Excerpt provided by Syndetics
<anon I1="BLANK" I2="BLANK">#1 bestselling author James Patterson returns with the pinnacle of all Alex Cross thrillers. Alex Cross was a rising star in the Washington, DC, Police Department when an unknown shooter gunned down his wife, Maria, in front of him. Alex's need for vengeance was placed on hold as he faced another huge challengeraising his children without their mother.Years later Alex is making a bold move in his life. He has left the FBI and set up practice as a psychologist once again. His life with Nana Mama, Damon, Jannie, and little Alex finally feels like it's in order. He even has a chance at a new love. Then Cross's former partner, John Sampson, calls in a favor. He is tracking a serial rapist in Georgetown, one whose brutal modus operandi includes threatening his victims with terrifying photos. Cross and Sampson need the testimonies of these women to stop the predator, but the rape victims refuse to reveal anything about their attacker.When the case triggers a connection to Maria's death, Alex may have a chance to catch his wife's murderer after all these years. Is this a chance for justice at long last? Or the culminating scene in his own deadly obsession?James Patterson is one of the top-selling writers of all time. Patterson's most recent #1 bestsellers include The 5th Horseman; Mary, Mary; Lifeguard; and theInternational Thriller of 2005, Honeymoon. Excerpted from Cross by James Patterson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.</anon>
Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
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 best seller Patterson 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. [PW 9/25/06] (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Patterson's departure from the nursery-rhyme titles in his latest Alex Cross yarn is a tip-off that the focus this time is not so much on the case as on the man. For the first time in Patterson's 13-year-old series, we relive the day in 1993 when Cross' wife, Maria, was murdered. Alex was a young gun with the D.C. police then, and Maria was a social worker in the poorest and most dangerous section of the city before she became the victim of a drive-by shooting. Cut to the present, and Alex--who has been with the FBI for some time, become a successful crime writer, and started to lose a bit of that dragon slayer touch--decides to devote more time to his three kids, much to the delight of Nana Mama, Alex's nonagenarian three-in-one grandmother, nanny, and guiding light. Alex is nothing if not loyal, so when his former partner John Sampson asks him to help track down a sicko who is serially raping Georgetown coeds, Alex cannot say no. Little does he know, however, that the search for the rapist will have ties to Maria's death. That her killer was never found is a constant source of frustration for Alex, and this case offers a chance to finally put Maria's memory to rest. Even as the story whips by with incredible speed, Patterson manages to pack it full of suspense, emotion, and a resolution that, while perfectly satisfying, carries the author's trademark teaser hinting at the more that surely will come. --Mary Frances Wilkens Copyright 2006 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
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 fianc, 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 the coupling 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. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.