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Cross Fire (Alex Cross Series #17)

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Overview

Wedding bells ring

Detective Alex Cross and Bree's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington D.C.'s most corrupt: a dirty congressmen and an underhanded lobbyist. Next, the elusive gunman begins picking off other crooked politicians, sparking a blaze of theories—is the marksman a hero or a vigilante?

A murderer returns

The case ...

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Cross Fire (Alex Cross Series #17)

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Overview

Wedding bells ring

Detective Alex Cross and Bree's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington D.C.'s most corrupt: a dirty congressmen and an underhanded lobbyist. Next, the elusive gunman begins picking off other crooked politicians, sparking a blaze of theories—is the marksman a hero or a vigilante?

A murderer returns

The case explodes, and the FBI assigns agent Max Siegel to the investigation. As Alex and Siegel battle over jurisdiction, the murders continue. It becomes clear that they are the work of a professional who has detailed knowledge of his victims' movements—information that only a Washington insider could possess.

Caught in a lethal cross fire

As Alex contends with the sniper, Siegel, and the wedding, he receives a call from his deadliest adversary, Kyle Craig. The Mastermind is in D.C. and will not relent until he has eliminated Cross and his family for good. With a supercharged blend of action, deception, and suspense, Cross Fire is James Patterson's most visceral and exciting Alex Cross novel ever.

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  • James Patterson - Cross Fire
    James Patterson - Cross Fire  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

A sniper serial killer is targeting corrupt politicians and conniving D.C. lobbyists and only one man can stop him. But how can detective Alex Cross track down the culprit when he himself is in the crosshairs of "Mastermind" Kyle Craig, his own deadliest adversary? Perfectly calibrated two-track suspense. A number one Barnes & Noble Bestseller now in mass market paperback and NOOK Book.

TheReviewBroads.com
"I truly believe that James Patterson has an IV hooked up to his writing arm and Great Ideas, Great Plots, and Great Characters dribble constantly into his bloodstream...I, Alex Cross stuns."
NightsandWeekends.com
"The stakes are higher than ever before...More than a crime thriller, it's an absorbing family drama."
Al Roker
[Patterson's] books don't pussyfoot around when it comes to the villains. These are bad, bad people... [I, Alex Cross] is political, with a lot of intrigue in high places.
The Today Show
From the Publisher
READERS LOVE I, ALEX CROSS!

"[Patterson's] books don't pussyfoot around when it comes to the villains. These are bad, bad people... [I, Alex Cross] is political, with a lot of intrigue in high places."—Al Roker, The Today Show

"I truly believe that James Patterson has an IV hooked up to his writing arm and Great Ideas, Great Plots, and Great Characters dribble constantly into his bloodstream...I, Alex Cross stuns."—TheReviewBroads.com

"The stakes are higher than ever before...More than a crime thriller, it's an absorbing family drama."—NightsandWeekends.com

Al Roker - The Today Show
"[Patterson's] books don't pussyfoot around when it comes to the villains. These are bad, bad people... [I, Alex Cross] is political, with a lot of intrigue in high places."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607886631
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio
  • Publication date: 11/15/2010
  • Series: Alex Cross Series , #17
  • Format: CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 5.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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 240 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. Mr. Patterson also writes the bestselling Women's Murder Club novels, set in San Francisco, and the top-selling New York detective series of all time, featuring Detective Michael Bennett. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

Biography

James Patterson had been working as a very successful advertising copywriter when he decided to put his Masters degree in English to a somewhat different use. Inspired by bestselling hair-raising thrillers like The Day of the Jackal and The Exorcist, Patterson went to work on his first novel. Published in 1976, The Thomas Berryman Number established him as a writer of tightly constructed mysteries that move forward with the velocity of a bullet. For his startling debut, Patterson was awarded the prestigious Edgar Award for Best First Mystery Novel—an auspicious beginning to one of the most successful careers in publishing.

A string of gripping standalone mysteries followed, but it was the 1992 release of Along Came a Spider that elevated Patterson to superstar status. Introducing Alex Cross, a brilliant black police detective/forensic psychologist, the novel was the first installment in a series of bestselling thrillers that has proved to be a cash cow for the author and his publisher.

Examining Patterson's track record, it's obvious that he believes one good series deserves another…maybe even a third! In 2001, he debuted the Women's Murder Club with 1st to Die, a fast-paced thriller featuring four female crime fighters living in San Francisco—a homicide detective, a medical examiner, an assistant D.A., and a cub reporter. The successful series has continued with other numerically titled installments. Then, spinning off a set of characters from a previous novel (1998's When the Wind Blows), in 2005 he published Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. Featuring a "flock" of genetically engineered flying children, the novel was a huge hit, especially with teen readers, and spawned a series of vastly popular fantasy adventures.

In addition to continuing his bestselling literary franchises, Patterson has also found time to co-author thrillers with other writers—including Peter de Jonge, Andrew Gross, Maxine Paetro, and Howard Roughan—and has even ventured into romance (Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, Sam's Letters to Jennifer) and children's literature (santaKid). Writing at an astonishing pace, this prolific author has turned himself into a one-man publishing juggernaut, fulfilling his clearly stated ambition to become "the king of the page-turners."

Good To Know

Patterson's Suzanne's Diary For Nicholas was inspired by a diary his wife kept that tracked the development of their toddler son.

Two of Patterson's Alex Cross mysteries (Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls) have been turned into films starring Morgan Freeman; in 2007, a weekly television series premiered, based on the bestselling Women's Murder Club novels.

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

First Chapter

Cross Fire


By Patterson, James

Little, Brown and Company

Copyright © 2010 Patterson, James
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316036177

Prologue

FINDERS, KEEPERS

One

IT HAD BEEN MONTHS since Kyle Craig had killed a man. Once upon a time, he’d been the type who needed everything yesterday, if not sooner. But no more. If years of hellish solitude in ADX Florence in Colorado had taught him nothing else, it was how to wait for what he wanted.

He sat patiently in the foyer of his quarry’s Miami apartment, weapon cradled on his lap, watching the lights of the harbor and biding his time. He was in no particular hurry, enjoying the view, maybe finally learning to enjoy life. He certainly looked relaxed — faded jeans, sandals, a T-shirt that said CONSIDER THIS FAIR WARNING.

At 2:12 a.m., a key sounded in the lock. Kyle immediately rose to his feet and pressed his back against the wall, hanging there as silently as a piece of art.

The man of the hour, Max Siegel, was whistling as he came in. Kyle recognized the melody, an old snatch from his childhood. It was from Peter and the Wolf. The strings section — Peter’s hunting theme. Ironically enough.

He waited for Mr. Siegel to close the door behind him and take a few more steps into the still-dark apartment. Then Kyle leveled his red laser site and squeezed the trigger. “Hello, Mr. Siegel,” he said. “Good to meet you.”

A stream of electrically charged saline solution hit Siegel squarely in the back, carrying fifty thousand volts with it. He grunted between clenched teeth. His shoulders seized up just before his body went completely rigid, and he fell like a tree to the floor.

Kyle didn’t hesitate for a second. He quickly slipped a nylon cord across Siegel’s throat, wound it around three times, and started to drag him in a small circle to sop up the saline solution on the floor, then yanked him straight through the apartment toward the master bath in the back. Siegel was too weak to struggle. Whatever effort he could muster was spent on the cord itself, trying not to be strangled.

“Don’t fight me,” Kyle said finally. “There’s no point in it.”

In the bathroom, Kyle lifted him into the oversize tub and tied off the ends of the cord to one of the chrome fixtures. It wasn’t necessary, physically speaking, but it kept Siegel’s head up where Kyle could see his face.

“You probably don’t even know about these, do you?” he said, holding up the strange gun he’d carried in. “I know you’ve been underground awhile, but trust me, they’re going to be huge.”

The thing looked like a Super Soaker, which it kind of was. Regular Tasers could go for thirty seconds at best. This baby could run and run, thanks to a two-gallon wearable water pack strapped to his back.

“What… do you want?” Siegel finally choked out in response to the madness.

Kyle withdrew a small Canon digital camera from his pocket and started taking pictures. Full face, left profile, right profile.

“I know who you are, Agent Siegel. Let’s start there, okay?”

A look of confusion crossed the man’s face. Then fear. “Oh God, this is some kind of horrible mistake. My name is Ivan Schimmel!”

“No,” Kyle said, snapping away — brow, nose, chin. “You’re Max Siegel, and you’re FBI. You’ve been deep undercover for the last twenty-six months. Worked your way up with the Buenez cartel until they trusted you enough to start making shipments.

“Now, while everyone’s watching Colombia, you’re running heroin from Phuket and Bangkok to Miami.”

He lowered the camera and looked Siegel in the eye. “Never mind the moral relativism. It’s all in the name of the big takedown at the end. Isn’t that right, Agent Siegel?”

“I don’t know who you’re talking about!” he cried. “Please! Check my wallet!” He’d begun to struggle again, but another dose of voltage put a quick end to that. The electricity went right after the motor and sensory nerves. Siegel’s pain tolerance was irrelevant. And the ammo, such as it was, ran right down the drain into Biscayne Bay.

“I suppose you might be forgiven for not recognizing me,” Kyle went on. “Does the name ‘Kyle Craig’ mean anything to you? Or maybe the Mastermind? That’s what they call me up at the Puzzle Palace in DC. As a matter of fact, I used to work there. Long time ago.”

A flash of recognition came and went in Siegel’s eyes, not that Kyle needed any kind of confirmation. His reconnaissance was still flawless.

But this Max Siegel was a pro, too. He wasn’t about to stop playing the game now, especially now. “Please,” he blubbered on when he found his voice again, “what is this? Who are you? I don’t know what you want.”

“Everything, Max. Every last little thing.”

Kyle took another half dozen pictures and repocketed the camera. “You’re actually a victim of your own good work, if that’s any consolation. Nobody knows who you are down here, not even the local FBI. That’s why I chose you. I selected you out of all the agents working in the United States. You, Max. Can you guess why?”

His voice had changed as he spoke. It was more nasal now, with the same shades of Brooklyn accent that laced the real Max Siegel’s speech.

“This will never work! You’re insane!” Siegel screamed at him. “You’re fucking mad!”

“By some standards, I think that might be true,” Kyle said. “But I’m also the most brilliant son of a bitch you’ll ever have the pleasure to know.” Then he pulled the trigger one more time and just let the thing run.

Siegel writhed mutely on the bottom of the tub. Eventually, he began to gag on his own tongue. Kyle watched, carefully noting every detail all the way to the end, studying his subject until there was nothing left to learn.

“Let’s hope this works,” he said. “Wouldn’t want you to have died for nothing, Mr. Siegel.”



Continues...

Excerpted from Cross Fire 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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1674 )
Rating Distribution

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(692)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1693 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Alex Cross gets married and Kyle Craig is back!!!

    The Mastermind is back, and he's about to destroy everything - and everyone Alex Cross loves.

    Wedding Bells Ring: Detective Alex Cross and Bree Stone's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington, DC's most corrupt: a dirty congressman and an underhanded lobbyist. Next, the elusive gunman begins picking off other crooked insiders, sparking a blaze of theories - is the marksman a hero or a vigilante?

    A Murderer Returns: The case explodes, and the FBI assigns Agent Max Siegel to the investigation. As Alex and Max battle over jurisdiction, the murders continue. It becomes clear that thee killings are the work of a professional who has detailed knowledge of his victims' movements - information that only a Washington insider could possess.

    Caught In A Lethal Cross Fire: As Alex contends with the sniper, Siegel, and the wedding, he receives a call from his deadliest adversary, Kyle Craig. The Mastermind is in DC and will not relent until he had eliminated Cross and his family for good. With a supercharged blend of action, deception, and suspense, Cross Fire is James Patterson's most visceral and exciting Alex Cross novel ever.

    My Review:

    Another excellent page turning novel that literally has you on the edge of your seat til the very end. I saw this novel as a blend between the movie Face Off with John Travolta and Nicholas Cage and a great episode of Criminal Minds. The character of Kyle Craig, goes to the greatest lengths possible to devise an ending to Alex Cross and his family and leaves you wondering how it will all play out in the end.

    I received this book compliments of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review and once more James Patterson does not disappoint. This is book number 17 in the series and I would rate this book a perfect 5 out of 5 stars for another perfect crime and suspense thriller. This book is available in Hardcover, eBook, CD and large print formats.

    20 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 26, 2010

    Kept me guessing

    Truly written in Patterson style - fast, suspensful, riviting. Bought it to read over Thanksgiving weekend and finished it in two days! Bringing back K.C. was great, added to the suspense. Highly recommend.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    what!!!

    no way i will pay 14.99. thats for sure!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The past is interrupting the present and trying to kill the future

    Kyle Craig was supposed to be sent away to a prison he could not escape from and never come back, that is something Alex Cross had to believe had happened. Kyle Craig was titled The Mastermind because he was a vicious and sadistic killer who only had one nemesis in Alex Cross so when Alex caught him and had him locked up for life or so he thought but Kyle outwitted them all and this time his play to destroy Alex and everything he loves is as flawless as his skin.

    Unfortunately, for Alex the past is back and Kyle is in his life standing so close to Alex he could touch him and yet Alex doesn't even know why is that? Kyle taunts him with calls, harasses him with threats and tortures him with sadistic implications and still Alex can't draw him out. Perhaps the distraction of a new version of the DC Snipers who believe they are self-appointed heroes cleaning up their version of the bad seed in America is the reason. Perhaps this is the explanation for Alex's mis-steps and lost chances to catch Kyle but it might be that Kyle really does have the upper hand.

    But these seemingly random killings of high profile citizens being gunned down by sniper or could it be snipers continues. With nary a clue to be found Alex finds himself trying to stop that while another serial killer is doing his dirty work in another part of town.

    His personal life may be as calm as it can get with a wedding coming up and his family in good health and spirits but Alex is distracted with Kyle and his feeling that they are going to meet and only one will walk away this time. Even an unexpected visit from his youngest son's mother, Christine doesn't distract as much as irritate Alex and he can control this situation yet seems to have lost control with Kyle Craig and that is the only key to solving the crime.

    James Patterson writes this story like it is second nature to him and the reader feels his passion for Alex Cross, the life Cross leads and the people involved in the story. These books always have so much going on you might think it distracting to the reader but in fact each person both good and bad bring something to the book that is enjoyable, fascinating and a more than a little scary but I hope there are more Alex Cross types out there than Masterminds but sometimes you are not so sure.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Guaranteed to keep you awake until you finish!

    The novel is about multiple murders in Washington, D.C. The victims include a corrupt politician, a fraudulent lobbyist, and a shady tycoon. These people were hated by many. While investigating the murders, Alex finds a complex math formula in a most unusual place and comes across his long-time nemesis, Kyle Craig. Kyle taunts him with calls, harasses him with threats and tortures him with sadistic implications. Alex can't draw him out and he's so close he could touch him. This mastermind monster outwits them all and plans to destroy everything Alex holds dear. This is the usual Patterson page-turner, fascinating and scary, guaranteed to keep you awake until you are finished!

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    Shut up u stupif whiners

    STOP DISLIKING THE FACT THAT THIS ISN'T FREE GET A JOB AND READ THE BOOK THEN WRITE A REVIEW

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Patterson hit this one out of the ball park.

    I stopped reading James Patterson's books about 2 years ago because they were getting predictable, the type was bigger, and the chapters were so small that the plot was lost. However, he seemed to spend a little extra time with this book. When I read that Nana Momma was ill, the plot became more about the family and less about Cross himself. Now I must go back to others I failed to read to see if this was a fluke or he is thinking more about his stories than cranking out a book a week. This was a very entertaining read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2010

    ok

    Not the best Patterson book..this one didn't keepme intrigued or nearly as drawn as Blink or a few others..and Ive read all his books

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2010

    don't read it on a NOOK

    Scrambled sentences, large areas of page omitted. I'm sure it may be a good book, but not on a 3 month old NOOK(which apparently has had a stroke.)

    4 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Kanye West Amazing cover

    Oh snap! J.Pat does it again in this out of this world novel in the Alex Cross series. Let me stop playing, I ain't never read this book but I'm thinking that its ok because of the cover.

    4 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Great book

    I just luv James Patterson and his Alex Cross series they r the best always awaiting the next book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    Finally!

    back in the saddle with AC.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    Ashley

    Love the Alex Cros novels!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2012

    Fast Paced

    I love Alex Cross, his family, and of course Samson! I couldn't put this one down and already have "kill Alex Cross" cued up on my Nook app for tonight!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Patterson = garbage

    A waste of time & money.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    Pay how much?

    I will not pay14.99 to read this on my nook.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2011

    Will not pay 14.99 to read this book on my nook.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2011

    Recommend

    This is not the best of the Alex Cross Series....but it is a good read. It took me a while to start this one. But because this is my book club's pick and the meeting is next Sat, I decided to plow through. The plotline picked up and became hard to put down---Especially the sub-plot with "The Patriot".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2011

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    I love the Alex Cross character, so I always enjoy books with him as central character. This is one of the best. I prefer to do some research and read books that are a part of a series in the order they were written. I also generally like anything James Patterson writes. If you like mystery and/or intrigue, you will like this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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