The Exciting Life of Alex Cross

The Exciting Life of Alex Cross

Along Came a Spider (1993)

This classic thriller launched the bestselling Alex Cross series. Psychotic kidnapper and serial killer Gary Soneji is on the loose, and not even the police, the Secret Service or the FBI can stop him. Cue super intelligent homicide detective Alex Cross, who’s tasked with outmaneuvering the fame-hungry criminal.

Meanwhile, Jezzie Flanagan – the first female supervisor of the Secret Service – and Alex are about to embark on an elicit love affair, which couldn’t have come at a worse time!

With unspeakable crimes and edge-of-your-seat plot twists, this is a powerful, terrifying read that sets the tone for the rest of this world-renowned series.

Kiss the Girls (1995)

In Washington D.C., Detective Alex is called on once again to investigate the case of two methodical serial killers, described as ‘twin killers’, who are working together from coast to coast to conduct a series of gruesome crimes against women

Alex enlists the help of professional partner John Sampson, who we get to know a little better. Sampson is Alex’s professional partner and best friend whom he has known since childhood, when they were both orphans and Nana Mama practically raised them together.

If that wasn’t enough, Cross finds out that his niece Naomi has gone missing from her college campus – quickly making things personal.

This disturbing, fast-paced psychological thriller is packed with action while getting into the heads of two terrifying psychopaths.

Jack and Jill (1996)

In this third instalment we see more of Alex Cross and his kids, adding more depth to his character. We also see him being called to a murder scene that’s quite literally close to home.

A young local girl has been beaten to death and left in front of the school that Alex’s son Damon attends. Meanwhile, a US senator is found dead alongside a mysterious riddle signed ‘Jack and Jill’ – the latest savage killers, who have their goals set on the rich and famous.

With everyone in Washington living in fear, including the President, Alex needs to solve both cases. But with his superiors urging him to focus on the high-profile Jack and Jill case, he brings in a group of detectives (including Sampson) to secretly work on the Truth School Murders investigation.

Cat and Mouse (1997)

Alex now has a new love interest in the form of Christine Johnson, principal of the Sojourner Truth School from the previous book.

But just when he feels at a turning point in his life and ready to move on from his past, former enemy Gary Soneji is back on the scene – he vowed to kill Alex before, and this time he wants blood.

Soneji isn’t working alone; he’s teamed up with another killer operating in Europe, and both have agreed that Alex is the ultimate prize in their cat-and-mouse game. But the loved-up Alex is more vulnerable than ever, so has he still got what it takes to stop them?

Pop Goes The Weasel (1999)

The newly engaged Alex Cross is happier than ever, as Patterson further explores his relationship with Christina, as well as her relationship with the children and general dynamic within the family.

But their happiness is challenged once again as Alex faces his most terrifying opponent yet. Going by the name of Death, this methodical serial killer attacks with a twisted pattern that leaves investigators baffled. A role of the dice can decide if someone – and their family – lives or dies.

As Alex tries to prove that his suspect is guilty, he deals with multiple countermoves in a deadly game that has everything to play for.

Roses are Red (2000)

There are new difficulties at home for Alex with his daughter’s poor health, but unfortunately there’s no hold-up on the work front and he’s forced to put his neck on the line once again.

This time, Alex is called on to investigate a series of fatal bank robberies by a group led by a new killer on the scene, who goes by the name of ‘The Mastermind’. The precise robberies are carried out to the letter; there’s no room for error and hostages are murdered for getting the smallest detail wrong.

While battling his own worries at home, the case takes Alex on an extensive and exhilarating manhunt that leads to a truly shocking conclusion.

Violets are Blue (2001)

Alex is forced to investigate a truly disturbing case that horrifies local police and the FBI to the core. People all over the states are being killed as part of a grisly ritual which suggests there is a cult of vampire-inspired psychopaths out to kill. Travelling across America to work with San Francisco Inspector Jamilla Hughes, Alex uncovers a dark world of gory roleplay and secret clubs; while dealing with his own daemons as he falls for his attractive colleague.

Meanwhile, The Mastermind is still at large, and he’s planning a mission to get Alex once and for all. As Alex gets closer and closer to the truth, he puts himself in increasing danger as The Mastermind teases, taunts and threatens him.

Four Blind Mice (2002)

With his unfinished business taken care of, we find Alex Cross preparing to retire from the Washington police force in search of a more peaceful life with his new love interest.

That is, until old pal John Sampson arrives back on the scene, begging Alex to help clear him of a murder accusation.

Sampson’s DNA and fingertips were found at the murder scene of three women at an Army base. Believing that he was framed, Alex steps in to help, and the duo discover a string of suspicious murders and military conspiracies in the process. Alongside the action, Nana Mama is battling with health problems.

The Big Bad Wolf (2003)

Alex is now far from retired – he’s working as an agent with the FBI and has a new case to solve.

When a series of kidnaps start taking place with no ransoms, the FBI are stumped. It turns out that there’s a dangerous Russian mobster in organised crime on the scene, who goes by the name of ‘Wolf’. Wolf’s ruthless gang are kidnapping people and selling them at a high price to psychopaths to use for their sadistic pleasure.

It’s up to Alex to track down the criminal mastermind before more innocent people are killed in this edgy, page-turning plot, which features a surprise return from ex-wife Christina Johnson.

London Bridges (2004)

This explosive installment sees Patterson bring together two disturbing villains in one complex and harrowing plot.

FBI agent Alex Cross is enjoying his holiday when he receives a call informing him that a bomb which completely destroyed a Nevada town was set off by none other than the sinister criminal, Wolf.

With eyes and ears everywhere, Wolf promises to follow-up the explosion with similar attacks in London, Paris and New York. As Alex investigates, the evidence suggests that merciless assassin The Weasel could also be in on the act.

Working alongside other agencies, it’s a race against time for Alex to catch Wolf before another disaster occurs.

Mary, Mary (2006)

This time Alex has a female killer on his hands in the form of Mary Smith, who leaves her calling card – ‘You’ve got mail’ – at the scenes of her crimes.

Mary seems intent on bringing down Hollywood’s elite; she follows-up the shooting of a famous actress with an email to the LA Times listing every gruesome detail of the violent murder. As more high-profile killings and more emails occur, it’s up to Alex and the LAPD to solve this blockbuster of a case.

Meanwhile, Alex’s personal life is collapsing as Christine goes for full custody of their child, Little Alex, and his work puts increasing tensions on his relationship with detective Jamilla.

Cross (2006)

Twelve books in and Alex at last gets the opportunity for justice and vengeance by trying to capture the psychopath who killed his first wife, Maria.

Fans of the series will be satisfied to see Alex quit the FBI and partner up with Sampson to finally track down the sadistic mafia criminal – ‘The Butcher’ – who murdered Maria 13 years ago. But The Butcher isn’t just a killer; he’s also a rapist and hitman, and he’s on the run from the mob as well as the police.

Patterson mixes up his usual tried-and-tested formula here, marking a new chapter for the series and for Alex as a character, who is becoming more and more developed.

Double Cross (2007)

As the previous novel suggested, Alex is starting to settle down. He’s making a success of helping patients and clients at psychiatric practice; there’s no more late nights away from the kids, no more lectures from Nana Mama, and no more dangerous cop work. Even better for Alex, there’s a(nother) new love interest – Detective Brianna (‘Bree’) Stone.

While enjoying a romantic camping trip, it’s not Alex who gets the call about a murder this time, but Bree. A creepy maniac known as ‘The Audience Killer’ likes his murders to be watched, and when he mentions Alex’s name in one of his videos, Alex can’t help but get involved in catching the fame-hungry criminal.

Cross Country (2008)

The quiet life couldn’t be further from Alex in this thirteenth instalment. Things turn personal again when the next murder scene on the books belongs to his lifelong friend Ellie Cox, and of course Alex can’t sit back and do nothing.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Alex and Brianna’s quest for answers uncovers a gang of teenage thugs working in a Nigerian underworld of Washington D.C, headed by a fearsome man known as ‘The Tiger’. As the detectives close in, The Tiger flees to Nigeria – and Alex follows suit.

Our protagonist is plunged into a lawless, unknown world, where the threats against him have never been greater.

Alex Cross’s Trial (2009) (with Richard DiLallo)

In a complete change of tone and format, here Alex Cross recounts the family story of his ancestors to his children, in a novel that he has written called Trial. Set in the early 1900s, the narrative – told through Alex’s voice – tackles the difficult issue of racial prejudices in America’s Deep South, during the time of the Klu Klux Klan.

DC attorney Ben Corbett is dispatched at the President’s request to Eudora, Mississippi, to investigate the rise in horrific lynchings. Facing persecution, Alex’s great-uncle – the wise Abraham Cross – reveals to Ben the dark side of the town, where black residents live in fear. Can Ben end the reign of terror?

I, Alex Cross (2009)

Here we find Alex back on mystery-solving form. As often happens, his family celebrations are interrupted by a troubling phone call from his bosses; the body of Caroline, his 24-year-old niece, has been found in pieces in the boot of a gang member’s car.

As things unfold, it becomes clear that Caroline was involved in one of Washington D.C.s most dangerous scenes. Alex and girlfriend Bree delve deeper into a world where money and power can buy anything, they uncover a secret that could impact the entire world.

With grotesque scenes, depraved crimes and explicit details, this is one of Alex’s most disturbing and personal cases yet.

Cross Fire (2010)

Things are going well for Alex’s love life as he and Bree start planning their wedding. But of course, things can never be smooth sailing when there’s two detectives involved in a relationship…

The boundaries of right and wrong become blurred when a vigilante murderer starts killing off crooked politicians – first, a corrupt congressman and a shady lobbyist, then others follow suit. Is the killer a madman, a hero or a vigilante?

This time Alex has sniper Max Siegel to work alongside, and the two clash over jurisdiction as the murder toll racks up. Meanwhile, old enemy Kyle Craig returns to D.C, with his sights set on Alex and his family.

Kill Alex Cross (2011)

The stakes get even higher in this eighteenth book of the series, when the President’s children are kidnapped, and DC is under threat from a middle eastern terrorist organisation calling itself ‘The Family’.

Patterson’s exploration of character is truly intriguing here, offering readers a look into the mindsets of the terrorists to provide a balanced perspective.

In an upsetting sub-plot, Nana Mama is attacked and mugged, and Bree sets out to find her attacker. But the culprit is not who you might expect, and could transform Alex’s family life once again.

As the novel gathers pace and the window to solve the crime narrows, Cross is forced to make a harrowing moral decision that goes against his most deeply-held values.

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross (2012)

This festive edition begins with a rather quaint problem: it’s Christmas Eve and someone has been stealing money from the poor box in Alex’s church. But when he returns home to finish decorating the tree with Bree and his children, things return to form with a phone call detailing a hostage situation that’s escalating rapidly.

Called away at the most special time of the year, Alex yet again has to choose work over his family life. He now has to use all his resources to tackle robbery and hostages, and help save another family from a Christmas of terror.

Alex Cross, Run (2012)

If readers thought Alex Cross was at the top of his game in the previous book, Alex Cross, Run takes things up yet another gear.

A series of brutal murders involving beautiful young women and handsome young men all seem to be connected. But as Alex investigates further, it seems that there are three serial killers on the loose.

Under pressure to find the culprits, with his personal life in uproar and with plastic surgeon Elijah Creem to deal with – whom Alex busted during one of his renowned debauched, drug-fuelled parties – Cross really can’t afford to let his guard down this time.

Cross my Heart (2013)

Alex’s family have always been his kryptonite, his Achilles heel. His children, grandmother and wife Bree mean more to him than anything in the world, giving him the strength and determination he needs to deal with case after difficult case.

His enemies have always known this, using Alex’s family as a tool in their sadistic games. One dangerous man sets out to do this again, putting the Cross family in extreme danger to manipulate Alex in a treacherous game of life and death.

The villain wants to prove that he is the greatest criminal mind in history, but Alex is determined to prove him wrong.

Hope to Die (2014)

The psychotic genius is still at large, and Cross’s entire family are now missing, presumed dead. But does our protagonist give up hope? Of course not. What else does he have worth fighting for?

Desperate and terrified, Alex is willing to do whatever it takes to get his family back, enlisting the help of the FBI and every law enforcement agency in the land. But will it be enough? And do the bodies that start appearing belong to his beloved family members?

James Patterson proves his worth as a master storyteller once again in this heart-gripping drama filled with suspense, action and emotion.

Cross Justice (2015)

As a child, Alex left behind the horrible experiences of his hometown of Starksville, North Carolina to live in Washington D.C with his Nana Mama.

But now that his cousin has been accused of an unspeakable murder, Alex is forced to return for the first time in over thirty years. He’s shocked to discover a down-trodden community and unwelcoming residents, but even more shocked to discover a dark family secret.

Not only that, he gets called onto a grisly murder case in Florida. With so many loose ends to tie-up and difficult truths to face, it’s a case of business as usual for everyone’s favourite detective.

Cross the Line (2016)

Alex Cross chases a cold-blooded killer…with a conscience. Shots ring out in the early morning hours in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. When the smoke clears, a prominent police official lies dead, leaving the city’s police force scrambling for answers.

Under pressure from the mayor, Alex Cross steps into the leadership vacuum to investigate the case. But before Cross can make any headway, a brutal crime wave sweeps across the region. The deadly scenes share only one common thread – the victims are all criminals. And the only thing more dangerous than a murderer without a conscience, is a killer who thinks he has justice on his side.

As Cross pursues an adversary who has appointed himself judge, jury, and executioner, he must take the law back into his own hands before the city he’s sworn to protect descends into utter chaos.

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