15 comments on “ITW Must-Reads: Along Came a Spider

  1. Cheering you on! Many of my friends don’t understand what I like about thrillers. For me, they act as a catharsis.

    • I wouldn’t call it a scandal, exactly. It’s just that he puts out an insane number of books, nearly all of them have more than one author on the cover, and these co-authors have it in their contracts that they’re not to disclose what exactly the writing relationship is (or at least that was the arrangement the last I’d heard anything about it). And if they’re good books and people like them, then that’s great. But it just rubs me the wrong way. I know writing books is also a business, but Patterson seems to have taken that to the extreme.

      • Interesting… Reminds me of how The Babysitter’s Club stopped being by the original author after a while, though they were still published under her name… Tricksy.

  2. Personally, I found Kiss the Girls to be a much better book than Along Came a Spider. Although they were both pretty good. Definitely a lot better than any of the stuff Patterson’s churned out in the past 5-10 years, that’s for sure!! My biggest peeve with his books is that all the chapters are like two pages long, so you tell yourself you’re just going to read one more chapter, but that only takes one minute so you read another chapter, and the next thing you know, it’s 3am and you’ve finished the book…

    • I kind of like short chapters… yeah, they suck you in, but when you do need or want to stop you’ll never be searching for a good place to do it (it drives me crazy to stop anywhere but a chapter break).

  3. I once read that he produces very detailed outlines and then the co-authors write the actual book. I’m not sure that’s true or not, though. But I think the Alex Cross books are the only ones he writes by himself, and they are the best ones in my opinion. Patterson is my go-to author when I’m in a slump and need something to jump start my reading again.

    • That pretty much what I assumed, that Patterson is the “idea man” with the co-authors doing the writing. I don’t know why it bugs me as much as it does. At any rate, maybe I’ll continue the Alex Cross series, but it’s not very high on my priority list.

  4. His early Alex Cross novels are very good, even his early women’s murder club books are good. But (and this is a big but), the later Alex Cross novels are laughably bad. It’s such a shame too, that a perfectly good series become so terrible. I’ve only read one or two of his co-authored books and I was not impressed.

    • I once read a book by one of his previous co-authors, now writing on his own. It was… eh. Not terrible, but definitely nothing special. I’d probably feel the same way about most of Patterson’s more recent novels.

  5. I used to enjoy the Alex Cross books, then stopped reading them as they got more and more outrageous. All I could think was “that poor man” as tragedy after tragedy befell him. Give Alex Cross some peace already!

    • Yeah, that comes with the territory of being the hero of a long-running series. Sympathy for fictional characters aside, it seems the consensus is that his earlier books were overall better than they are now.

  6. I remember reading this book when I was young, and I was SO MAD because I wanted to write a murder mystery series based on nursery rhymes, and I was convinced he stole my title. Ha!

    • That’s too funny. Though he later moved onto the “Cross” theme for his titles… which is a little more on the nose. Easier for people to identify, I guess. (Or maybe he just ran out of nursery rhymes.)

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