Title – Kiss The Girls
Author – James Patterson
Genre – Fiction (Crime & Investigation)
Year of Publication – 1995
Page Count – 464
The second novel in the Alex Cross series. This psychological thriller is set in the ’80’s and set in the USA. The story centres around an African-American policeman/Psychologist whose psychology background helps him solve cases that surrounds psychopaths and sociopaths.
Plot and Characters
The story starts with Alex Cross receiving the news of his favourite niece being missing. The plot centres around two serial killers (The Gentleman Caller and Casanova). Together these psychopaths pick up women for their sexual gratification. The ‘gentleman caller’ proves to be a little more ruthless in his deadly act, because after having sex with his victims he keeps for himself a souvenir (more often than not a body part). Casanova on the other hand was more skilled and meticulous. He collected the girls in his Harem and eventually kills them!
Alex Cross leaves Washington to North Carolina where his sister has been missing for days to liason with the Fbi and the local police to help find his sister and other girls who have gone missing and have not been found.
An African-American forensic psychologist as well as a detective, described as good-looking and well-built. He is often referred to as “Doctor Detective.” Despite being very dedicated to his job, he manages to be a devoted father to his two children. He is the uncle of Naomi Cross, one of the Casanova’s victims, which is the reason why he travels south to help in the investigation.
A young physician who is captured by Casanova as part of his “harem”, but manages to escape from his underground hiding place thanks to her martial arts skills. After recovering physically, she joins Cross on the hunt for her abductor, and starts to develop a close relationship with HIM.
A serial killer from North Carolina who “collects” beautiful, exceptional young women whom he holds in an underground “harem”, raping and eventually murdering them. He bonded with The Gentleman Caller years ago and they murdered women together for some time.
The Gentleman Caller
The other serial killer in the story, a much more brutal and direct murderer who likes to cut off bodyparts and keep them as trophies. He murdered a young couple on a lake in the early 80s, and was soon discovered by Casanova, with whom he formed a unique bond.
Source – Wikipedia
Other characters worthy of mention are Naomi Cross (Dr. Cross’ Niece), Sampson (Cross’ Friend and partner in the police), Beth Lieberman (a reporter who the gentleman caller always sent his journals to asking for them to be printed in the newspaper she worked with).
Being a big fan of James Patterson, this book was a huge let down. There was no sense of dynamism, only subtle suspense that did not really hold any sort of water in the readers mind. For the average reader this might be a great book, but for anyone who reads consistently, this book will definitely let you down somewhat.
The lead character seemed to have all the answers, making him look like a god of some sort. He was the only one catching the big breaks, and coming up with most of the theories, it was tiring and very predictable. The writing style of James on this one was drab, it felt like he was compelled to write another Alex Cross story. The book felt like the author was just going through the pages, he did not seem to have fun with his plot and this was evident in the relationship between Dr Alex Cross and Dr Kate McTiernan, it felt like the author just decided to add that to the plot to make the book a little more fuller and for me it did exactly the opposite. A relationship in between a crisis should be fun and exciting, however, James made sure this was another trial at a love story in between a criminal story that failed woefully.
It’s safe to say that I was disappointed in the book and it has earned my lowest ever rating on ‘The Review’
‘Fikayo’s Rating: 5.91
Oyekunle’ Fikayo Oyediran
THE BROWN ROOFS OF IBADAN
If you’ve heard about Ibadan, you most certainly have heard about the famous brown roofs. For a tourist or anyone who loves sightseeing, the brown roofs would most certainly give goosebumps. A set of roofs, brown together in harmony looking as if they are about to render the perfect choral tune. To me, they are an art of history, ringing from door to door the story of families. Bordered by mountains around them as if they were protecting a revered personality.
Together, the brown roofs play a tune to culture, to how close knit the system used to be.
Growing up in Ibadan for me was probably the most beautiful thing. Living in the suburbs rarely seeing the city (Yeah I was one of the “get inside” kids). It never occurred to me that there was more to the city than school, home, my friends house, church and my uncle’s house. Ibadan is like an onion bulb, keep peeling and a new part jumps at you screaming “Hey you! I bet you didn’t know I existed right?”…
This is exactly what I’ve been going through these past few weeks.
I’ve always known about the brown roofs, and they never struck me as anything important (it was just another place where people live), but taking a trip past the brown roofs recently has got me thinking… A lot.
As beautiful as the roofs look, the sad truth is that people live in these houses. In my mother’s words “you can literally leave your living room and the next thing you know you are in another person’s bedroom” (don’t ask me if this is true).
The brown roofs represents the ghetto of the city, the tiny little people who have to grind their bodies daily to survive. They remind me of a beautiful looking food that tastes really terrible.
The first time I passed by recently, I just loved the scenery but consistently going past the roofs the harsh reality started to sink in. That under the brown roofs, dreams are limited, and if ever there are dreams they are quashed by the harsh reality of their reality. If you own a cab of your own in the brown roofs, I so totally feel that you would be considered a rich man. The schools not really educating the kids and whatever little education they seem to be getting, the brown roofs slowly surely rip it out of their hands and quietly tell them “to make it here, you have to crack the nut”.
The brown roofs represents the frustrations of men who’ve tried to make it out of the ghetto, who’ve worked their lives out but the roofs keeps pulling them down quietly, slowly but surely. Men who’ve found solace in sex and bearing children they can’t take care of and women who’ve found husbands they have to please and at the same time keep the kids fed and in school and kids who have to hawk or beg daily to help their families.
The brown roofs represents a tired generation that may never make it out…
A generation stuck under the brown roofs
The brown roofs may indeed be beautiful to everyone who has seen them. Beneath the beauty however, is a gem that may never see the light of day!
We’ve all heard the saying “… think outside the box” maybe one too many times it begins to sound like a pack of rotten eggs (I heard it before I wrote it, just move on)
I’ve come to realize that the reason this saying has become such a odd thing to say is because the same people who are asking for us to think outside the box are the same opening a new one right outside the one they just asked us to leave.
The box is almost always a stereotype, or the way things have always been done. It comes with statements like this… “You can’t do it that way, it’s a great idea but it just doesn’t follow the proper way to do these things…”
I could list about a dozen things about the box and its nuances but that’s not why we are here… Moving on!
Let’s get into it (Oh, yeah that was the intro, if you missed it)
I got thinking about this some nights ago when I decided to download M.I Abaga’s old albums (long story, we all do weird stuff) and there was a song on the Illegal Music 3 Mixtape titled “The Box” (By the way, it would have been better to leave Pryse off that song… I digress)
Yes, for most creatives (whatever part of the creative world you’re into) there’s always this thing at the back of your mind that there is a pattern that is the general way of expressing your ideas or a particular way that sells on the market way easily!
Many people get caught up with the crowd, hence, we have too many people doing the same thing and it goes mostly unnoticed and we keep getting this monotonous things in the creative world!
A little research would most certainly show that creatives who made headway in their fields are those who did things differently, who didn’t get streamlined by whatever the shape the box took during their time.
Every single creative I have met, has an idea boiling in their head and certainly none of the ideas are one of the same. Why, then, do they have to have a specific way to express themselves and their thoughts to world? The creative mind loses its sense of freedom when it is conformed to a certain Style.
Do not let stereotypes determine how you choose to do your things. Research, read, study, dream big and do not concern yourself with how it is ‘usually’ done. Create your own style (if that’s what you want), own it, be a master at it and maybe someday they will make a box out of your style.
The box should never (I repeat… Should Never) explicitly or completely dictate to you how you should express your ideas…