When veteran NFL quarterback Noah Larson finally guides his team to the Super Bowl, his dreams - and life - are dashed when his six-year-old son is kidnapped for a unique ransom: Lose the game 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.
©2012 Jack Patterson (P)2013 Jack Patterson
"You can tell Jack knows what it's like to live in the newspaper world... and he's proven that he also can write one heck of a murder mystery. With a clever plot and characters you badly want to succeed, he is on his way to becoming a new era James Patterson." (Josh Katzowitz, NFL writer for CBSSports.com and author of Sid Gillman: Father of the Passing Game)
"Jack's storytelling feels as natural as James Patterson's, and the short-chapter setup is the literary answer to Lay's potato chips: you just want one more and before you know it, you've gone through the whole thing." (David Bashore, The Times-News, Twin Falls, ID)
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Gripping plot was the only thing this book had going for it. There was zero character development. The use of language was mediocre (e.g., using "penultimate" when it was obvious the author actually meant "ultimate.") The narration was also subpar. Although the narrator spoke clearly, he always sounded like he was reading. Of course he WAS reading, as all narrators do, but they don't all sound like it. Save your money.
I didn't finish it. It started out okay, interesting premise, but became implausible and then just boring. I might have finished it if I didn't have more promising audiobooks in my queue. I didn't hate it, but it didn't compel me to finish, thus 2 stars.
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Decent story. The Superbowl is here. Two unlikely teams are readying for the big day. But the fix is in. Or is it? Cal Murphy, sports writer in Seattle, is in the thick of it. Well worth the time. 5 stars.
"Could have been better"
Definitely not the highest.
No, I can't say I would recommend it to my friends, even for free.
Sadly lacking emotion.
The only extreme reaction I had was to moan at Patterson's repetition of the characters names.... Cal thought he saw something...Cal looked the other way... Cal closed his eyes...etc. When it would have been much better (in this reader's opinion) to simply say, he looked the other way and then closed his eyes. I got to the point I wanted to moan out loud. It was obvious at the first part that he was talking about Cal, there was no reason to keep saying Cal, Cal, Cal or Kelly, Kelly, Kelly.
Better luck next time Mr. Patterson. You probably won't even read this, but if you do, it's nothing personal.... just some constructive criticism. The story itself was well thought out otherwise.
"Intriguing story, Journalistic Narrator"
Cross the Line was a pleasant listen, but not an exciting one. It was not a bad story, but I simply felt unexcited, which should not be the case for a thriller-type story.
Jack Patterson wrote this story well. It was clear he had done the research and had put a lot of thought into it. I thought the story flowed perfectly. The story let me down because of the dialogue between characters. It simply was unrealistic. A few of the characters often went off on tangents when talking to someone about things they had discovered along the way. These tangents, which clearly were dialogue and not narration, were too-journalistic. I know a few journalists, and even when I get them started on a topic they're writing about, they still don't *talk* like they write. These characters spoke more like they were reading an article, rather than sitting at a table drinking coffee. It just felt unnatural. There were also a few times the characters used rare synonym's to describe things when talking to someone (again not during narration), even during the intense scenes. Most people I know under would go for the easiest word to describe something when under pressure, not the unusual synonym. (i.e., blue vs. azure)
Perhaps all these faults would not have been so disappointing (or rather, distracting?) to me had I read the book vs listened. The narrator was not horrible, he had a pleasant voice. However, the book was simply read to me, not narrated. He lacked the vocal talents needed to pull off not only a book, but especially a thriller. There were no differences between male and female voices, and often I could not tell which character was talking because there was no difference in dialect. The non-American bad characters in this book had normal American voices (even in their home country), and were not frightening or manipulative at all. Another fault, there were two very intense parts of the book that simply require some voice excitement, and there was absolutely none. During the part in which the son was kidnapped (forgive me for not marking this as a spoiler, but as it was in the book description, I didn't think it was necessary), I completely missed it because the narrator was so soothing and calm that I had no clue something big was happening. I literally had to go back a few minutes to re-listen to that part. Later in the book, during another big event, I had a similar unexcited response because of the calm tone. Overall, the narrator was pleasant and soothing, but I do think Cross the Line could have been done a lot better with someone who had more narrative vocal talent.
Cross the Line is a great book, despite all I've mentioned. And I do recommend giving it a try. Jack Patterson is a great writer, and I have enjoyed his work for a while now. I look forward to his future books.
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