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- author Jackie French

Friday 5 June 2020

Review: Ali Cross

Ali Cross, son of the famous detective Alex Cross, is his father’s son in more ways than one. Except that he is hot-headed and bubbles when he is stirred. 

He is tenacious and has acquired enough skills from his dad to feel confident of his investigative abilities. He can’t compete with his athletic siblings, but he has a sharp and questioning mind that won’t shut down or give up.

When his best friend Gabe goes missing, he sets up a plan to find him. This includes examining the online game Outpost they are always playing together with siblings Mateo and Ruby. He draws these two into the investigation as safety backup.

A robbery at the Cross home on Christmas Eve points to something Ali doesn’t want to believe. When the stolen laptop and his father’s guns are returned days later, Ali’s hunch is confirmed.

As Ali delves into Gabe’s life, he realises he doesn’t know his friend as well as he thought. How little he knows, comes to light when questioned by an investigating officer. Gabe has kept his and his family life to himself.

Just how many secrets is Gabe hiding?

This is the first question Ali asks himself after viewing camera footage of the day Gabe disappeared. He is even more determined to solve the mystery after he learns that Gabe’s dad has just come out of jail.

Ali hasn’t got only his missing friend to worry about. His DC dad is facing trial, charged with brute-force. Then there is his school nemesis Kahlil, another policeman’s son, who bullies and aggravates Ali at every opportunity.

Will Ali work out the password to enter the Outlook realm? Certain that clues to Gabe’s whereabouts are to be found there, can he fit together the pieces of the puzzle and find his friend?

This is a mystery-suspense that equals any of James Patterson’s adult crime novels. It is simply scaled down for a younger audience in violence and perhaps language. All the other ingredients are added. This is first of a new series that won’t disappoint any reader.

Title: Ali Cross
Author: James Patterson
Publisher: Penguin Random House, $19.99
Publication Date: January 2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781529119725
For ages: 13+
Type: Young Adult fiction