The Big Bad Wolf (Alex Cross Series #9)

The Big Bad Wolf (Alex Cross Series #9)

3.9 299
by James Patterson, Peter J. Fernandez, Denis O'Hare

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Alex Cross's first case since joining the FBI has his new colleagues stymied. Across the country, beautiful women are being kidnapped-to be bought and sold as slaves. Behind this depraved scheme stands a shadowy figure known only as The Wolf, a master criminal who has brought a new reign of terror to organized crime. With Alex's personal life in chaos because of

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Alex Cross's first case since joining the FBI has his new colleagues stymied. Across the country, beautiful women are being kidnapped-to be bought and sold as slaves. Behind this depraved scheme stands a shadowy figure known only as The Wolf, a master criminal who has brought a new reign of terror to organized crime. With Alex's personal life in chaos because of his ex-fiancée's return and with the FBI's caution testing his patience, Alex has to go out on his own. For to stalk a ruthless predator without a name or a face, Alex Cross must become a lone wolf himself...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Unlike the original Big Bad Wolf, Patterson's newest and arguably most fear-inspiring villain maims, slaughters and kidnaps victims for purposes of sexual slavery. Rumored to be a Russian emigre, this shrewd predator has made crime pay so fabulously he sits atop an empire capable of accomplishing any nefarious purpose, including attacks on the homes of high-ranking FBI officials. Despite having just joined the Bureau, series hero Alex Cross winds up hunting the Wolf, which puts his family in peril. Meanwhile, his former girlfriend decides she wants custody of their young son. Patterson, a master at suspenseful twists and turns, keeps the action non-stop by constantly shifting among Alex's first-person tribulations and punchy, objectively told sequences focusing on Wolf, several ultra-wealthy computer chat group slugs who are taking The Story of O much too seriously, and the chat group members' struggling victims. The effectiveness of these quick changes is heightened by the use of dual readers. Theater and TV actor Fernandez has a warm, rich voice that provides Cross with a soulful dimension often absent from the author's prose, and O'Hare (a Tony Award winner for the hit play Take Me Out) handles the other chores, satisfactorily running the gamut from Russian-accented growls to effete simpers. Their all-pro rendering of this smartly paced thriller almost makes up for the fact that major plot strings are left tantalizingly untied. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Forecasts, Oct. 6, 2003). (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In this new episode in the life of ace detective Alex Cross, he has just joined the FBI. While still in training, he is called upon to help break up a kidnapping ring. Beautiful, rich, educated women and men across the country are being abducted. No ransom is requested, and the victims often are never heard from again. It appears that an organized crime godfather known as the Wolf is behind the scheme to buy and sell humans. Alex, a street cop at heart, loves the power and technology available via the FBI, but he is impatient with the bureaucracy. Back at home, Alex's ex-girlfriend and mother of his toddler, little Alex, reappears and starts custody proceedings. Then the kidnapping case puts Alex's family in danger. Patterson ties all the twists and turns in this plot into one interesting and plausible story, well read by Peter J. Fernandez and Denis O'Hare. Recommended.--Joanna M. Burkhardt, Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Univ. of Rhode Island, Providence Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Dr. Alex Cross has left Metro DC Homicide for the FBI, but it's business as usual in this laughably rough-hewn fairy tale of modern-day white slavery. According to reliable sources, more people are being sold into slavery than ever before, and it all seems to be going down on the FBI's watch. Atlanta ex-reporter Elizabeth Connolly, who looks just like Claudia Schiffer, is the ninth target over the past two years to be abducted by a husband-and-wife pair who travel the country at the behest of the nefarious Pasha Sorokin, the Wolf of the Red Mafiya. The only clues are those deliberately left behind by the kidnappers, who snatch fashion designer Audrey Meek from the King of Prussia Mall in full view of her children, or patrons like Audrey's purchaser, who ends up releasing her and killing himself. Who you gonna call? Alex Cross, of course. Even though he still hasn't finished the Agency's training course, all the higher-ups he runs into, from hardcases who trust him to lickspittles seething with envy, have obviously read his dossier (Four Blind Mice, 2002, etc.), and they know the new guy is "close to psychic," a "one-man flying squad" who's already a legend, "like Clarice Starling in the movies." It's lucky that Cross's reputation precedes him, because his fond creator doesn't give him much to do here but chase suspects identified by obliging tipsters and worry about his family (Alex Jr.'s mother, alarmed at Cross's dangerous job, is suing for custody) while the Wolf and his cronies-Sterling, Mr. Potter, the Art Director, Sphinx, and the Marvel-kidnap more dishy women (and the occasional gay man) and kill everybody who gets in their way, and quite a few poor souls who don't. As in summermovies, a triple dose of violence conceals the absence of real menace when neither victims nor avengers stir the slightest sympathy.

Product Details

Hachette Audio
Publication date:
Alex Cross Series, #9
Edition description:
Unabridged, 5 Cass., 7 hrs. 30 min.
Product dimensions:
4.12(w) x (h) x 1.37(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Big Bad Wolf

By James Patterson

Little, Brown

Copyright © 2003

James Patterson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-60290-6

Chapter One

THE PHIPPS PLAZA shopping mall in Atlanta was a showy montage of pink-granite
floors, sweeping bronze-trimmed staircases, gilded Napoleonic design, lighting
that sparkled like halogen spotlights. A man and a woman watched the target -
"Mom" - as she left Niketown with sneakers and whatnot for her three daughters
packed under one arm.

"She is very pretty. I see why the Wolf likes her. She reminds me of Claudia
Schiffer," said the male observer. "You see the resemblance?"

"Everybody reminds you of Claudia Schiffer, Slava. Don't lose her. Don't lose
your pretty little Claudia or the Wolf will have you for breakfast."

The abduction team, the Couple, was dressed expensively, and that made it easy
for them to blend in at Phipps Plaza, in the Buckhead section of Atlanta. At
eleven in the morning, Phipps wasn't very crowded, and that could be a problem.

It helped that their target was rushing about in a world of her own, a tight
little cocoon of mindless activity, buzzing in and out of Gucci, Caswell-Massey,
Niketown, then Gapkids and Parisian (to see her personal shopper, Gina), without
paying the slightest attention to who was around her in any of the stores. She
worked from an At-a-Glance leather-bound diary and made her appointed rounds in
a quick, efficient, practiced manner, buying faded jeans for Gwynne, a leather
dop kit for Brendan, Nike diving watches for Meredith and Brigid. She even made
an appointment at Carter-Barnes to get her hair done.

The target had style and also a pleasant smile for the salespeople who waited on
her in the tony stores. She held doors for those coming up behind her, even men,
who went out of their way to thank the attractive blonde. "Mom" was sexy in the
wholesome, clean-cut way of many upscale American suburban women. And she did
resemble the supermodel Claudia Schiffer. That was her undoing.

According to the job's specs, Mrs. Elizabeth Connolly was the mother of three
girls; she was a graduate of Vassar, class of '87, with what she called "a
degree in art history that is practically worthless in the real world - whatever
that is - but invaluable to me." She'd been a reporter for the Washington
and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before she was married.
She was thirty-seven, though she didn't look much more than thirty. She had her
hair in a velvet barrette that morning, wore a short-sleeved turtleneck, a
crocheted sweater, slim-fitting slacks. She was bright, religious - but sane
about it - and tough when she needed to be, at least according to the specs.

Well, she would need to be tough soon. Mrs. Elizabeth Connolly was about to be
abducted. She had been purchased, and she was probably the most expensive item
for sale that morning at Phipps Plaza.

Excerpted from The Big Bad Wolf
by James Patterson
Copyright © 2003 by James Patterson.
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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