The Unforgivable Sin, Almost… *
Anyone who knows anything about writing knows the lesson of never tricking the reader. For example, having a story that ends with the main character waking from a dream that the reader had been tricked into believing was a true event. James Patterson tricks the reader into thinking this is a novel with an ending, when in reality it is only half the story. We do know there will be a second novel finishing this story but did not know that until reading the last page. (interesting that in the hardback version the reader is further tricked by pages left at the end thinking there is more to read when it is only an apology from the author and an excerpt from another novel)
When I was a kid ( and here I am dating myself) we used to go to Saturday morning matinees and see serials like Flash Gordon or Rocket Man. These always ended as cliff hangers to be continued, but we knew that going in. Unless one reads one of these reviews, there is no warning this novel is a set up for a continuation. Patterson has committed the unpardonable sin of not only tricking his readership but in my opinion, stealing from them.
Sadly, most of us will buy the next Alex Cross when in fact we should be returning our copies of “Cross My Heart”, demanding our money back.