Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross Series #2)

( 505 )

Overview

This time it's personal for Cross. The most elusive of killers has abducted Cross's niece, Naomi, a talented law student. Only such a devastating blow could bring the detective back - this time to the Deep South, where old slave prisons are buried in the forests, and houses of horror can disappear as in your worst nightmare. Naomi's kidnapping rips Alex Cross away from his kids and his jazz piano and sends him south with several questions burning in his mind. Why did the police wait seventy-two hours before ...
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Overview

This time it's personal for Cross. The most elusive of killers has abducted Cross's niece, Naomi, a talented law student. Only such a devastating blow could bring the detective back - this time to the Deep South, where old slave prisons are buried in the forests, and houses of horror can disappear as in your worst nightmare. Naomi's kidnapping rips Alex Cross away from his kids and his jazz piano and sends him south with several questions burning in his mind. Why did the police wait seventy-two hours before beginning their search? And what is the head of the FBI doing at the scene of a small-town crime? Meanwhile, somewhere out there Casanova is living a secret fantasy. In his private hideaway, the world's greatest lover has assembled seven of the South's most extraordinary young women for his personal use. It's an accomplishment he can share with only one other soulmate - and that's definitely not his wife back in suburbia. But Casanova doesn't count on the exceptional abilities of one of his harem - or having Alex Cross as a nemesis.

In Los Angeles, a reporter investigating a series of murders is killed. In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a beautiful medical intern suddenly disappears. Washington D.C.'s Alex Cross is back to solve the most baffling and terrifying murder case ever. Two clever pattern killers are collaborating, cooperating, competing--and they are working coast to coast.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
"Casanova" works the East Coast, "The Gentleman Caller" works the West Coast, and these two serial killers might just be working together. Washed-up Washington, D.C., police detective Alex Cross gets involved when his niece is abducted. Since this is a new work by the author of the best-selling Along Came a Spider.
Dallas Morning News
"Patterson hit the ball out of the park with his last go-round, the bestselling Along Came a Spider. Kiss the Girls is even better."
Los Angeles Times
"Tough to put down...ticks like a time bomb, always full of threat and tension."
Larry King
"A ripsnorting, terrific read."
From the Publisher
"Patterson hit the ball out of the park with his last go-round, the bestselling Along Came a Spider. Kiss the Girls is even better."—Dallas Morning News

"Tough to put down...ticks like a time bomb, always full of threat and tension."—Los Angeles Times

"A ripsnorting, terrific read."—Larry King, USA Today

From Barnes & Noble
When his niece is abducted, detective Alex Cross is drawn into a web of coast-to-coast terror involving two chillingly clever killers: one who targets Southern college coeds, the other who is terrorizing Los Angeles with a series of unspeakable murders.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316693707
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 7/14/2004
  • Series: Alex Cross Series , #2
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 347,510
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (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:

Read an Excerpt

CASANOVA
Boca Raton, Florida, June 1975

FOR THREE weeks, the young killer actually lived inside the walls of an extraordinary fifteen-room beach house.

He could hear the whispery Atlantic surf outside, but he was never tempted to look out at the ocean or the private white-sand beach that stretched to three hundred feet or more along the shore. There was too much to explore, to study, to accomplish, from his hiding place inside the dazzling Mediterranean-revival-style house in Boca. His pulse hadn't stopped hammering for days.

Four people lived in the huge house: Michael and Hannah Pierce and their two daughters. The killer spied on the family in the most intimate ways, and at their most intimate moments. He loved all the little things about the Pierces, especially Hannah's delicate seashell collection and the fun fleet of teak sailboats that hung from the ceiling in one of the guest rooms.

He watched the elder daughter, Coty, day and night. She attended St. Andrews High School with him. She was stunning. No girl in school was as beautiful or as smart as Coty. He was also keeping his eye on Karrie Pierce. She was only thirteen, but already a budding fox.

Although he was more than six feet tall, he easily fit into the air-conditioning ducts of the house. He was wire thin and hadn't started to fill out yet. The killer was handsome in an Eastern preppy way.

Stashed in his hiding place were a handful of dirty novels, highly erotic books he had found during fevered shopping trips to Miami. He had become addicted to The Story of O, School Girls in Paris, and Voluptuous Initiations. He also kept a Smith and Wesson revolver in the walls with him.

He went in and out of the house through a casement window in the cellar that had a broken latch. Sometimes he even slept down there, behind an old, gently purring Westinghouse refrigerator, where the Pierces kept extra beer and soda pop for their gala parties, which often ended with a bonfire on the beach.

Truth be told, he was feeling a little extra weird that night in June, but nothing to worry about. No problems.

Earlier in the evening, he had handpainted his body in bright streaks and splashes of cherry red, orange, and cadmium yellow. He was a warrior; a hunter.

He huddled with his chrome-plated .22-caliber revolver, flashlight, and grope-books in the ceiling over Coty's bedroom. Right on top of her, so to speak.

Tonight was the night of nights. The beginning of everything that really mattered in his life.

He settled in and began to reread favorite passages from School Girls in Paris. His pocket flashlight cast a dim light on the pages. The book was definitely a major turn-on, but also a big yuk. It was about a "respectable" French lawyer who paid a buxom headmistress to let him spend nights inside a hotsy-totsy boarding school for girls. The story was filled with the hokiest language: "his silver-tipped ferrule," "his faithless truncheon," "he gamahuched the ever-willing schoolgirls."

After a while he got tired of reading, and peeked at his wristwatch. It was time now, almost 3:00 a.m. His hands were shaking as he put the book aside and peered through the cross-hatching of the grill.

He could barely catch his breath as he watched Coty in bed. The very real adventure was now before him. Just as he had imagined it.

He savored a thought: My real life is about to begin. Am I really going to do this? Yes, I am!...

He was definitely living in the walls of the Pierce beach house. Soon that nightmarish, eerie fact would dominate the front page of every major newspaper throughout the United States. He could hardly wait to read the Boca Raton News.

THE BOY IN THE WALLS!

THE KILLER WHO ACTUALLY LIVED IN THE WALLS OF A FAMILY'S HOUSE!

A STARK-RAVING HOMICIDAL MANIAC COULD BE LIVING IN YOUR HOUSE!

Coty Pierce was sleeping like the most beautiful little girl. She had on an oversized University of Miami Hurricanes T-shirt, but it had moved up and he could see the pink silk bikini panties underneath.

She slept on her back, one sunbrowned leg crossed over the other. Her pouty mouth was just slightly open, forming the tiniest o, and she looked all innocence and light from his vantage point.

She was almost a full-grown woman now. He'd watched her preen in front of the wall mirror just a few hours before. Watched her take off her pink lacy push-up bra. Watched her as she stared at her perfect breasts.

Coty was unbearably haughty and untouchable. Tonight he was going to change all that. He was going to take her.

Carefully, silently, he removed the metal grill in the ceiling. Then he crawled out of the wall and down into Coty's sky-blue-and-pink bedroom. His chest felt constricted, and his breathing was quick and labored. One minute he felt hot, the next he was shivering and cold.

Two small plastic trash bags covered his feet and were secured around his ankles, and he wore the light blue rubber gloves that the Pierces' maid used for housecleaning.

He felt like a sleek Ninja warrior and looked like Terror itself with his naked handpainted body. The perfect crime. He loved the feeling.

Could this be a dream? No, he knew it wasn't a dream. This was the real deal. He was actually going to do this! He took a deep breath and felt a burning inside his lungs.

For a brief moment, he studied the peaceful young girl he'd admired so many times at St. Andrews. Then he quietly slipped into bed with the one-and-only Coty Pierce.

He took off a rubber glove and gently caressed her perfect, sun-bronzed skin. He pretended that he was smoothing coconut-scented suntan oil all over Coty. He was rock-hard already.

Her long blond hair was sunbleached and felt as soft as rabbit's fur. It was thick and beautiful and smelled forest-clean, like balsam. Yes, dreams do come true.

Coty suddenly popped open her eyes. They were shiny emerald green gems, and they looked like priceless jewels from Harry Winston's in Boca.

She breathlessly said his name -- the name she knew him by at school. But he had given himself a new name; he'd named himself, re-created himself.

"What are you doing here," she gasped. "How did you get in?"

"Surprise, surprise. I'm Casanova," he whispered against her ear. His pulse was racing off the charts. "I chose you from all the beautiful girls in Boca Raton, in all of Florida. Aren't you pleased?"

Coty started to scream. "Shush now," he said, and smothered her small lovely mouth with his own. With a loving kiss.

He also kissed Hannah Pierce on that unforgettable evening of mayhem and murder in Boca Raton.

Shortly after, he kissed thirteen-year-old Karrie.

Before he was finished for the night, he knew that he really was Casanova -- the world's greatest lover.

Copyright by James Patterson

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 505 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(324)

4 Star

(122)

3 Star

(34)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(16)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 510 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2000

    One Wild Ride!

    From the 1st page, I was hooked and I wanted to do nothing except READ THIS BOOK! I couldn't turn those pages fast enough and talk about suspense, I couldn't wait to get to the end so I could find out, once and for all, who Casanova was! The first book I've ever read that I seriously considered 'cheating' and going to the end to find out who the killer was! A fantastic book for any suspense/mystery fans and also fantastic for anyone wanting something different to read. Buy the book and enjoy!

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fast paced and exciting

    Absolutely loved the criminal situation( its so hard to give tips without giving spoilers) But the chase to catch the killers was fast-paced and exciting.

    My favorite parts are the gruesome killings. Patterson's story's can be so diabolical and menacing . This had all the great features of a good ole' rainy day thriller read. (make sure to read it when there is lots of thunder and lighting).

    But the part I don't like is Cross. He is so one-dimensional. Because of him I am afraid to continue reading the series. But I cant put this series down.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Did It Again.

    This book has a good twist and turn for a good portion of the journey. You think you have it figured out and something else goes wrong. The ending is frustrating but good and now I need to go buy the next book.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Loved it!

    If I had 10 minutes to spare, I was reading.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 16, 2000

    A STORY THAT DESERVES A TWO THUMBS UP!!!

    WHILE READING THE BOOK I GOT CHILLS DOWN MY BACK.THE STORY WAS SO INTENSE I COULDNT PUT IT DOWN.KATE MADE ME FEEL AS IF I WAS PART OF THE BOOK.THE STORY WAS SO EXCITING,I WENT TO PURCHASE ANOTHER MYSTERY.I ALSO SEEN THE MOVIE ,AFTER I READ THE BOOK ,SO IT WAS KIND OF FUN.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

    Very good!

    This was my first James Patterson book, and it is one of his best! It grabbred me from the first page, and didn't let me go until the last page! Wow! I do have to admit, I've enjoyed all Pattersons books until the last few books. But he has had some really good onrs up until the past couple years. He's one of my favorite authors, but he just needs to get back to where he once was.
    thompset

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Im

    Im 11 can i read this ( july 27 2012)

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    Great read!

    Im enjoying this series and these characters!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Kiss The Girls...Kiss Patterson!

    I've read most of the Alex Cross Series by James Patterson but I started with Jack and Jill as I had seen Along Came A Spider and Kiss The Girls on TV. I've also read most of the Woman's Murder Club Series. 1st To Die was my favorite in that series. I've also read Swimsuit and The Quickie, as a "stand alone" and both were excellent novels. Kiss The Girls was a very good read. As usual, there was good depth of character (Kate) which can actually make you care for the characters. The plot was original, off beat, thrilling and carefully thought out with the usual twists and turns. I also love Patterson's writing style. His writing style and short chapters make his novels an easy read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2004

    VERY disappointing, terrible read

    I had friends who kept telling me to read this book, that it was so wonderful and I would love it. I'm not big on reading books just because someone tells me they are good, but so many people recomended it that I just had to check it out for myself. So I did....and it was THE worst book I have ever read. I don't like giving bad reviews like this, I'm very open minded when it comes to books. But this book was just so bad that I can't help it. It was the first James Patterson book I've read...I will never read another book by this author again. The first impression was nothing close to good. It started out dull, was dull through the middle, and ended......DULL. It does nothing to catch you interest and although it does have some high points that make it ALMOST interesting, they always turned out to be obvious, boring, and once again....DULL. This was the only book that I had to FORCE myself to read. I thought, 'Hey, maybe it will get better. Just maybe. The very last page could have something at least remotely interesting that could change how I view this book.' But it didn't. It ended terribly. One of those endings that 'keeps you guessing.' Oooooh. Ahhhh. Completeyly predictable. Awful book. The worst I've read. I DO NOT recomend it. Don't waste your time.

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2013

    Love it!

    I absolutely recommend this book it is probably one of my favorites from the series, but I must say James Patterson is truly great at capturing the readers attention from page 1 of all his books.

    READ IT!!!!! You will not regret it...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2014

    O


    N

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014

    Kiss the girls

    This for the 11 year old kid but also for anyone interested. This is an excellant book but it is also very intense amd voilent. The killer casanova is pretty evil and creepy and sometimes kills his victems savagely, same with the gentelman caller. But then again i dont know what you are allowed to read. Still a great book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    Omggg

    I just finished roses are red and kyle crsig is crazy i love kissed the girls and casaniba has such a swweeet voice and in aling came a spider these peoole are just crazy as can be i have always wanyed to be a ferenzic psychologist and Alex Cross has made it so wondefdulbsiundibg

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2013

    Excellent read!

    This is the second time I have read "Kiss the Girls". It still kept me riveted!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    Wilson

    Ate pie.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2013

    AWESOME!

    I couldent put the book down

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2013

    GREAT READ AS ALL PATTERSON BOOKS ARE.....

    AND IM ON TO #3 IN THE ALEX CROSS SERIES :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2013

    you must read this book!

    The second Alex Cross book keeps you on the edge of your set from the very start. I mistakenly read a couple of the books out of order. Although that didn't cause a major issue with understanding the theme of this book, it does flow better if you read them in order.
    Once I started this book I could hardly put it down. James Patterson gets better with each book that he writes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2013

    To is it approite

    Not for a ten year old too much sex. I will say this one kinda sucks

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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