Kathy's Reviews > Kill Alex Cross

Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson
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Mar 18, 12

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bookshelves: mystery, detective-bounty-hunter
Read from March 15 to 18, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Setting - Washington DC

Themes - terrorism, responsibility, freedom

Catchup on family characters...

Bree is fitting in just fine into the family - though she and Alex work different shifts. She is reading a stepfamily how to book without Alex knowing. She tracks the child who mugged Nanamama - when realizing it is a young woman (13?), she brings her back to Nanamama, requring her to return the purse and to apologise.

Nanamama - stands up at a community meeting as the voice of reason... and when mugged, takes in the child; feeding her, and embracing her tinto their family. When Alex insists she must go to child services, that they can't save the world's children, nanamama responds but we can help this child.

Ava- no father, mother died of overdose the month before, trying to survive on the streets. The 2nd day, when Alex goes to the room to take her to social services, and sees the food she has hoarded, his heart breaks, and he make arrangements for her to sta with them as her future is decided. She is in turns sweet and angry... Alex is teaching her boxing in the basement, she is becoming a part of the family - with jannie and Ali accepting her.

Sampson and Billie - Billie wants to start a charter school in their neighborhood - and meets resistence (as well as support) from the community - The book ends with the first lady addressing the community in support of the school. Otherwise Sampson doesn't have much to do with Alex & his investigations.

Ethan and Zoe Coyle - children of the president, students at Branoff School. Ethan, maybe 10, very smart, picked on by the bullys; Zoe, 13ish, rebellious, pushes the limits, looking for trouble.

Rodney Glass - nurse at the Branoff School. Was in school for being a doctor, working as a nurse to finance it. but Lost his son to an illness. Went over the edge. Kidnapped and drugges his almost exwife, holding her in some sort of basement for 3 days, keeping her drugged in the water & food, and she woke up in her own bed with a note from her husband that he was sorry. Then she thought he joined the Peace Corp. But he took a job at the school.

Hala and Tariq - the middle east. She is a smart doctor, he an accountant. They have 2 children. The join the jahad, and trained. They are now in America, in Washington, with their cyanide capsules at the ready, to do the work of the Family. Hala takes the lead, Tariq her support. She keeps them safe.

Plots:
the President's children have been kidnapped. Ethan pushed around at school, Zoe steps in and givesthe bully bloddy nose... the secret agents break it up, they go to the multipurpose room as a speaker will be there soon, Zoe asks the secret service to give them 2 minutes alone - she takes out a cigarette, and then goes out the window with Ethan reluctantly following. They get 3 communications - the first that there will be no ransom, one of her cigarette box, and one of their tshirts. Rodney Glass orchestrated it all, having arranged for someone to manically drive off the campus in a van (after having him drink something drugged), having another van at the end of the old escape tunnel, where he placed the drugged children, with the driver parking the van at the airport parking lot. After released from the interviews at school, he goes to the van, takes the children to the country, puts them in a root cellar in an old barn. Every couple of days he would drop down drugged water and granola bars... so they spent most of their time drugged. Weeks go by. Rodney is preparing a book of this kidnapping, speaking his mind into a tape recorder, sto hear his craziness, his anger at what he perceives as a system that killed his innocent son. and at first Alex is kept out of the loop, but the president's wife wants him to head the investigation.. finding inconsistencies in Rodney proported backgourn, and aced by an interview with Rodney's exwife about her kidnapping, they figure out that Rodney is the guilty party, and start to shadow him. But crazy Rodney figures it out, and makes his own plan to kill Alex Cross (hence the title)... Rodney is brought in for questioning, he clamps down. after freed, an angry Alex and Sampson breaks into Rodney's house, drug him, take him in the car, and in his drugged state get information out of him that leads them to the property... they call out the fbi & secret service - they dig out the cellar - and rescue the children - who are malnutritioned, foggy, but alive - holding hands across their gurneys, muttering thank you for finding us over and over. They don't have enough to convict Rodney, he is free, the fbi is not looking into his state & Alex' drugging of him... and Rodne still plans to kill Alex... with a cross bow... and draws him into a trap at the country house, but Alex is there - having captured with a powerful microphone as he recites his plans and disappointments over the kids freedom into his own microphone. and he kills himself rather than be arrested.

Hala and Tariq - trained and ready to play their part. Patterson puts us in Hala's sharp mind, giving us a glimpse into a terrorist's mind - their committment to their beliefs, their hatred of the american's excesses and entitlement. The perform their secret tasks, which includes poisoning the water supply (only a few people died though many sick), killing a couple when told to because they were thought to be traitors, bombing the secretary of state's car killing him, almost getting poison into a number of trains, some near captures, speculation that the Family had the president's children. and we see a bit of the workings of our intell, as they locate the head of this cell, as they try to capture the cell as they are getting ready to leave to kill another one in line for the presidency... and the end, they are on the run, Tariq's hand is shattered from a shot from Alex, she calls home giving a message of where they are hiding, and someone comes for them, takes them to the ocean, gets her descrambler code for her information, and tell the two of them to take their cyanide pills like good terrorists. Tariq takes his, but Hala, shocked at this, grabs the gun, kills their captors,, but is too late to do anything for her husband. Another book?

my thoughts - Parts of the book were perfect Patterson & wonderful Cross - as he adjusts to Ana, as he tracks clues to find the children... Hala's internal dialogue, of how crazy behavior can be so very rational... but there were inconsistencies... Alex had next to nothing to do with the terrorist investigation, Sampson is only on the sidelines, he is just to autocratic in a very bulky system... hmmmm
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