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Violets are Blue
By James Patterson
Read by Daniel Whitner and Kevin O'Rourke

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Violets Are Blue

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Violets Are Blue
By James Patterson
Read by Daniel Whitner and Kevin O'Rourke
Time Warner Audio Books, (2001)
An Unabridged Audio Recording on 7 CD's
ISBN: 1-58621-198-6
Genre: Thriller

Also available in Large Print.

Reviewed by Israel Drazin - August 6, 2010

This is an early Patterson novel, about Detective Alex Cross, the protagonist that made Patterson famous, a book written when he had only 17 other books to his credit, when he only had one that was written with someone else. Today, although less than a decade has passed, this franchise writer has about three times that number to his credit, most of which were written with others. The books he writes alone are far superior to the others. He draws his readers into a suspenseful well-told story. This is, therefore, one of his better books.

There are two crime plots and the general Cross family story that Patterson tells so well, with pathos, love, and schmaltz. One crime drama focuses on vampires, those who "know" that they are real vampires and thrill seekers who play at it or who just think they are real. The vampires have killed people and drained their blood for some eleven years. The "real" ones are charismatic and have an almost hypnotic draw over their victims.

The second plot concerns "the mastermind" who calls Cross daily, harasses him, and threatens that he will kill him. He knows all about Cross, where he is and what he is doing. He kills people that Cross likes, including his female partners, because he wants to hurt him. His praises himself constantly on his intelligence and on his ability to hide from Cross and torment him.


Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of fifteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Rabbi Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, www.gefenpublishing.com. The Orthodox Union (OU) publishes daily samples of the Targum books on www.ouradio.org.


Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - December 4, 2001

In this hair raising thriller, Alex Cross is once again on the case. Violets are Blue is James Patterson's seventh novel featuring D.C. police Detective Alex Cross. Cross is an interesting character. Unlike many fictional detectives, he is not a playboy. In fact he is a stalwart widower with three young children, with whom he tries to spend as much time with as possible. He is a brilliant detective, who skills are aided by his doctorate in psychology. In each book featuring Cross, Patterson has added more information about Cross's background, so much so that it is hard not picture Cross as a real person. It is not necessary to have read the previous Cross books in order to enjoy Violets are Blue. However, if you have been following Cross's career, this book will tie up some loose ends that were left dangling in previous books, and will reintroduce you to some previous characters.

In this story, Cross is working as a liaison between the FBI and the D.C. Police. As the story opens, Cross is confronted by the murder of FBI Agent, Betsy Cavalierre, his second partner to be murdered in less than two years. This is only the first murder to bloody the pages of this book. A book in which Cross tangles with The Mastermind, who continually makes cryptic, hateful, and often obscene telephone calls to Cross. The Mastermind is an old nemesis of Cross, who last dealt with him in Patterson's novel, Roses are Red.

Betsy's murder is followed by the horrific murder of two joggers in California. Both victims were members of the U.S. Army, and should have been able to take care of themselves, at least against any normal attacker. But their attackers where not normal, a point that was made abundantly clear by the fact that the bodies of the victims were found suspended, naked and upside down, totally drained of blood. Worse, the bodies of both victims are found studded with bite marks. Cross is called in to help solve these murders, and quickly realizes that these new murders are connected to several unsolved murders that occurred years before. Could these murders be the act of a real-life vampire? As the case deepens, and drained bodies begin to show up on both coasts, Cross enters an underground world filled with people who practice macabre rituals that use human blood. These practitioners who often dress, and act, as if they were vampires - but are they the killers?

This is a fast paced novel, filled with short, but numerous chapters, numbering well over 100. By using short, but hard hitting chapters, Patterson is able to keep up the brisk pace of the novel. Throughout, Cross is aided by Inspector Jamilla Hughes, a beautiful FBI agent from San Francisco. She helps Cross as he tries to apprehend The Mastermind, while simultaneously solving the vampire murders. The ending is devious, and it is as startling to Cross as it is to the reader. This book is read by Daniel Whitner and Kevin O'Rourke who infuse the book with a realism that will have you looking under your bed before you go to bed at night. This audio edition of Violets are Blue includes a short introduction read by James Patterson. Although an excellent thriller, this book is not suitable for all readers as it contains obscene language and graphic descriptions of violence.


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