THE #1 BESTSELLING BLOCKBUSTER
Can Alex Cross survive his most chilling - and personal - case ever? Pulled out of a family celebration, Detective Alex Cross gets awful news: A beloved relative has been found brutally murdered. Vowing to catch the killer, he quickly learns that she was mixed up in one of Washington, D.C.'s wildest scenes. And she was not this killer's only victim . . .
The hunt for the murderer leads Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, to a place where every fantasy is possible, if you have the credentials to get in. Soon they confront some very important, very protected, and very dangerous people who will do anything to keep their secrets safe. As Alex closes in on the killer, he discovers evidence that points to the unimaginable - a revelation that could rock the entire world.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #1017 in Books
- Published on: 2010-10-01
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Binding: Mass Market Paperback
- 400 pages
James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell: Author One-on-One
In this Amazon exclusive, we brought together blockbuster authors James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell and asked them to interview each other. Find out what two of the top authors of their genres have to say about their characters, writing process, and more.
Patricia Cornwell is the former Director of Applied Forensic Science at the National Forensic Academy, and a member of the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital's National Council, where she is an advocate for psychiatric research. She is the author of sixteen previous Kay Scarpetta mysteries, five non-Scarpetta novels (including At Risk), and Portrait of a Killer. Read on to see Patricia Cornwell's questions for James Patterson, or turn the tables to see what Patterson asked Cornwell.
Cornwell: James, your questions were so good, I'm going to ask you similar ones. Let's start with why you write? Do you love it or love having done it? What motivates you?
Patterson: I truly love writing. I sometimes think about my grandfather when I reflect on this. When I was a boy, I lived in a town on the Hudson River. During the summers, my grandfather would take me once a week on his frozen food and ice cream delivery route. We'd be up at four in the morning packing up the truck, and by five we'd be on our way. Driving a delivery truck isn't the most glamorous job in the world, but every morning, my grandfather would drive over the Storm King Mountain toward West Point, and he'd be singing at the top of his voice. And he told me this: "Jim," he said, "when you grow up, I don't care if you're a truck driver or a famous surgeonjust remember that when you go over the mountain to work in the morning, you've got to be singing." Writing stories keeps me singing. Writing to me isn't work, and I like that a ton.
Cornwell: What is your routine when you're facing your next novel? What is the process like for you, and what is your favorite part of it? Least favorite?
Patterson: I like to have a lot of ideas in the air at one time. I've got around 20 manuscripts sitting in my office right now, in some degree of completion. It's a lot of material, a lot of stories. My least favorite part? Hmm. Maybe sharpening pencils? Actually, Ive always kind of liked sharpening pencils. I dont mean to seem too over the top about this, but I really wouldnt change any of it.
Cornwell: What do you and Alex Cross have in common? How are you different?
Patterson: We're both family-oriented guys. I think it's a real treat to be able to get along with your wife every day, which I do; my wife and I really have trouble being apart for very long. And I think readers will agree Alex is generally doing better in the romance department. One difference between us would be that I'm much more content to sit around and write. I think Alex would get a little bored on a "ride-along" with me.
Cornwell: What inspired you to create Alex Cross?
Patterson: Hardly anyone knows it but when I started the first Alex Cross novel, Alex was a woman named Alexis. After 100 pages or so, I changed the character to Alex. When I was a kid growing up, my grandparents had a small restaurant and the cook was an African-American woman who eventually moved into our house. All through my growing up period I spent a lot of time with this woman's family. They were funny, wise, the food was great, so was the music, and the family is at least part of the inspiration for the Crosses.
Cornwell: What's the one thing a reader has said that you've never forgotten and perhaps found startling?
Patterson: I'm sure you've had this, too, Patricia, but the one comment that gets me every time is hearing people say my books have them reading again. I know sometimes you and I get some heat for being as popular as we are, and are saddled with that old equation that says if you're a bestseller, you must be lowbrow. But I frankly don't think theres anything more meaningful than hearing that I've turned a person back into a reader (or in the case of younger readers, got them started).
Cornwell: How about you? You're the one with all the movies! Good experience or not?
Patterson: Sounds like we're on the same page there, Patricia. I definitely feel like some past projects didn't quite live up to their potential. And I likewise have hopes for a couple of movies in the works: the third Alex Cross movie, and the very first Maximum Ride movie, which has Avi Arad (producer of Spider Man), Catherine Hardwicke (director of Twilight), and Don Payne (writer for The Simpsons) on board. There's also a very promising TV series based on a new book I've written that's being developed with CBS and Imagine.
From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Patterson offers nothing new on a theme he himself has already done to death in his 16th novel featuring detective Alex Cross (after Cross Country), in which Cross takes on yet another barbaric serial killer, this one known as Zeus. Word that an estranged 24-year-old niece, Caroline Cross, has been murdered disturbs Cross's birthday party. To make that horror even worse, the killer fed Caroline's body through a wood chipper. Cross soon discovers that Caroline supported herself as a high-price escort for Washington, D.C.'s elite, and that other women who served similar clients have turned up missing. Cross's investigation soon attracts the attention of the feds, and he concludes that Zeus is better connected than most of the psychopaths he's brought to justice. A subplot centering on a health threat to another member of Cross's family adds padding. Readers expecting the killer to be identified through insightful profiling will be disappointed.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"If there really were human superheroes, Alex Cross would be at the head of the class."
(New York Times )
"CROSS IS ONE OF THE BEST AND MOST LIKABLE CHARACTERS IN THE MODERN THRILLER GENRE."
(San Francisco Examiner )
"Cross is such a lovable hero, a family oriented African-American whose compassion warmly balances the icy cruelty of Patterson's villains." (Publishers Weekly )
Closer to Home
Alex Cross has just been notified that a distant family member has been murdered. As he looks into the details of the gruesome death, he finds connections to even more killings and mysterious disappearances. Soon the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place and all signs seem to point to a killer within the White House. Alex Cross has faced his fair share of foes, but never has he gone against a killer who is as untouchable as this madman. Never one to give up, Alex Cross holds nothing back in his quest for justice.
James Patterson brings back his most beloved character in this sixteenth installment of the Alex Cross series. Long time fans will be pleased to know that this latest installment falls much closer to home than recent attempts. Patterson has certainly put Cross through the ringer with countless relationship problems, a myriad of career changes, and even a poorly imagined international romp in Cross Country. This time around we are treated to what hooked us on these novels in the first place: great mystery, strong character development, and the relentless pacing that has become the trademark of Patterson's writing.
While I enjoyed the high profile mystery in this plot, what really sold me were the relationships that are so beautifully explored with the characters we have grown to love. There are some truly heartwarming and gut wrenching scenes that might just catch you off guard, if for no other reason than the glimpse into the eventual reality for Alex that they hint at. Mushy stuff aside, there is still plenty of action and suspense to go around for thrill seekers to devour.
It should come as no surprise to returning readers that this story is peppered with bad language, sexual content, and violence throughout. Readers searching for some "light" mystery reading should keep on searching. However, if you long for a raw, engrossing thriller that will keep you churning pages long into the night, then I, Alex Cross is certainly for you.
I am a huge, huge Alex Cross/James Patterson fan! and I was thrilled beyond belief to read this newest "Alex Cross" book.
The story opens with Alex celebrating a birthday at home with his family and girlfriend Bree (this is something I never quite understood - the need for the author go ALWAYS give Cross a girlfriend). Unfortunately, Alex gets "one of those calls" during his party and finds out that his niece (daughter of a brother he had not be close to in adulthood) has been found dead. When Alex arrives at the scene, he is told that they only have "remains", that his niece was actually killed and then put through a grinder of sorts - Alex is stunned and vows to find the killer.
As it turns out, Alex's niece was a high price call girl who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time - meeting the wrong person. We discover that Alex's niece worked for a high end and exclusive brothel, located in an out of the way location and managed by a man without a conscience.
In the midst of all this, Alex's beloved Nana falls very ill and must be rushed to the hospital. Alex now finds himself torn between being at his Nana's side AND finding his niece's killer.
Alex will spend much of the storyline playing catch up. It seems that although he does have some leads, the killer is always one step ahead, somehow untouchable and as the storyline develops we will soon find out why this killer is so protected.
This book is good and the suspense is pretty consistent. I like that Alex does not miraculously get all the answers quickly in this one and I like that he is highly conflicted for the most part. This is well written - using Patterson's usual quick and easy chapters. Alex is well written and for fans of Alex Cross, this one makes me feel as though I understand him just a little bit more than the last book.
What does not work for me is the emphasis on Nana in all of the books, but particularly this one. I mean, Alex seems surprised when Nana gets ill and may die - all I can say is "Alex, she is 90!!!! maybe its time you came to realize that she will not live forever". I find that Alex's constant protecting and worrying about Nana is getting a little old. I can truly understand the importance she has for him, but this book is 50% about her and frankly, it got a little boring after a while. I keep trying to figure out why Patterson feels the need to always give Cross a crutch (he calls it family support, but it does not feel that way to me). Between his Nana and his round of girlfriends, Alex does not seem to be able to rely on himself for anything!
Still, this book is about the main storyline of mayhew and murder and, as always, Patterson does a great job! I have to say that the "discovering of the murderer" was a tad of a letdown - after building up the story - Patterson just kind of announces who the murderer is (I never suspected until the very end) and that's it. There is no huge confrontations between Cross and the murderer and it felt a little flat.
I still love Patterson and Alex Cross and this book is well written and is a thrilling read. I am still not sure why Patterson chose to call this one I, Alex Cross, but who cares? Its an Alex Cross book and I am thankful.
Don't Mess With Alex Cross
Don't mess with Detective Alex Cross, especially when it comes to his family members. With one family member murdered, and another in the hospital fighting for their life, Cross sets out to help solve a very personal murder case--a series of brutal murders that, not only involve his niece, but will take him to the top echelons of the US government. James Patterson brings to the table, once again, all of his previous masterful talent and bold imagination. Although, some passages may disturb the squeamish, I was held captive throughout the entire book. I especially like the surprise ending. This may be one of Patterson's best efforts yet.
The thriller is written in short chapters, which I like, and the font is large enough to make reading enjoyable. The prose is clear, succinct, and paints a picture of full-blown evil and terror. A fast read.