Alex Cross's Trial (Alex Cross Series #15)

Alex Cross's Trial (Alex Cross Series #15)

3.6 487
by James Patterson, Richard DiLallo

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The year is 1906, and America is segregated. Hatred and discrimination plague the streets, the classroom, and the courts. But in Washington, D.C., Ben Corbett, a smart and courageous lawyer, makes it his mission to confront injustice at every turn. He represents those who nobody else dares defend, merely because of the color of their skin. When President Roosevelt,


The year is 1906, and America is segregated. Hatred and discrimination plague the streets, the classroom, and the courts. But in Washington, D.C., Ben Corbett, a smart and courageous lawyer, makes it his mission to confront injustice at every turn. He represents those who nobody else dares defend, merely because of the color of their skin. When President Roosevelt, under whom Ben served in the Spanish-American war, asks Ben to investigate rumors of the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in his hometown in Mississippi, he cannot refuse.

The details of Ben's harrowing story -- and his experiences with a remarkable man named Abraham Cross -- were passed from generation to generation, until they were finally recounted to Alex Cross by his grandmother, Nana Mama. From the first time he heard the story, Alex was unable to forget the unimaginable events Ben witnessed in Eudora and pledged to tell it to the world. Alex Cross's Trial is unlike any story Patterson has ever told, but offers the astounding action and breakneck speed of any Alex Cross novel.

Editorial Reviews

Nights and
"A compelling and unforgettable novel . . . A powerful drama and a gripping thriller - and the story that it tells is an important one."
"A little bit of Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird and a lot of James Patterson heading in a new direction."
The 15th book in James Patterson's Alex Cross series takes us back to early-20th-century America, deep into the heart of Mississippi Jim Crow country. A brave young lawyer named Ben Corbett has been summonsed to the White House by President Theodore Roosevelt and given the enviable assignment of investigating reports of lynchings in the Deep South, with the help of a Eudora, Mississippi, man who happens to be Abraham Cross, a great-uncle of Alex. Once on the scene, Ben begins to notice that his every movement is being watched. He has a clear choice: Beat a hasty retreat back to Washington or stay and risk his own violent demise. Torchlit danger and suspense.
Publishers Weekly
Fans of Patterson's serial-killer hunting detective, Alex Cross, expecting another cat-and-mouse thriller based on this book's title, will find Cross's appearance limited to a two-page preface in which the fictional character explains why he's written a book called Trial. Abraham Cross, a relative who lived in Eudora, Miss., at the beginning of the 20th century, helps liberal lawyer Ben Corbett to expose the truth about a wave of lynchings near that town, an assignment undertaken at the request of Corbett's friend, President Theodore Roosevelt. When Corbett arrives in Eudora, where he was born and raised, he receives a frosty reception from many unhappy with his record of representing African-Americans accused of murder, including a cold shoulder from his father, a judge. Soon, Corbett finds evidence that racism is alive and well, and that brutal murders of blacks, often for the most trivial of reasons, are endemic. Some may be disappointed that Abraham plays a relatively minor role, given the jacket line that "the Cross family had more than one hero."
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"The Man Who Can't Miss."
From the Publisher
"The Man Who Can't Miss."—TIME

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Alex Cross Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 11.70(h) x 0.91(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Alex Cross's TRIAL

By Patterson, James

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2010 Patterson, James
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446561808

Part One


Chapter 1

“LET HER HANG until she’s dead!”

“Take her out and hang her now! I’ll do it myself!”

Bam! Bam! Bam!

Judge Otis L. Warren wielded his gavel with such fury I thought he might smash a hole in the top of his bench.

“Quiet in the court!” the judge shouted. “Settle down, or by God I will hold every last one of you sons of bitches in contempt.”

Bam! Bam! Bam!

It was no use. Warren’s courtroom was overflowing with disgruntled white citizens who wanted nothing more than to see my client hang. Two of them on the left side began a chant that was soon taken up by others:

We don’t care where. We don’t care how.

We just wanna hang Gracie Johnson now!

The shouts from some among the white majority sent such a shiver of fear through the colored balcony that one woman fainted and had to be carried out.

Another bang of the gavel. Judge Warren stood and shouted, “Mr. Loomis, escort all those in the colored section out of my courtroom and out of the building.”

I couldn’t hold my tongue another second.

“Your Honor, I object! I don’t see any of the colored folks being rowdy or disrespectful. The ones making the fuss are the white men in front.”

Judge Warren glared over his glasses at me. His expression intimidated the room into silence.

“Mr. Corbett, it is my job to decide how to keep order in my court. It is your job to counsel your client—and let me tell you, from where I sit, she needs all the help she can get.”

I couldn’t disagree.

What I once thought would be an easy victory in the case of District of Columbia v. Johnson was swiftly turning into a disaster for Gracie and her increasingly helpless attorney, Benjamin E. Corbett: that being myself.

Gracie Johnson was on trial for the murder of Lydia Davenport, a wealthy white woman who was active in Washington society at a level high enough to cause a nosebleed. Worse, Gracie was a black woman accused of killing her wealthy white employer.

The year was 1906. Before it was all over, I was afraid they were going to hang Gracie.

I had to be careful they didn’t hang me while they were at it.


Excerpted from Alex Cross's TRIAL by Patterson, James Copyright © 2010 by Patterson, James. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

Brief Biography

Palm Beach, Florida
Date of Birth:
March 22, 1947
Place of Birth:
Newburgh, New York
B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971

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Alex Cross's Trial (Alex Cross Series #15) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 487 reviews.
Tidbitsofscott More than 1 year ago
I am sorry to say that the story is anything but original. James Patterson and his co-author Richard Dilallo have taken Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird", both John Grisham's "A Painted House" and "A Time to Kill" and combined them all together into a simplistic novel about the south in the early 1900's, a lynching, segregation, and the Ku Klux Clan. I would really like it if Patterson would give over some of his ideas completely to his co-authors and let them run with it, while he concentrates on what made him so famous in the first place - ALEX CROSS. The few times he has chosen to use past history that needs reseach the results always seem to fall short and bring down the overall value of the novels. Read this one if you like most of Patterson's books, but be warned it is not great, merely good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received the book in the mail today, and I am beyond disappointed. I have seen quite a decrease in the quality of writing ever since James Patterson allowed other people to write and he just slapped his name on the cover, but this just was the last straw for me. I was a loyal Patterson reader, but I will never pick one up again! I pre-order all of his books, and have never felt the need to read the preview. Today, I immediately opened the box and was surprised as I read the first 3 pages to see that it was nothing like the usual, and honestly of a subject matter that I have no interest in! I beg you, Mr Patterson, bring back the quality and forsake the quantity!!
Granny_book_lover More than 1 year ago
I made a point of reading all of the first 14 chapters available on the B & N preview before I bought the book as Patterson's last few books have been erratic. This book was historically accurate and about a topic - lynching in Mississippi in 1906 where the ravages of the Civil War are still present in the black community. Two separate communities, one black and one white, have lives that intertwine. And yet, fear is still the biggest obstacle to overcome as the country moves into the 20th century. If you like historical novels, you will like this look into racial issues in the Deep South!
Carol1951 More than 1 year ago
Being so thoroughly enamoured of Alex Cross, I was sceptical about truly enjoying members of the Cross family in another era, another setting as well, and still getting the thrill ride I so enjoy in Patterson's books. Not to worry. He's got it covered. Go back to the turn of the 20th Century and the deeply bigoted, deep south. Add a colorful touch of the larger than life Teddy Roosevelt, and a young impassioned humanist Harvard law graduate, to the racial pot boiling in small southern town, and you have recipe for terror, suspence, heroism, sorrow, and hope. Patterson has another central character who could be the motivation for a series of great stories that unfold around the old being pulled kicking and screaming into the 20th century.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Alex Cross Books. This was unexpected. I think the subject matter is relevant today. I love pattersons writing style.Of all of the Alex Cross books this will stay with me the longest.
APayne More than 1 year ago
one of the best Alex Cross books to date - the only thing is that there are many loose ends at the finish
mickeydAR More than 1 year ago
Excellent reading, Patterson is without a doubt one of the best out there. I would recomend the entire series for any one who enjoys a good book, just start reading and try to put it down. Waitng on the next Patterson book to be printed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a much different book than most of Patterson's books but it was really good. Sad that we have to be reminded that these things really happened. But it's good to be reminded that we have hero's in all walks of life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down.
wizkids32 More than 1 year ago
Awesome book loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was sceptical of a novel in the Alex Cross series that wasn't following our usual protaganist. This was a pleasant surprise, however, which really drew me in and had me just as commited as any other. Highly recommend this one, either as part of the series or a stand alone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not in line with the current series, so wondering if it will have something to do with upcoming books in the series. Good book and worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book
rwchipster More than 1 year ago
This is NOT an Alex Cross book! I was very disappointed. I wish that I had previewed the book before purchasing it. I read the first few chapters and quit. I expect to pickup again in the series with #16, but I will preview it first.
Daddeo More than 1 year ago
Now we understand Nana a bit more....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my favorite books form James Patterson. The books is a story told to one of James Patterson’s characters detective Alex cross. The story follows his great uncles struggle when the Ku Klux Klan was prominent and racism was everywhere. To be honest the book doesn’t feel like a James Patterson book. What I liked about the book was the fact that it showed a side of people that we normally ignore which is the cruel and evil side where man would do unspeakable things over such a small thing as skin color to his fellow man. Patterson’s writing in this book doesn’t feel the same as his normal books but what makes this book excellent is that fat that when you finish reading it you think about what happened because it’s about what . It follows Ben Corbett a lawyer who is tasked with investigating the reports of lynching’s in his hometown of Eudora, Mississippi by President Roosevelt. In Eudora ben meets Abraham cross and the events of the story to me shows that there has been more than one great person in his family. Also living in the south this pained a gruesome image of what could have happened right by my on home years ago.
Morgan268 More than 1 year ago
EXCELLENT! I feel I know the Cross family as if it were my own. Nana is a favorite character in the series. I was pleased to learn more history and family member is the Cross family tree. I first "read" this book on tape while driving long distance. It was so engrossing, it made traveling really short and pleasant. Couldn't wait to get back in the car to learn more about the Cross family and it's history that is also our country's history. I passed the audiobook onto friends. Now I'm buying it for my nook so I can read it again whenever I want.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I noticed the minute I read "A PreFace to Trial" that the jacket cover refers to Moody as Abraham's "beautiful daughter" but the preface refers to Abraham as her grandfather. Who did the review & editing for this book, certainly not James Patterson himself!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read almost everything that James Patterson publishes, this book is a little different in the cast of characters. Just started to read, so I cannot give a total review.
SuzieA More than 1 year ago
Like most of the other reviewers I preorder all of James Patterson's books. After SWIMSUIT and now this one I will no longer do this. I also feel the quality of his work has diminished the past 2 years. It seems he is all about churning out numerous books and not that interested in telling a good quality story. If his next book is like his last two I will no longer purchase titles by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
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