Kiss the Girls by James Patterson

Little, Brown (first), 1995

This novel is two much. There are two good guy detectives, Dr. Alex Cross and John Sampson. Two Chapel Hill, North Carolina cops. Two FBI agents. Two of the baddest of bad guys: serial or “recreational” killers. They operate on both coasts. In LA, “the Gentleman Caller” always leaves flowers, saves a body part for a souvenir and leads the police to the crime scene. On the opposite coast is “Casanova,” who abducts young women in the southeast and keeps them in a bizarre boudoir; unless they displease him, in which case they are discovered in the woods, nude, dead, and pumped full of exotic drugs. The killers are in touch with each other and they may be cooperating, or is that competing? From the opening goosebump (the killer has been living in the walls of his victim’s house for three weeks … watching) to the midnight storming of Casanova’s hideout to the final revelation of the killer’s identity is one (maybe two) long eyes-wide-open gasp. The novel also has two flaws. The clue that broke the case wide open is never revealed. And the reader will ponder, more than once, why it took them so long to look for the hideout. As a last two cents’ worth, you should know that this is the second Alex Cross recreational killer novel. Along Came a Spider was the first; you might want to poke around a bit for it. (Jim D Combs)

Originally published in Issue # 135 – January/February 1995

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