Book review: Along Came a Spider by James Patterson

Along Came a Spider is the first crime/action thriller in the critically and commercially acclaimed Alex Cross series. If you’re a fan of crime fiction or action books, you’ve likely heard of James Patterson and you’ve also likely heard of Alex Cross.

Along Came a Spider book review
Pin me to Pinterest!

Please note that the article contains affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase Along Came a Spider via one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you to support the blog. These links do not affect my final opinion of the product.

Along Came a Spider focuses on the story of the kidnapping of two high-powered individuals’ children. There are some focuses on race and equality, there is an interesting storyline that I’ll try not to ruin and there’s a genuinely likeable main character.

Plot – 4/5

As you all know – I love me an action thriller. I’ve read books in the Jack Reece, Scot Harvath, Jack Reacher and Court Gentry series’ so far and so decided to pick up another celebrated action thriller. Along Came a Spider focuses on Dr Detective Alex Cross and his attempts to discover the kidnapper of two wealthy individual’s children. He’s working on a case surrounding the murders of a black family and feels begrudged to be taken off this case to cover the kidnapping of two white influential peoples’ children (rightly so.) Along the way, there are twists and turns throughout the novel that had me gripped and genuinely surprised. There are also fascinating discussions into split-personality disorders and race along the way, giving the book and plot far more depth than you may think.

I loved the plot of this book – I thought it was easy to follow, genuinely interesting and featured just enough twists, turns and interesting plot lines to keep me interested throughout. There are a couple of moments in this book that had me surprised and this isn’t something that is often easy to do. There’s less action in this than the likes of The Lions of Lucerne, The Terminal List or The Gray Man because this is the closest to a detective novel out of the three. There are fewer guns and cars and more detective work and close shaves with death. This can sometimes dull my interest in books but it didn’t here due to the genuinely interesting evil villain.

Characters – 5/5 

Speaking of evil villains, let’s discuss the characters in Along Came a Spider. Alex Cross himself is a loveable, intelligent and hard-working detective. He lost his wife in a drive-by shooting a few years ago and is now a dad to two young children. He’s a man that has fallen into his work but doesn’t let himself forget the importance of separating the two. He ends up getting very close with another character in this book who gives him a release from work and allows him to consider the possibility of a future where he’s not alone. I loved Alex – he stands up for himself, he treats people with respect and he isn’t afraid to speak his mind when he thinks people morals and motives are skewed.

However, I must say that my absolute favourite character in this book was the villain. I don’t want to give away too much in the review as quite a large part of the book is finding out about the villain and who they are. However, I will say that once they’re introduced, that’s not the end of the novel, there’s more to come and arguably the best parts of the book are after they’ve been captured. They prove to be genuinely insane and utterly fascinating to read about.

Along Came a Spider summary – 5/5

I picked up Along Came a Spider from the charity shop last weekend and knew I had the kindle copy and the audiobook so thought I’d give it a read. I am so glad I did. I wasn’t expecting Along Came a Spider to be one of the best mystery/crime books I’ve read. I thoroughly enjoyed the character of Alex Cross – I have a lot of love for the fact he’s also the first man of colour as the main character I’ve read in a book like this and I have more love for how this isn’t skirted around – the book is set in the early 90s and there’s clear evidence of racism and the transitioning out of an old way of thinking which is interesting to read.

There’s also a brilliant villain here to support the main character. And this is all tied up with a juicy plot and some genuinely human interactions between the characters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *