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Kiss The Girls, by James Patterson Book Review | SFReader.com
Kiss The Girls, by James Patterson Genre: Thriller/Suspense Publisher: Little Brown and Company Published: 1995 Review Posted: 9/28/2006 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 8 out of 10
Kiss The Girls, by James Patterson
Book Review by Jeff Edwards
Have you read this book?
Dr. Alex Cross, psychologist and D.C. homicide detective, is back for his most dangerous and
personal case yet. Young women are being kidnapped, brutalized, and murdered - and his niece,
Naomi, is missing. Cross' investigation reveals that two serial killers, known as Casanova and the
Gentleman Caller, are collaborating and competing, coast-to-coast.
In Kiss the Girls, James Patterson has assembled a first-rate thriller, complete with
mini-chapters engineered to keep readers moving at a breakneck pace. The novel is full of red
herrings, and several of the men in the book fit Casanova's physical description (muscular,
blue-eyed, with "longish" hair), compounding the mystery of the killer's identity.
Patterson is careful to include small details aimed at building three-dimensional characters:
Cross' taste in music, his interactions with his grandmother and his children, and the tentative
beginnings of his relationship with Kate McTiernan. But one of the author's shortcomings is his
need to tell readers what to think. When Cross drops off his friend John Sampson at the airport,
the men give each other a bear hug and a quick kiss on the cheek. Rather than allow readers to
interpret this as evidence of a strong friendship, Patterson can't resist explaining: "Sampson and I
love each other, and we're not afraid to show it. Unusual for tough-as-nails men of action like the
two of us."
Patterson also doesn't skimp on less pleasant details: the mindset of the killers, the drugs they
use to subdue their victims (thiopental sodium, Klonopin, Marinol), and the perversions they force
upon their captives (a sadistic "sexual practice" involving a bound woman, warm milk and a small
black snake are among the scenes most readers may wish had been omitted).
In the novel, one of the killers communicates with a young Los Angeles Times reporter, who then
publishes the "diary" in her newspaper: "One thing was certain: the Gentleman Caller had
definitely given Beth Lieberman her first break...The murderer had made her a star, too."
Patterson's own success could be viewed in much the same way - like Thomas Harris before
him, James Patterson's novels of "human monsters" launched him onto the bestseller lists. Still,
after finishing this masterfully told tale of twisted serial rapists and murderers, readers may feel
slightly violated themselves and guilty by association with the voyeuristic descriptions of the
sleazy and violent crimes. Patterson treads a dangerous line where his readers may echo the
thoughts of that L.A. Times reporter: "This was definitely the most important story of her career,
but she almost didn't care anymore. 'This is so crazy and sick.'"
Click here to buy Kiss The Girls, by James Patterson on Amazon
Kiss the Girls was a work of genius that was definetely ahead of its time. It's daring and dangerous like a good thriller should be. As far as the graphic sexual violence goes, I felt both sides (the detective and the killers) had their fair share at getting their points across. Overall, one of the most original and compelling thriller/mystery novels I've ever read.