Title: Cross the Line
Author: Jack Patterson
Series: Cal Murphy #2
Summary: When veteran NFL quarterback Noah Larson finally guides his team to theSuper Bowl, his dreams – and life – are dashed when his six-year-old son is kidnapped for a unique ransom: lose thegame or his son dies. Seattle sportswriter Cal Murphy and photographer Kelly Mendoza get pulled into an FBI sting to help rescue Noah’s son in Mexico. But when everything falls apart, Cal and Kelly are left to save themselves, save Noah’s son, and save the Super Bowl.
Peek Inside: Here’s an excerpt for you to enjoy.
My Thoughts: When I received this book, I was surprised by how thin it is. I don’t think that affected my expectations, but I suppose it might have. If so, it was completely subconscious, as I actually was excited to read it. I thought the premise sounded promising – plus, I love football. So, it seemed like a good combination.
And I was right! Cross the Line by Jack Patterson is a fast-paced thriller that keeps you guessing. The chapters are short and sweet, and went by faster than I’ve read much of anything in a long time!
Cal Murphy is a decent protagonist. He’s clearly struggling with questions related to faith, and there’s enough in there that it led me to wonder whether Patterson was trying to subtly share a Christian message. It’s not preachy, just more than I’m used to seeing in books that don’t have any Christian messages tucked inside. It was used nicely, and I think gives the reader reason to stop and think about the very things Cal’s pondering.
Apparently this is the second book featuring Cal Murphy and his “friend” Kelly. I have not read the first book, Cross Hairs, but found it wasn’t integral to understanding this book. (And, yes, I’m thinking I want to read it.) It’s clear from the get-go that Cal quite into Kelly. It’s not quite so clear how she feels. And really, while I really liked Cal, I felt Kelly wasn’t developed enough. I barely know much about her, other than the fact that she’s a photographer, she loves sports, and this isn’t her first adventure with Cal. I think perhaps the absence of much action with her could help explain the thinness of the book. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the lack of bulk. I was actually relieved to finally have a bit of a shorter book to read. And, with the exception of more with Kelly, I don’t think it needs much more heft.
Long story short: I really enjoyed Cross the Line, and hope to get my hands on a copy of Cross Hairs so I can complete this series (to date, anyway) and satisfy my curiosity regarding the previous book. If you enjoy past-paced whodunnit thrillers, then I encourage you to give Jack Patterson a try.
Source: Received through Partners in Crime Tours for review. (Click the button below for more tour stops.)
Read It: Get your own copy HERE. (This is a Book Depository link, and purchase through this link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)
About the Author: Straight from Jack Patterson:
The first signs that I might like writing about sports — and be slightly competitive — appeared when my year two (or first grade) teacher, Mrs. Holland, asked my class to write and illustrate our day. Mine read like this: “The Red team beat the Blue team, 1 to nil. And I won.” The next 47 entries covered my exploits on the soccer pitch while growing up in Ipswich, England.
In South Carolina as a teenager, my dad told me that I could get paid to watch sports provided I could write about it. Sounded easy enough and by the time I was 16, I landed a job at my town’s daily newspaper and had a column on Major League Baseball players from our area. I also covered my first riot there at a sporting event — and it’s safe to say I was smitten with journalism.
After graduating from one of the best journalism schools in the country, I took a job as a sports editor in South Georgia and learned firsthand about the passion of high school sports in rural America. I thought I knew before, but I didn’t. This was another world.
I also had the opportunity to cover major sporting events like the Olympic Games,the World Series, the Super Bowl, andthe Final Four. It was a thrill!
But nothing was as thrilling to me as uncovering the truth in investigative assignments. I once broke a story about a prominent southern football team’s NCAA violation — and found out theviolating coach had committed suicide only a few months earlier. The story won a national writing award and stoked my desire to write about these issues. It made me realize that the sports world was just another fantastic backdrop for drama.
After writing non-fiction books with athletes, for athletes, and ghost writing for many others, I decided to enter theworld of fiction writing. It had been something I wanted to do but never found the time. So, I made the time–and am now having a blast. I hope you enjoy reading my novels as much as I enjoy writing them!
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