Book Review: James Patterson’s Jack & Jill

Posted September 16, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: James Patterson’s Jack & JillJack & Jill by James Patterson
This thriller is a hardcover edition was published by Grand Central Publishing on September 28, 1996 and has 432 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

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Other books by this author include Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls

For some reason, Amazon refused to post this review, and I can’t see why. If anyone can figure it out, let me know.

Third in the Alex Cross thriller series and revolving around Dr./Deputy Chief Alex Cross.

My Take

Yeah, Jack & Jill is one of the few stories I did not finish. I like his characters — that Alex is an intriguing man, and I adore his kids and Nana Mama. Sampson sounds pretty good too, hubba hubba.

BUT Patterson is mostly tell with a great storyline and part of me would like to finish Jack & Jill, BUT Patterson is too repetitive. I GET it. I g-e-t it. Blacks are always at the lowest rung of any official concern. Rich, white people will always have priority. While I appreciated the sketch about Sojourner Truth’s life, and agree with Nana Mama, that ramming-it-home habit of Patterson’s simply made me roll my eyes.

In the past, I have enjoyed “hearing” the inner thoughts of the characters, but again, Patterson is repeating and repeating and repeating and rep— You get the idea. It’s annoying. I do have to give Patterson credit for being consistent. And that was only partly tongue-in-cheek!

“No, no. I was attracted by your vast, bloated belly, your alcoholic breath.”

I sympathize with Jack & Jill’s anger, but they lost me with Jack’s attitude toward Natalie Sheehan. Nothing came out that evening that made me believe in the game’s goal.

What is with Sampson? He keeps telling Perez he’s going to shoot and he N-E-V-E-R does! Arghh. Then Alex follows up with, yep, the repetitive thought that Perez has done this escape routine before. I GET it.

Jeez, that Chop-It-Off-Chucky is so disgusting. The thoughts Patterson writes are enough to make me want to get out a gun and go huntin’. I know the world is supposed to have a balance of good and evil, but why can’t the “evil” go hunting other evil? More of my right wing side comes out with Alex’s reaction to discovering he and Sampson had “run down the wrong child molester”. Excuse me? He’s a child molester, and it was wrong to chase after him? If he wasn’t guilty of something, why did he run? It was his choice to leap from building to building.

I loved it! I LOVED it when Alex slammed Pittman! He so deserved it!!

I don’t know if Patterson is simply trying to up his page numbers, or if he think his reading audience is that stupid. All I know is that I can’t take it anymore.

Well, that’s it. I only got up to Chapter 27, page 122, before I gave up.

The Story

Alex Cross tries to put the pieces together, the killer — or killers — strike again. And again. First a controversial U.S. senator, then a a beautiful little girl, savagely beaten — and deposited in front of the elementary school Cross’s son, Damon, attends.

No one in Washington is safe — not children, not politicians, not even the president of the United States.

The Characters

These are the characters who appeared up to chapter 27.

Dr. Alex Cross, a.k.a., Sugar, is a detective and deputy chief in the Homicide division. Jannie and Damon are Alex’s kids. Jannie goes to school at Union Street while Damon attends Sojourner Truth. Rosie is Jannie’s cat. Nana Mama is Alex’s grandmother, the kids’ great-grandmother. Detective John Sampson, a.k.a., Man Mountain and Two-John, is his partner.

Washington D.C. PD
Detective Rakeem Powell is with Homicide. And one of Alex’s “troublemakers” along with Detectives Jerome Thurman and Shawn Moore. Police Commissioner Clouser is insisting that Alex drop Shanelle’s murder investigation to solve Fitzpatrick’s while Chief Pittman, a bully and a racist, does everything he can to thwart Alex. Pittman is an idiot, and another reason I would have continued with the Alex Cross series, if only so I could see him get his. Janine Prestergard is the medical examiner.

FBI
Special Agent Kyle Craig wants Alex on the case; he’s also a friend of his.

Sojourner Truth school is…
…where Damon goes to school. Mrs. Johnson is the new principal.

Jack” is a code word for President Thomas Byrnes, a womanizer. “Jill” is his wife. “Crown” is the White House. “Jackal” is any would-be assassin.

The media
Inez Gomez is with El Diario; Fern Galperin is with CNN.

Senator Daniel Fitzpatrick is the first execution. A bad senator, a snake. Shanelle Green is a sweetheart of a six-year-old who goes to Sojourner Truth. Natalie Sheehan is a TV newswoman. Vernon Wheatley is another young student at Sojourner Truth.

Sam Harrison, a.k.a., “Jack”, the Soldier, and Scott Cookson (a lawyer), came up with the game. “Jill” is a Washington careerist named Sara Rosen, and she’s in love with Sam.

Chop-It-Off-Chucky, a child molester, was thought to be an urban myth. His father had been a cop. Emmanuel Perez, a porter at Famous Pizza, is thought to be Chucky.

Uncle Jimmie owns several neighborhood businesses and is a friend of Alex and John’s. Roadrunner Alvin Jackson is a snitch as well as a small-time dealer. Kate McTiernan is a complicated friendship for Alex left over from Kiss the Girls, 2. Princess Di makes an appearance.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a mostly gradated deep blue sky with the title in a muted embossed gold. The bottom quarter is where all the action is with the author’s name and a broad expanse of green lawn behind it. The White House is back and center, framed by a crowded forest of trees and menacing twin flames streaming from the roof.

The title is a game, the Jack & Jill who went up the Hill to right some wrongs. Can’t blame ’em a’tall, a’tall.

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