Modern literary franchises do not come much more successful than James Patterson’s enduring “Alex Cross” crime thrillers, and this November will see the release of two novels featuring the homicide detective; Cross My Heart (Hardback) and Merry Christmas Alex Cross (Paperback) – both due out November 7.
Having spanned 21 books, Patterson’s crime series has become a bookshelf favourite since the first instalment, Along Came A Spider, in 1993 which was later translated into a big screen hit in 2001, with Morgan Freeman playing the lead role of Alex Cross. With the incredible success of Patterson’s writing, it seems Alex Cross is one of the most enigmatic fictional creations of the last two decades.
Fans of the series will welcome the double-hit of Alex Cross additions, two book releases which are sure to find their way into the bestseller charts with minimal effort. The episodic nature of the series means that newcomers will also be able to enjoy these two new releases, whilst veterans will enjoy notable references to prior outings.
Patterson’s success does raise a curiosity about what it takes to create a popular book franchise in these culturally saturated times. With digital creativity bursting at the seams; from viral videos to the global blogging community, it seems incomprehensibly unlikely for a fiction author to maintain momentum and popularity in this way, without succumbing to the lure of a complete cinematic adaptation (e.g. Harry Potter or The Twilight Saga).
Letting his words do the talking, Patterson remains one of the few enduring authors in the literary world to remain at the top of his game.
As Ian Rankin once put it so succinctly, “James Patterson is The Boss. End of.”