Alex Cross's first case since joining the FBI has his new colleagues baffled. Across the country, men and women are being kidnapped in broad daylight and then disappearing completely. These people are not being taken for ransom, Alex realizes. They are being bought and sold. And it looks as if a shadowy figure called the Wolf-a master criminal who has brought a new reign of terror to organized crime-is behind this business.
Even as he admires the FBI's vast resources, Alex grows impatient with the Bureau's clumsiness and caution when it's time to move. A lone wolf himself, he has to go out on his own in order to track the Wolf and try to rescue some of the victims while they are still alive. As the case boils over, Alex is in hot water at home too. His ex-fiancee, Christine Johnson, comes back into his life-and not for the reasons he might have hoped.
About the Author
Hometown:Palm Beach, Florida
Date of Birth:March 22, 1947
Place of Birth:Newburgh, New York
Education:B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971
Read an Excerpt
The Big Bad Wolf
By James Patterson
Copyright © 2003
All right reserved.
THE PHIPPS PLAZA shopping mall in Atlanta was a showy montage of pink-granite
floors, sweeping bronze-trimmed staircases, gilded Napoleonic design, lighting
that sparkled like halogen spotlights. A man and a woman watched the target -
"Mom" - as she left Niketown with sneakers and whatnot for her three daughters
packed under one arm.
"She is very pretty. I see why the Wolf likes her. She reminds me of Claudia
Schiffer," said the male observer. "You see the resemblance?"
"Everybody reminds you of Claudia Schiffer, Slava. Don't lose her. Don't lose
your pretty little Claudia or the Wolf will have you for breakfast."
The abduction team, the Couple, was dressed expensively, and that made it easy
for them to blend in at Phipps Plaza, in the Buckhead section of Atlanta. At
eleven in the morning, Phipps wasn't very crowded, and that could be a problem.
It helped that their target was rushing about in a world of her own, a tight
little cocoon of mindless activity, buzzing in and out of Gucci, Caswell-Massey,
Niketown, then Gapkids and Parisian (to see her personal shopper, Gina), without
paying the slightest attention to who was around her in any of the stores. She
worked from an At-a-Glance leather-bound diary and made her appointed rounds in
a quick, efficient, practiced manner, buying faded jeans for Gwynne, a leather
dop kit for Brendan, Nike diving watches for Meredith and Brigid. She even made
an appointment at Carter-Barnes to get her hair done.
The target had style and also a pleasant smile for the salespeople who waited on
her in the tony stores. She held doors for those coming up behind her, even men,
who went out of their way to thank the attractive blonde. "Mom" was sexy in the
wholesome, clean-cut way of many upscale American suburban women. And she did
resemble the supermodel Claudia Schiffer. That was her undoing.
According to the job's specs, Mrs. Elizabeth Connolly was the mother of three
girls; she was a graduate of Vassar, class of '87, with what she called "a
degree in art history that is practically worthless in the real world - whatever
that is - but invaluable to me." She'd been a reporter for the Washington
Post and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before she was married.
She was thirty-seven, though she didn't look much more than thirty. She had her
hair in a velvet barrette that morning, wore a short-sleeved turtleneck, a
crocheted sweater, slim-fitting slacks. She was bright, religious - but sane
about it - and tough when she needed to be, at least according to the specs.
Well, she would need to be tough soon. Mrs. Elizabeth Connolly was about to be
abducted. She had been purchased, and she was probably the most expensive item
for sale that morning at Phipps Plaza.
Excerpted from The Big Bad Wolf
by James Patterson
Copyright © 2003 by James Patterson.
Excerpted by permission.
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