this type of subject matter, then it is a great book.  If you are reading it only for Alex Cross then you can pass it.  If you are a huge fan though, you will probably enjoy reading about a past Cross family member!

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