So, in the previous book, there's a bad guy, named The Mastermind, who's organizing all these crimes,and then handing them off to other criminals to actually commit. And right at the end of the book, we're told who The Mastermind really is - someone we've known for all the Alex Cross books, someone completely trusted by Cross, someone who, apparently, has been pulling the strings in Alex's life this whole time. And we, the readers, are told the identity of this person. Seriously, mind blown.
But then, with the beginning of this next book, it's like that whole big issue is set on the back burner. Yes, the Mastermind continues to call Cross, challenging and taunting him. But Cross is kept busy with a whole new serial killer (or killers) and Patterson strings us along for the majority of the book, teasing us about what, obviously, should be the main thing on Alex's mind - identifying, locating and eliminating the Mastermind.
The whole vampire killing story, the are-they-real or are-they-wannabe's question, even Cross's (inevitable) romance with his female partner - all secondary to what should have been going on between Cross and the Mastermind. And that's what bugged me most about this book.
There were a few other problems - where's his partner, Sampson, while Cross is gallivanting cross-country? Why is Nana pushing him so hard to find a woman? Why (please, why) does Cross fall into bed with every female cop or FBI agent he meets? For a clinical psychologist, Cross sure does have some issues he needs to work through.
I enjoyed the scenes with Cross spending time with his family. I like the playful banter between Cross and Nana, although she can be a bit of a jerk (and a racist) at times. But I'm glad that I won't be reading too many more of these Cross novels.