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A serial killer (who seems to have sat through the film Network one time too many) is at work. The killer, a self-anointed patriot code-named "Jack" has, together with his partner "Jill," organized a bloody vendetta that gives the phrase "bleeding-heart liberals" a more visceral meaning. The Secret Service, worried that the doggerel notes signed "Jack and Jill" left at each killing might refer to their own code names for President Thomas Byrnes and his First Lady, bring nonpareil cop Cross into the case to help protect the First Family. And you don't need Cross's experience to see that Jack and Jill are working their way up the liberal ladder to the Byrneses when a caller to the President identifies herself as Jill, that Jill, and asks if he's ready to die. But it may not be such a great idea to pull Cross off his present case, a series of child murders, since the killer, convinced that the cops don't care anything about a few dead black kids, begins to see himself in competition with Jack and Jill, and steps up his own campaign accordingly. Meanwhile, it's Cross, whose idea of sharp investigative work consists of flushing suspects into futile, cinematic chases, versus Jack and Jill, whose improbable identities will be swiftly, abundantly clear to most readers as they continue to run rings around the hapless FBI, the CIA, and the Secret Service, even from beyond the grave. Makes you wonder.
The real surprise here, though, is the cavalier lack of closure to this paranoid fantasy, as if an Oliver Stone film ended without fingering the conspirators. Even Patterson's most ardent admirers should beware of this dog.
The Games Begin
SAM HARRISON swung his agile body out of the silver blue Ford Aerostar, which he had parked on Q Street in the Georgetown section of Washington. Horror stories and games are popular for a good reason, he was thinking as he locked the vehicle and set its alarm. Not the comfortable sit-around-the-campfire horror tales and games we used to cherish as kids, but the real-life horror stories that are around us everywhere these days.
Now I'm living one myself. I'm about to become part of the horror. How easy it is. How terribly, terribly easy to move past the edge and into the darkness.
He had stalked and shadowed Daniel Fitzpatrick for two long weeks. He'd done his job in New York City, London, Boston, and finally, here in Washington, D.C. Tonight he was going to murder the United States senator. In cold blood, execution-style. No one would be able to figure out why. No one would have a clue that might matter later on.
That was the first and most important rule of the game called Jack and Jill.
In many ways this was a textbook celebrity-stalker pattern. He knew it to be true as he took up his post across from 211 Q Street.
And yet, if anyone bothered to look more closely, it was like no other stalking pattern before. What he was going to do now was more provocative than secretly observing Senator Fitzpatrick down obscene numbers of Glenlivet cocktails at The Monocle, his favorite bar in Washington. This was the truest form of madness, Sam Harrison knew. It was pure madness. He didn't believe he was mad. He believed only in the validity of the game of chance.
And then,less than thirty yards across the shiny-wet street there was Daniel Fitzpatrick himself. Right on schedule. At least, close enough.
He watched the senator stiffly climb out of a gleaming, navy blue Jaguar coupe, a 1996 model. He wore a gray topcoat with a paisley silk scarf. A sleek, slender woman in a black dress was with him. A Burberrys raincoat was casually thrown over her arm. She was laughing at something Fitzpatrick had said. She threw her head back like a beautiful, spirited horse. A wisp of her warm breath met the cool of the night.
The woman was at least twenty years the senator's junior. She wasn't his wife, Sam knew. Dannyboy Fitzpatrick rarely if ever slept with his wife. The blond woman walked with a slight limp, which made the two of them even more intriguing. Memorable, actually.
Sam Harrison concentrated fiercely. Measure twice, measure five times, if necessary. He took stock of all the details one final time. He had arrived in Georgetown at eleven- fifteen. He looked as if he belonged in the chic, attractive, fashionable neighborhood around Q Street. He looked exactly right for the part he was going to play.
A very big part in a very big story, one of the biggest in America's history. Or some would say American theater.
A leading-man role, to be sure.
He wore professorial, tortoiseshell glasses for the part. He never wore glasses. Didn't need them.
His hair was light blond. His hair wasn't really blond.
He called himself Sam Harrison. His name wasn't really Sam. Or Harrison.
For that night's special occasion, he'd carefully selected a soft black cashmere turtleneck, charcoal gray trousers, which were pleated and cuffed, and light-brown walking boots. He wasn't really such a dapper, self-absorbed dresser. His thick hair was cut short, vaguely reminiscent of the actor Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard, one of his least-favorite movies. He carried a small black duffel bag, swinging it like a baton as he now walked briskly toward 211. A camcorder was tucked inside the bag.
He planned to capture as much of this as possible on film. This was history in the making. It really was history: America at the end of its century, America at the end of an era, America at the end.
At quarter to twelve, he entered 211 through a darkened service entryway that smelled strongly of ammonia and of dust and decay. He walked up to the fourth floor, where the senator had his flat, his study, his love nest in the capital.
He reached Daniel Fitzpatrick's door, 4J, at ten minutes to twelve. He was still pretty much on time. So far, so good. Everything was going exactly as planned.
The highly polished mahogany door opened right in his face.
He stared at an ash-blond woman who was slender and trim and well kept. She was actually somewhat plainer looking than she had appeared from a distance. It was the same woman who had gotten out of the blue Jag with Fitzpatrick. The woman with the limp.
Except for a gold barrette in her hair, a lioness from a trip to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and a gold choker, she was gloriously naked.
"Jack," she whispered.
"Jill," he said, and smiled.
Posted January 30, 2011
Reading the series in order and have yet to be disappointed. If I were to rank them in order, Kiss the Girls would come first, followed closely by Jack and Jill and then Along Came a Spider. If you're new to the series, read them in order - the characters develop as you go and references are made to previous novels. Patterson has a great writing style and he has given us characters who are real and who we can enjoy. So glad I've finally started reading the Cross series.
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 18, 2010
I've read most of the Alex Cross Series by James Patterson. Jack and Jill was my favorite. This novel was excellent. As usual, there is excellent depth of character (Alex and Nana, for example) which can actually make you care for the characters. The plot is original, somewhat off beat, thrilling and carefully thought out with a few twists here and there. I also love his writing style. His writing style and short chapters make his novels an easy read. Patterson has never disappointed me with this Women's Murder Club Series either. I highly recommend 1st to Die. The Quickie and Swimsuit were also excellent novels.
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 10, 2008
A few years ago a friend of mine loaned me the first 2 Alex Cross novels. I liked Patterson's writing style, so I thought I'd read this next book in the Alex Cross series. I found this book lacking in direction with the storyline. It had two different plots running throughout the book. The Jack and Jill plot is resolved with some satisfaction, but I felt the other killer's tale to be lacking in resolution. Over all this is not the best Alex Cross novel out there.
3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 9, 2003
This book had many twists, all of which were unpredictable and riciting. However, there was no James Patterson flavoring. Moreover, the entire course of the book consisted of two seperate stories. So, it is natural to assume that at the end there is a connection of these stories (it even said there was on the back cover summary). However, THERE WAS NONE!!! The book eneded leading into the next Patterson book--a desperate marketing ploy. I was extremely disappointed in this ending as well as the storyline. However, it is worth reading (it was a good read).
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 8, 2012
Posted March 31, 2004
I am typing this for my wife who after finishing this book last night launched the book into the bathroom. She then proceedd to yell at the book. All she did was whine about the horrible ending.
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Posted May 24, 2013
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Posted February 8, 2013
This is a tough book to put down. The background that Patterson puts to work in his efforts with the Alex Cross Series (Jack & Jill being one of the best) realistically depicts the good, bad, and ugly of today's law enforcement departments along with the mentally brilliant and crazy murderers they face in todays' well equipped world.
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Posted February 1, 2013
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Posted August 30, 2012
Classic Patterson. Reading Alex Cross series in order & Jack & Jill is #3, I enjoyed it. So many twists and turns and never a true resolution, it held my attention.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 10, 2012
James Patterson can be accused of being hokey and at times his writing certainly is but here in Jack And Jill he writes a compelling mystery with a competent yet flawed lead in Alex Cross. The villains are a serious threat and the mystery is a good one. Overall a good but not great read by one of America’s most popular writers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 4, 2012
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