Even a good guy has to know that if he shoots enough people, he is eventually going to end up on trial. That is exactly what happens in the latest installment of James Patterson’s Alex Cross series, “The People Vs. Alex Cross.”

This is the 25th book in the Alex Cross series started by Patterson in 1993. There are also a couple of Alex Cross BookShots that are not part of the series.

“The People Vs. Alex Cross” features all of the series regulars that readers have loved for the past 24 years, including Nana Mama, Bree, Sampson and all of the children. It also has the fast-paced action that people are accustomed to with Cross books.

As this book opens, Det. Alex Cross isn’t working a case because he is on trial for the shootings that happened in the last Cross book, “Cross the Line” when Cross was trying to take down associates of his long-time nemesis Gary Soneji. The action is a little slow to start in this book as Patterson lays out what has been going on with Cross in between the two books, but it kicks into gear as Cross goes on trial for shooting several people in apparent cold blood. While Cross and his team of attorneys work to unravel a mystery that threatens to ruin his good name and send him to prison, he also gets pulled into the investigation of the disappearance of several young blonde women who have gone missing. Though Cross is not legally a police officer while on trial, he teams up with his partner to look into the disappearances and the investigation takes the two to the more sinister parts of the internet and leads them to some of the very shady characters who lurk there.

Of course, I can’t give away too much about what happens or just how or even whether Cross saves the day for everyone, including himself, but I can promise you it is a fun ride to find out.

I will say the book does have a major weakness for me in that a child, who is said to be a prodigy, plays a major role in the outcome of the book. I don’t like when the genius kid has to tell all of the adults what they are missing in books. I think it is unrealistic and hackneyed.

That said, there is a reason that people keep coming back to this series year after year and a reason that Patterson is one of the world’s best selling authors — in a word, it is suspense. And this book has it in spades.

Known for working with other authors, Patterson’s next collaboration is a mystery written with former President Bill Clinton. “The President is Missing” is due out in June.