Cross (Alex Cross Series #12)

Cross (Alex Cross Series #12)

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by James Patterson
     
 

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Alex Cross was a rising star in the Washington, DC, Police Department when an unknown shooter gunned down his wife, Maria, in front of him. The killer was never found, and the case turned cold, filed among the unsolved drive-bys in D.C.'s rough neighborhoods.

Years later, still haunted by his wife's death, Cross is making a bold move in his life. Now a free agent

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Overview

Alex Cross was a rising star in the Washington, DC, Police Department when an unknown shooter gunned down his wife, Maria, in front of him. The killer was never found, and the case turned cold, filed among the unsolved drive-bys in D.C.'s rough neighborhoods.

Years later, still haunted by his wife's death, Cross is making a bold move in his life. Now a free agent from the police and the FBI, he's set up practice as a psychologist once again. His life with Nana Mama, Damon, Jannie, and little Alex is finally getting in order. He even has a chance at a new love.

Then Cross's former partner, John Sampson, calls in a favor. He is tracking a serial rapist in Georgetown, one whose brutal modus operandi recalls a case Sampson and Cross worked together years earlier. When the case reveals a connection to Maria's death, Cross latches on for the most urgent and terrifying ride of his life.

From the man USA Today has called the "master of the genre," CROSS is the high-velocity thriller James Patterson and Alex Cross's fans have waited years to read--and the pinnacle of the bestselling detective series of the past two decades.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Forensic psychologist Alex Cross's storied career in private practice, with the FBI and as a Washington, D.C., cop has brought him into contact with all kinds of seriously disturbed killers, but his 12th outing from bestseller Patterson (after 2005's Mary, Mary) may be the ultimate in lunatic deadliness. Beginning with a flashback to the murder of Cross's wife, Maria, Patterson quickly introduces Michael Sullivan (aka the Butcher of Sligo). What follows is a frenetically paced series of brutal rapes and killings by Sullivan, once employed by the mob as a freelancer and now at war with them. Cross juggles being a single parent and being involved in the dangerous game of tracking serial killers until he finally decides to give it up for his family. Needless to say, he's drawn back into the game when it promises a chance of finding Maria's killer. Cross's competence and vulnerability make a stark contrast with Sullivan's sadistic mutilations and psychological manipulations of his victims. Fans know that Cross will survive, but at what cost? (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
For Alex Cross's 12th descent into hell, Patterson (Mary, Mary) abandons the nursery-rhyme titles he has used for other books in the series. Tired of spending time away from his family tracking horrifying killers, Cross quits the FBI and returns to his psychology practice. When his former partner, John Sampson, asks for help, Cross can't stay away, especially when it looks as if the killer might also be responsible for the murder of Cross's wife years earlier. Patterson fans will find a lot that's recognizable here, as the story reads like everything he's done before. This series is becoming tired, and Patterson seems to be trying to compensate by making each villain successively more repulsive. The rushed and tacked-on ending will irritate readers instead of pleasing them. The best Patterson books, like Jack and Jill, are intricate and substantial, not just gore draped over a thin plot. Even though this book will debut in the top spot on the New York Times best sellers list, it is not recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/06.]-Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Dr. Alex Cross goes up against the psychopath who killed his wife, with eminently predictable results. Michael Sullivan, the Butcher of Sligo, has long been the favorite hit man of Dominic Maggione, head of the New York crime family, and his son, John Maggione Jr. In between well-paid professional killings, each of them punctuated with a little bow, he likes to indulge a hobby: serial rape and murder. After honing his skills on his late father and an abusive parish priest, he's moved on to assaulting professional women, threatening them with a bloody scalpel, and returning to slash, mutilate, kill and photograph them if they've reported the rape to the police. Years ago, social worker Maria Cross's caseload included one of the Butcher's victims who decided to talk, and Maria was gunned down on the street as she ran to embrace her husband, back from a hard day's work catching criminals for the DC Metro Police, in a scene that allowed Patterson to indulge both his mushy (Sam's Letters to Jennifer, 2004, etc.) and sadistic (Mary Mary, 2005, etc.) sides. Now that his family's talked him into quitting the force, Cross thinks his life as a clinical psychologist will be quieter. But his very first patient is being abused by her violent fiance, a DC cop, and his old buddy Detective John Sampson keeps roping him in for more consults. The Butcher, meanwhile, has troubles of his own. Junior Maggione has declared war on him, and he ends up having to kill a number of former colleagues even though neither love nor money changes hands. Although Patterson keeps the pot boiling with one darn felony after another, nothing really happens, and after a while, the nonstop violence becomes as routine as thecoupling in a stag film. The biggest disappointment, though, is an ending that makes you realize you should have skipped this installment and waited for the sequel. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh/William Morris Agency
From the Publisher
Peter Jay Fernandez goes all-out in interpreting James Patterson's troubled hero. Fernandez wrenches emotion out of every scene, even when he's portraying Cross's tough-as-nails grandmother, an elderly black woman. He's made even better by the addition of narrator Jay O, Sanders in several roles, including the cold-as-ice-villain, "The Butcher".—Audio File

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780641932298
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
11/13/2006
Series:
Alex Cross Series, #12
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

Cross


By James Patterson

Little, Brown

Copyright © 2006 James Patterson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-15979-4


Chapter One

"I'M PREGNANT, ALEX."

Everything about the night is so very clear to me. Still is, after all this time, all these years that have passed, everything that's happened, the horrible murderers, the homicides solved and sometimes not.

I stood in the darkened bedroom with my arms lightly circling my wife Maria's waist, my chin resting on her shoulder. I was thirty-one then, and had never been happier at any time of my life.

Nothing even came close to what we had together, Maria, Damon, Jannie, and me.

It was the fall of 1993, a million years ago it seems to me now.

It was also past two in the morning, and our baby Jannie had the croup something terrible. Poor sweet girl had been up for most of the night, most of the last few nights, most of her young life. Maria was gently rocking Jannie in her arms, humming "You Are So Beautiful," and I had my arms around Maria, rocking her.

I was the one who'd gotten up first, but I couldn't seem to get Jannie back to sleep no matter what tricks I tried. Maria had come in and taken the baby after an hour or so. We both had work early in the morning. I was on a murder case.

"You're pregnant?" I said against Maria's shoulder.

"Bad timing, huh, Alex? You see a lot more croup in your future? Binkies? More dirty diapers? Nights like this one?"

"I don't like this part so much. Being up late, or early, whatever this is. But I loveour life, Maria. And I love that we're going to have another baby."

I held on to Maria and turned on the music from the mobile dangling over Janelle's crib. We danced in place to "Someone to Watch Over Me."

Then she gave me that beautiful partly bashful, partly goofy smile of hers, the one I'd fallen for, maybe on the very first night I ever saw her. We had met in the emergency room at St. Anthony's, during an emergency. Maria had brought in a gangbanger, a gunshot victim, a client of hers. She was a dedicated social worker, and she was being protective-especially since I was a dreaded metro homicide detective, and she didn't exactly trust the police. Then again, neither did I.

I held Maria a little tighter. "I'm happy. You know that. I'm glad you're pregnant. Let's celebrate. I'll get some champagne."

"You like being the big daddy, huh?"

"I do. Don't know why exactly. I just do."

"You like screaming babies in the middle of the night?"

"This too shall pass. Isn't that right, Janelle? Young lady, I'm talking to you."

Maria turned her head away from the wailing baby and gave me a sweet kiss on the lips. Her mouth was soft, always inviting, always sexy. I loved her kisses-anytime, anywhere.

She finally wriggled out of my arms. "Go back to bed, Alex. No sense both of us being up. Get some sleep for me too."

Just then, I noticed something else in the bedroom, and I started to laugh, couldn't help myself.

"What's so funny?" Maria smiled.

I pointed, and she saw it too. Three apples-each one with a single childlike bite out of it. The apples were propped on the legs of three stuffed toys, different-colored Barney dinosaurs. Toddler Damon's fantasy play was revealed to us. Our little boy had been spending some time in his sister Jannie's room.

As I got to the doorway, Maria gave me that goofy smile of hers again. And a wink. She whispered-and I will never forget what she said-"I love you, Alex. No one will ever love you the way I do."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Cross by James Patterson Copyright © 2006 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.

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