BOOK TOUR REVIEW: Cross the Line by Jack Patterson
Cross the Line
by Jack Patterson
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.
MY THOUGHTS: 3 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
I very rarely read thrillers, but I am a big football fan and I had to check this one out when I saw it revolved around the Super Bowl. Football actually turned out to be not all that integral to the story, and I’m on the fence about my feelings for the rest of the book.
The story is told in third person, and alternates chapters from several different characters (although there were a couple I wish I would have heard from that I didn’t). Noah Larson is the stoic, veteran quarterback whose son Jake is kidnapped the week before the Super Bowl. Although we don’t hear that much from him after the first few chapters, I found him to be kind of boring. His only child was taken from him, but the level of emotion seen doesn’t seem to match what’s going on. Cal Murphy is a sports journalist who coaxes the news of the kidnapping out of Cal, and is able to report it to a friend of his in the FBI, who quickly gets involved. Their plan includes sending Cal to Mexico, and along with him is his longtime friend and fellow journalist, Kelly.
Once in Mexico the story starts moving very quickly, and I found myself reading quickly too. Needless to say, Cal and Kelly become a part of Jack’s rescue, and find themselves in the hands of a vicious cartel with a bad reputation. Though things take a turn for the worse, Cal and Kelly find help where they least expect it, and must pull every ounce of strength to try to save Jack and themselves.
About the last quarter of the book some kind of unbelievable things happen, although they seem to be construed as lucky breaks for Cal. There were a few things that seemed to come out of nowhere and weren’t explained at all, and I was left confused. Also, things were mentioned and then never came up again later in the book. I liked Cal alright, but there was a point where he kind of went off on a tangent in his own head and I found it rather irrelevant to the rest of the story.
Even though sometimes things were coming across as a wee bit too convenient for me, I thought the book was a nice break from the type I usually read, and would probably be enjoyed by football fans and thriller fans alike.
About the Author
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, and the 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 the violating 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 the world 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!
Visit me on my website, I Am Jack Patterson, or on: