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Violets Are Blue (Alex Cross Series #7)
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Violets Are Blue (Alex Cross Series #7)

3.9 307
by James Patterson

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Detective Alex Cross must confront his most terrifying nemesis ever -- and his own deepest fears -- in this electrifying thriller from the master of suspense, James Patterson.

Alex Cross has never believed in vampires. But when two joggers are found slain in a manner that suggests a macabre ritual, he has to reconsider. Someone believes in vampires enough to have


Detective Alex Cross must confront his most terrifying nemesis ever -- and his own deepest fears -- in this electrifying thriller from the master of suspense, James Patterson.

Alex Cross has never believed in vampires. But when two joggers are found slain in a manner that suggests a macabre ritual, he has to reconsider. Someone believes in vampires enough to have committed a series of bizarre murders that appear to be the work of one. Local police are horrified, and even the FBI is baffled.

Cross takes on the case and plunges into a netherworld of secret clubs and role-players, a world full of poseurs and playactors-and someone demented enough to have crossed the line from dark ritual to real blood. At the same time, a lethal super-criminal from Cross's past known as the Mastermind is stalking him, taunting him, and threatening everything he holds dear. Cross has never been closer to defeat, or in greater danger. In a shocking conclusion, Alex Cross must survive a deadly confrontation-only to discover at last the awful secret of the Mastermind.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times
"Another page-turner . . . You won't be able to put 'Violets' down until you've reached the back cover."
People Magazine
Particularly juicy . . . Enjoyably spooky . . . Bottom line: bloody good creepfest.
"Particularly juicy . . . Enjoyably spooky . . . Bottom line: bloody good creepfest."
From the Publisher
"Another page-turner . . . You won't be able to put 'Violets' down until you've reached the back cover."—New York Times"

Particularly juicy . . . Enjoyably spooky . . . Bottom line: bloody good creepfest."—People

The Barnes & Noble Review
Why are James Patterson's novels so successful? Is it the gritty plotlines? The colorful cast of good guys and bad guys? The pithy, addictive chapters (the literary equivalent of potato chips)? Or could it be those quirky TV commercials featuring Patterson himself rhyming up a storm in front of the camera?

It's all of the above, of course, but the real reason Patterson has become such a force to be reckoned with on bestseller lists is his uncomplicated, no-nonsense, bare-knuckles approach to storytelling. No fat here! In a time when some authors don't know when to shut up, filling their narratives with too much inflated detail, Patterson has honed to razor-sharp perfection the art of the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

Violets Are Blue, the author's exciting sequel to Roses Are Red, explodes like a potent combination of Coca-Cola and Pop Rocks. It opens with D.C. Detective Alex Cross on the verge of losing his mind. Betsy Cavalierre, his former partner and girlfriend, has just been found brutally murdered. The culprit is none other than Cross's chief nemesis -- the brilliant, sadistic Mastermind. Only moments after arriving at the scene, Cross receives a taunting call from the madman, with savage details of the murder and threats to take out the detective next, along with his children and his mother. To make matters worse, when two joggers are found dead in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco -- their bodies drained of blood and riddled with puncture wounds and tooth marks -- Cross finds himself involved in an FBI case shockingly similar to an unsolved case from earlier in his career. Soon Cross descends into a Hades of sick sex and ritualistic murder involving a group of modern-day vampires that may or may not be the real thing. And let's not forget that the twisted Mastermind is never far behind, nipping at Cross's heels like Old Scratch himself, at every twist and turn in the novel.

Taut, fast-paced, and leavened with Patterson's dark sense of humor, Violets Are Blue is a wickedly entertaining read, an old-fashioned story about the powers of good and evil. Mark another notch on Patterson's belt: This book puts the thrill in thriller. (Stephen Bloom)

Publishers Weekly
Washington, D.C., police detective Alex Cross returns for another visit (after Roses Are Red) to the top of the lists and for two new cases of disparate quality. The first, which dominates the narrative, takes place within America's vampire underground and is as exciting as anything Patterson has written; the second, in which Cross at last defeats the nemesis known as "the Mastermind," feels tacked on only to knot loose ends. In San Francisco, two joggers are slain, seemingly by both tiger and human teeth, and their blood drained; then an upscale couple is killed similarly in Marin County deaths suggestive of an earlier Cross case, prompting the detective's old pal Kyle Craig of the FBI to ask for his help. Craig's plea plunges Cross not only into a fetishistic netherworld in which thousands play at being vampires and a handful actually do kill for blood, but into personal turbulence as he alienates his family by his dedication to work, and as his always troubled love life takes further dips and flights, the latter in the company of SFPD Insp. Jamilla Hughes, who joins him on the cases. We know the good guys' immediate quarry, but they don't: two golden young men, brothers and self-styled vampires, with a pet tiger at their side. But who is the Sire, their ultimate leader? Meanwhile, the Mastermind, a brilliant homicidal maniac, plagues Cross with threatening phone calls. Most readers probably won't finger the Sire, but anyone who can't name the Mastermind long before Patterson reveals his identity must be reading this book backwards. The action reels around the country, from D.C. to California to Las Vegas to North Carolina, and readers will be swept away by it and by Patterson's expertmixing of Cross's professional and personal challenges. The narrative split between the two cases, vampiric and Mastermind, jars but not enough to seriously mar fans' pleasure, and the two cases will probably mesh more elegantly in the inevitable movie to come. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
When two murders in San Francisco recall a case in Washington, DC, that Alex Cross has yet to solve, the wily detective is up and running and he runs straight into a bizarre group of role players who think that they really are vampires. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Only a writer of Patterson's star-wattage could have hoodwinked his publisher into bringing out this unlovely mess, which pits forensic psychologist Alex Cross against two separate serial killers. It begins with the slaughter of still another of Cross's professional and romantic partners, FBI agent Betsey Cavalierre, by Cross's old nemesis, the Mastermind (Roses Are Red), who instantly phones to taunt his adversary. With still another partner dead, how can Cross go on? But he has to, immediately, because another killer is on the loose--actually, a pair of killers, William and Michael Alexander, teenaged vampires whose murder of two army officers in Golden Gate Park is just a warmup for the carnage to come. As the Mastermind keeps trying to get Cross's attention by threatening his adorable kids, his grandmother, and everyone else he's ever known, Patterson, apparently eager to escape the constraints of the low body count in the soapy Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, unleashes the hounds of hell. Under the direction of their dread Sire, the exultant Alexander brothers ("We're immortal! We'll never die!"), leave a trail of gory victims in Las Vegas, Savannah, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge before returning to Santa Cruz for a climactic sequence that finally unmasks the ho-hum Sire. The moment the vampire chronicles end, Cross, without missing a beat, turns to that other serial killer, and soon, courtesy of one of his famous profiler's hunches, has the Mastermind in his sights. Can he hunt down his enemy before the Mastermind exacts a terrible vengeance against somebody else-say, beauteous Jamilla Hughes of San Francisco Homicide-whose death would reduce Cross to babbling despair? The grade-school characterizations of everyone from cops to victims to cackling psychos guarantee that you won't care a bit. A real test for Patterson's huge audience: If they buy this, they'll buy anything.

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Alex Cross Series
Edition description:
Warner Books Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.84(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.12(d)

Read an Excerpt

Without Any Warning

Chapter 1

NOTHING EVER STARTS where we think it does. So of course this doesn't begin with the vicious and cowardly murder of an FBI agent and good friend named Betsey Cavalierre. I only thought that it did. My mistake, and a really big and painful one.

I arrived at Betsey's house in Woodbridge, Virginia, in the middle of the night. I'd never been there before, but I didn't have any trouble finding it. The FBI and EMS were already there. There were flashing red and yellow lights everywhere, seeming to paint the lawn and front porch with bright, dangerous streaks.

I took a deep breath and walked inside. My sense of balance was off. I was reeling. I acknowledged a tall blond FBI agent I knew named Sandy Hammonds. I could see that Sandy had been crying. She was a friend of Betsey's.

On a hallway table I saw Betsey's service revolver. Beside it was a printed reminder for her next shooting qualifier at the FBI range. The irony stung.

I forced myself to walk down a long hallway that led from the living room to the back of the house. The house looked to be close to a hundred years old and was filled with the kind of country clutter that she'd loved. The master bedroom was situated at the end of the hall.

I knew instantly that the murder had happened in there. The FBI techs and the local police were swarming around the open door like angry wasps near a threatened hive. The house was strangely, eerily quiet. This was as bad as it gets, worse than anything else. Ever.

Another one of my partners was dead.

The second one brutally murdered in two years. And Betsey had been much more than just a partner. How could this have happened? What did it mean? I saw Betsey's small body sprawled on the hardwood floor and I went cold. My hand flew to my face, a reflex I had no control over.

The killer had stripped off her nightclothes. I didn't see them anywhere in the bedroom. The lower body was coated with blood. He'd used a knife. He'd punished Betsey with it. I desperately wanted to cover her, but I knew I couldn't.

Betsey's brown eyes were staring up at me, but they saw nothing. I remembered kissing those eyes and that sweet face. I remembered Betsey's laugh, high-pitched and musical. I stood there for a long time, mourning Betsey, missing her terribly. I wanted to turn away, but I didn't. I just couldn't leave her like this.

As I stood there in the bedroom, trying to figure out something coherent about Betsey's murder, the cell phone in my jacket pocket went off. I jumped. I grabbed it, but then I hesitated. I didn't want to answer.

"Alex Cross," I finally spoke into the receiver.

I heard a machine-filtered voice and it cut right through me. I shuddered against my will.

"I know who this is and I even know where you are. At poor, dear, butchered Betsey's. Do you feel a little bit like a puppet on a string, Detective? You should," said the Mastermind. "Because that's what you are. You're my favorite puppet, in fact."

"Why did you kill her?" I asked the monster. "You didn't have to do this."

He laughed a mechanical laugh and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. "You ought to be able to figure that out, no? You're the famous Detective Alex Cross. You have all those big, important cases notched on your belt. You caught Gary Soneji, Casanova. You solved Jack and Jill. Christ, you're impressive."

I spoke in a low voice. "Why don't you come after me right now? How about tonight? As you say, you know where I am."

The Mastermind laughed again, quietly, almost under his breath. "How about I kill your grandmother and your three kids tonight? I know where they are too. You left your partner with them, didn't you? You think he can stop me? John Sampson doesn't have a chance against me."

I hung up and ran out of the house in Woodbridge. I called Sampson in Washington and he picked up on the second ring.

"Everything okay there?" I gasped. "Everything's fine, Alex. No problems here. You don't sound too good, though. What's up? What happened?"

"He said he's coming for you and Nana and the kids," I told John. "The Mastermind."

"Not going to happen, sugar. Nobody will get past me. I hope to hell he tries."

"Be careful, John. I'm on my way back to Washington right now. Please be careful. He's crazy. He didn't just kill Betsey, he defiled her."

I ended the call with Sampson and I sprinted full-out toward my old Porsche.

The cell phone rang again before I got to the car.

"Cross," I answered, still running as I spoke, trying to steady the phone against my chin and ear.

It was him again. He was laughing maniacally. "You can relax, Dr. Cross. I can hear your labored breathing. I'm not going to hurt them tonight. I was just fucking with you. Having some fun at your expense.

"You're running, aren't you? Keep running, Dr. Cross. But you won't be fast enough. You can't get away from me. It's you I want. You're next, Dr. Cross."...

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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Violets Are Blue (Alex Cross Series #7) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 306 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For great fast pace reading this is a terrific series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy getting to know Alex Cross's family as I read his books and also the way he mentions other cases that I have read in other books of his. Any body that like police mystery books would enjoy reading these books. I have read 11 of the Alex Cross/James Patterson Books.
Judith Vallieres More than 1 year ago
I was very dissapointed with this book. Tried several times to get into the story but eventually gave up. If you aren't in to VAMPIRES and that entire scene you will NOT LIKE this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are a person that enjoys an old fashion page turner do not look any farther, you have found your next reading assignment.The Alex Cross series has a proven track record for excitement but the author creates a reading experience of pure pleasure in Violets Are Blue for both the novice as well as the veteran reader of this highly acclaimed series.
SlapShot62 More than 1 year ago
I recently began reading the Alex Cross series in order and was loving every minute of it. All of the previous books were very good to excellent or outstanding - deep characters, strong plots, truly evil bad guys, tremendous thrills, twists and turns......in fact Roses Are Red was SO good I jumped directly into Violets are Blue. This one just did not at all come close to Patterson's prior Cross efforts. The basic plot was far-fetched to say the least. Beyond that, what had originally built relative to the Mastermind became more and more contrived as this book progressed. While still strong compared to many other novels, this was simply not what I had come to expect from Patterson/Cross.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Words just flow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, kept me on my toes, such a twist at the end!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one was really good especially if you dig vampire stories. It was kinda predictable but it was still a good story!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading Roses are red, and it leaves youTOTALLY HANGINH WITH NO CLOSURE! And this book is about vampires. I want to know what happens to the mastermind.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am so glad I got into the series late! I can't wait for the next one! I don't care for short books though. I do love the stories! I know at some point it will end. Not looking forward to that!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book - I have enjoyed all of this series so far - a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ali53 More than 1 year ago
As always, I am very pleased with this purchase. I have yet to find a book by James Patterson that I don't like. If you like murder mysteries you will love his books with Alex Cross as the main character. I can't quit reading them. As soon as I finish one I have to purchase the next one in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read "Merry Christmas, Alex Cross" over the holidays and decided to read the whole series. I'm almost finished reading this book but It wasn't a rip-roaring page turner like the books prior to this one. I enjoy the Alex Cross series of books but I abhore anything to do with vampires. I think ole Patterson was up late watching too much SvenGoolie on late night television. Yuch! And when is Cross going to wake up and smell some of the stuff he be shoveling? Thank god that there isn't any descrioptions of Cross lovemaking in the first three quarters of the book...it makes me gag!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago