Years have passed since psychologist Alex Cross witnessed the drive-by slaying of his wife, Maria. Since then, he has pieced together the semblance of a life with his grandmother and children, continuing his work as a high-stakes shrink. That calm routine is broken by a request from his former partner, John Sampson, to help solve a case with indirect links to Maria's murder. Alex Cross in the crosshairs; James Patterson's signature character in his most personal case.
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.
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.
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
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".
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