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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. The killer was never found, and the case turned cold, filed among the unsolved drive-bys in D.C.'s rough neighborhoods.

Years later, still haunted by his wife's death, Cross is making a bold move in his life. Now a free agent from the police and the FBI, he's set up practice as a psychologist once again. His life with Nana Mama, Damon, Jannie, and little Alex is finally getting 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 recalls a case Sampson and Cross worked together years earlier. When the case reveals a connection to Maria's death, Cross latches on for the most urgent and terrifying ride of his life.

From the man USA TODAY has called the "master of the genre," CROSS is the high-velocity thriller James Patterson and Alex Cross's fans have waited years to read - and the pinnacle of the bestselling detective series of the past two decades.

This novel was originally published under the title Cross. The movie tie-in editions are published under the title Alex Cross. (less)

393 pages, Hardcover

First published November 13, 2006

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About the author

James Patterson

1,130 books339k followers
Official US Site
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JIMMY Patterson Books

James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author. Among his creations are Alex Cross, the Women’s Murder Club, Michael Bennett, and Maximum Ride. His #1 bestselling nonfiction includes Walk in My Combat Boots, Filthy Rich, and his autobiography, James Patterson by James Patterson. He has collaborated on novels with Bill Clinton and Dolly Parton and has won an Edgar Award, nine Emmy Awards, and the National Humanities Medal.

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5 stars
21,563 (34%)
4 stars
24,578 (39%)
3 stars
13,297 (21%)
2 stars
2,341 (3%)
1 star
659 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,158 reviews
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,111 reviews1,976 followers
March 18, 2017
I may have made a mistake with these books. Usually I am quite anal about series and I start at number one and move through in order. For some reason I did not do this with Alex Cross and I am now starting to regret it! Sure, each story works on its own but, read at random, sometimes Alex is married, sometimes he is not, then he has two children, then he has three, then he has two again. People get recalled from previous books and I don't know who they are!
This problem seriously affected this particular book for me and I think I enjoyed it a little less for that. Nevertheless it was typical Patterson, lots of action, lots of death, short chapters that keep the action rolling and make you stay up late to finish the book.
I enjoyed it but think I may have enjoyed it more with better background knowledge. My blame, not the author's!
Profile Image for Suzzie.
906 reviews164 followers
May 1, 2018
This is the Alex Cross book I have been waiting to read; where he finds out who killed his wife years ago. It did not disappoint! Alex is now working as a full-time psychologist in private practice but is right back into the investigation world when things warm up his wife’s cold case. This one was very fast-paced and as a reader that is now a dozen books in on the series, I felt invested into Alex finding out who killed his wife. I think that is the best part of series: you get addicted and invested into the characters and their lives.

My quick and simple overall: fast-paced and more personal for the reader then some of the other books in the series.
Profile Image for Rob.
511 reviews103 followers
January 7, 2020

Book 12 in the Alex Cross series published 2006.

Unfortunately, for me, this was just more of the same. Completely out of control psychopath, this one was a bit different inasmuch as he is also a serial rapist.

As a result of a stern talking-to from Nanna/Mamma Alex decides to quite the FBI and go into private practise as a psychologist along with his diplomas and degrees.

Although it’s been a number of years since Alex’s wife was brutally murdered, right in front of him, Alex has been dogged with the need to find the killer and dispense some justice, Cross style.

After some seriously warped murder/rapes in DC information comes to Alex that the unsub could possibly be the man behind the murder of his wife. A part of law enforcement or not there is no way Alex can sit back and not be involved in this case.

What follows is classic James Patterson, short sharp chapters, lots of brutal murders and a continuing inability from Alex to form a meaningful relationship with a member of the opposite sex.

If you have enjoyed the previous Alex Cross books then you will enjoy this to.

This was, for me, an other 3 star read

December 10, 2007
Being a big Patterson fan and following the character of Alex Cross through all of the his books I am sad to say that I am really beginning to get tired of him. It really pains me to say that because I have come to really like all of the characters that have been created within the Cross series but it just feels like there is very little life left in Alex Cross. The stories are beginning to sound the same and the endings are becoming very predictable. To be honest I only finished this book out of dedication to Patterson and his characters. I cannot say I really enjoyed this one. It was alright...because it was Alex Cross, a character I have come to care about. But I read for enjoyment and I love the twists and turns of a good story...this story was slow and very familiar, I found myself just not caring about the ending. Hopefully this was just a miss in the line of Cross books and Patterson has some great new plots to throw at us. If that is not the case he really should just retire Alex Cross.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,503 reviews726 followers
December 23, 2020
The top Mafia contract killer The Sligo Butcher, Michael Sullivan is going renegade, everyone needs to beware! Alex Cross also has other things going on as well - a serial rapist; and a revisit of the now cold-case of his murdered wife. Alex, is also coming to believe that it is time to put his family first and leave the FBI. The international mega-best-selling franchise continues, but more on hype than content in my opinion. 5 out of 12.
May 17, 2018
Second Read - I just re-read this book, and found the things that I didn't quite get the first time. I really enjoyed it very much. I thought it was one of the better Crosses, and if you like that kind of reading you probably enjoy. Cross's and Sampson's friendship is one of my favorite parts. It's been so good that I really enjoyed it. Highly recommend.

Part of the plot of this book has to do with Alex Cross' wife Maria had been murdered about 10 years before. He still grieves her loss. He's burning out from all the work and difficult cases he is on
with the Police Department and The FBI. To turn things around, he quits both of these, and goes back to Psychological Counseling as a free agent. His family life feels more stable. Then Cross' former partner, John Sampson, and childhood friend calls in a favor. They start tracking in a Serial Rapist. The case evolves to learning more about Maria's death. Good story! Recommend.
6 reviews1 follower
January 7, 2008
I used to love James Patterson books. (I loved Alex Cross' badass persona complemented by his squishy in the center role as a family man.) But lately I've chosen to stay away from Patterson's books. The bloom is off the rose, so to speak. I honestly believe that the sheer volume of his work has caused the stories to be diluted somewhat. I read Big Bad Wolf in September, and was incredibly disappointed. However, because I have been with this character of Alex Cross for over a decade now, and I was curious to know what happened to Maria lo those many years ago. Since that was the major selling point of this book, I got it. It was a huge let down, not only to find out what happened to her, but to have to read the thinly plotted story that was barely related to the event.
Profile Image for TK421.
551 reviews255 followers
April 4, 2013
James Patterson owes Hollywood a debt of gratitude. If it wasn't for the movie version of this book, I would not be writing this review. In fact, if it wasn't for this movie, I would not have read the past three Cross novels, ever. I am not a fan of James Patterson. His writing is beyond abominable. (This will come as no surprise to those of you that have read my previous reviews of Patterson's Cross series.) But Patterson does have one redeeming quality: he has a storyteller's heart. The action was frenetic and fierce; the set pieces continuously changed; and the characters were only slightly annoying when it came to dialogue. If I'm being really honest, I would prefer no dialogue in Patterson's novels at all. Okay. I'm done ragging on Patterson. I should probably take it easy, the man does have 76 bestsellers to his name.

The plot of ALEX CROSS is twisted, to say the least. Cross is determined to hunt down a man known as The Butcher. This villainous monstrosity was such in my head that when I watched the movie I was worried Matthew Fox was not up to the part. No worries, Fox nailed the part and then some. The game of cat and mouse ensues for nearly 400 pages. Filled with unbelievable action, underdeveloped characters, and hyperviolence, this novel exceeded all of my expectations; it's not like I read a Patterson novel for depth. (Okay, no more ragging, I promise.) .

But the best part of this novel was the unintentional (I think) metafictional element. You see, one day when Alex comes home, tired, frustrated, on edge from chasing The Butcher, he sits down to watch some television. After flipping through the channels, finding nothing of real interest, Cross decides to watch a Tyler Perry Madea movie. This is only funny because Tyler Perry has now taken the role of Alex Cross, previously played by Morgan Freeman. So there I was, reading this novel, and thinking how trippy it must have been for Alex Cross to be watching a movie that had a gigantic old woman that looked like himself in a starring role. The book was published in 2009, so I guess there could have been a time when Patterson went back and placed this little Easter egg...regardless, besides the action, which there is plenty, this little scene bumped the book one full star for me. I can appreciate an author that can have some fun with themselves.

Go and read the book; it only takes a few hours.

And then go and watch the movie. There are worse things you could do with a free night.


Profile Image for Nika.
279 reviews98 followers
February 15, 2022
Не хочеться бути сексисткою, але у цієї книги однозначно орієнтація на чоловічу авдиторію. Кров, кишки, динаміки, маніяки, садисти, братзабрата😑
Ну або ж просто не моя книга. Така в дусі дешевих бойовиків з 90, але без жодного комедійного моменту. Та й таке
Profile Image for Gareth Otton.
Author 5 books67 followers
May 4, 2013
After finishing the last book I thought (and repeated that thought in my review of Mary Mary) that James Patterson was in need of shaking up the formula for Alex Cross. There had been a few too many similarities sneaking into his novels and it was starting to get in the way of the story.

I am happy to report that the author must have thought the same thing after writing Mary Mary as this one begins to mix it up a bit. Obviously there is still a murderer to be caught but for the first time Alex Cross's character is beginning to grow. There was no staying out late and constantly regretting time missed with his family, no more long lectures from Nana Mama about the life he had chosen for himself and no more Alex Cross shining above the rest of law enforcement and having to go it on his own to prove that yet again he is the best.

This was simply the start of what I hope is a new direction for the Cross novels and a welcome change up to the routine. What better way to start this change and personal growth than by solving the case that turned him into the 'Dragon Slayer' in the first place. Solving the murder of his wife felt like both a milestone for the character and a fresh start and I am now genuinely excited to read the next novel in this series.

I understand that Alex Cross will always be a hunter of killers, something that is brilliantly highlighted by the final line in this novel. However, it will be very interesting to see how he acts upon that skill set from a different direction.
Profile Image for Brittany McCann.
1,461 reviews378 followers
October 25, 2022
This was one of the faster Cross books that I read, but it was also somewhat disappointing. After 11 previous books of buildup about Maria's killer, this was the result. I know the ending leaves us with more, but it seemed like a "meh" way to end that chapter of his life.

Probable exit of ANOTHER love interest? As will all Cross books: Nana can't die EVER. Do you hear my Patterson? Don't you dare kill Nana!

That is all.

3-3.5 stars for me. Still a great book to read for fans of Cross, and I will definitely be looking forward to the next one.
Profile Image for Tgordon.
1,031 reviews8 followers
November 28, 2019
So not one of my favorites but still I love Alex and his family!
Profile Image for Judy.
Author 10 books183 followers
February 13, 2008
I like James Patterson's style and his method of story telling. The action moves along quickly and the characters, while not all that memorable, are suitably likable or villainous. It's a real page turner, as forensic psychologist Alex Cross tracks down the sadistic mafia killer known as The Butcher, the man who killed Cross's wife ten years earlier.

However,there's one thing about this book that drove me batty. Patterson has a series of Alex Cross books (most notably "Along Came A Spider", made into a film with Morgan Freeman) "Cross" is not the first in the series, although it is the first one I've read.

"Cross" starts off in 1993 with the happy Cross family, Alex, Maria and their two small children with another one on the way. Maria is murdered and Alex is left to raise their son and daughter with the help of his grandmother.

But when Patterson jumps to 2006, Alex has a third child, a three or four year old boy named Ali and never once does he say how this child came to join the Cross family. I'm assuming he was adopted, and I bet that story is in one of the previous Cross books. But I don't know and I wanted to know.

Just a couple of sentences would have cleared it up for me. Believe me, I went back more than once to find them and never did.

I'll probably read more in the Cross series, if only to find out where Ali came from.
Profile Image for Michelle (meshe) Martin  .
627 reviews13 followers
July 31, 2012
I don't know why I keep doing this to myself. The Cross books are certainly better than some of the others Patterson keeps churning out with his co-authors. That being said, they aren't as good as they used to be. I think I've come to the conclusion that all good series must come to an end and this one is another that is ready.
After many years, Alex and his friend Sampson are on the trail of the person Alex thinks killed his wife Maria, 'The Butcher of Sligo'. Alex quits the FBI and goes off on his own with his good friend John Sampson. He and Sampson investigate a series of rapes in DC. Eventually they tie the rapes to murders that are being committed by the Butcher (a mob hit man) and to Maria's murder. So the Butcher is a hit man, he's killing folks for money, he's committing horrible rape/tortures, he's being chased by the mob (they want him dead) and the police AND he's playing at being a good daddy.
Alex is setting up his practice, helping a woman who is being abused by a police officer, worrying about his friend Kayla who has been stabbed, chasing a rapist/torturer and trying to come to terms finally with his wife Maria's death.
There was way too much going on in this book so the book just touched a little on each story. Not enough depth for me.
Profile Image for Tudor Mihai Ursachi.
57 reviews2 followers
June 29, 2022
Wow, ce mai roman de debut pentru Alex Cross!
O carte interesată, presărată la tot pasul cu acțiune din greu și enigme ce necesită rezolvare. Iți este ușor să deduci anumite mistere dar e și mai plăcut când ți se adeveresc soluțiile.
Regret că n-am inceput seria cu acest volum dar sunt mulțumit de poveste și de firul narativ care te ține-n priză, indiferent de ordinea cronologică a cărților. 😁
Profile Image for Jonathan Nkangabwa.
8 reviews1 follower
November 12, 2010
James Patterson's novel, "Cross" was a great book overall. The fact that James was able to incorporate important information on all of the characters in a quick manor. You didn't seem to remember every character's story, but you were given just enough information to understand what ideas each character stands for. The fact that this book was an action packed thriller kept me even more interested into the book. I cannot stand it when authors ramble on about pointless details that do not serve a purpose to the main idea of the plot. In this book, there are many things that will maintain to keep your attention. For example, Michael Sean Sullivan (also goes by the name "The Butcher" because of his extremely gruesome attacks/killings with the use of a blade/knife/scalpel) is a serial killer that lures his victims to a concealed area, rapes her, and then brutally murders her (Sullivan is also a mercenary paid to carry out hits on certain targets). Another example is the fact that there are so many other action scenes, like Michael facing off with mercenaries trying to kill him; kind of an IRONIC TWIST that he has become the hunted rather than the hunter. These things are the reasons why readers are constantly engaged with the book. I think the first time I put down the book was when I hit the 30th chapter.
The plus side to James Patterson's "Cross" is that the chapters are quick and diminutive. The way the authors speaks throughout the novel is the opposite of maundering. If you need to know something about a character, James Patterson explains it. He never tells you information that will in turn prove to be irrelevant information. I am the type of reader that is entertained by sheer suspense and pure astonishment. Even though this book was a good one too read, it also provided a few things that I didn't find too fond.
One major turnoff is the fact that the characters in the story all seem to find disappointment or sadness throughout the amazing journey. Characters like Alex, Michael, and the henchmen for the mafia's all lose a life or get injured. Alex Cross has been going through rough times ever since he was a little boy. His mother had died and he became an orphan. As he grew older, his wife, Maria Cross, had been gunned down by "The Butcher" and died in Alex's hands (which is a devastating event). At near end of the book when Alex is facing off with the butcher, he is shot twice and falls to the ground. These are some terrible events that just bring Alex Cross's overall morale down. These tragic events also occur to the villainous characters of the story. Michael Sullivan was a killer and deserved to go to jail, but what he went through is extreme. He has been cornered by mafia henchmen and barely escaping with his life, he has had his children and himself being shot at (while playing in the park), and he is killed at the end of the story. Michael may have been a bad guy, but that is a life too harsh for any person to live. I feel like James Patterson's story writing is starting to lose it's exciting action packed feeling and turning into a cold stoned killer's novel. It is starting to just turn into a depressing murder story, rather than an action packed novel that always has the good guy (Alex Cross) win. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. I would strongly recommend this book to any readers that enjoy a good mystery/ murder story.
Profile Image for Alaina.
5,907 reviews216 followers
December 20, 2017
I didn't see any of this coming at all.

Cross was so much better than Mary, Mary. Thank god!

In this book, Alex is trying to solve a murder. His wife's murder. AND IT WAS SO GOOD. I couldn't put it down. This was definitely a step up from the previous book and I can't wait for the next book! I don't really know how else to explain how much I loved this book. I have no words - but I'm also super tired and it's almost midnight ish here.

I don't want to give any spoilers - other than the whole it's about his dead ex wife and everything. Just trust me that this book is so freaking good. Plus, it was refreshing not to have so much other drama going on throughout this book. Like Christine being her annoying self or Nana Mama giving him life long lectures about picking a new wife and such.

I just want more of this Cross from now on.
Profile Image for J Jahir.
1,020 reviews83 followers
August 5, 2018
3.5 stars.
Buena, buena trama, lo voy a admitir. aunque sí me dan ciertas ganas de darle un pequeñito jalón de orejas a la persona que lo recomendó para leerlo en un club de lectura, porque si se dan cuenta, nos puso a leer el libro 12 de la saga de alex cross! y no me gusta leer así en desordne la saga jaja. aunque realmente si se entiende.
Parece que James patterson tiene un cierto desenvolvimiento natural en el género policiaco y el suspense; el único problema es que para desarrollar un libro de poco más de 300 páginas lo lleva a una excesiva cantidad de capítulos en los que podría alargarlos un poco y no hacerlos tan numerosos. he visto libros que tienen 450 páginas y apenas fueron 30 capítulos, y la historia por tanto es un poco más fluida, ya que aquí cambia constantemente de narración y salta de un personaje al otro. Aún así, el hecho de que haga eso permite que se entienda bajo de qué personaje se cuenta ahora la historia, y eso permite que no te pierdas. Eso sí, se lee de una sentada debido a lo sencillo que se mueve la trama.
Por momentos se veía involucrada más la vida personal que profesional de Cross, pero bueno... creo que algo de sentido tiene dado que el libro se titula "cross", así que gira más en torno a él. Lo que sí es cierto es que quiero leer los libros, ahora sí gracias a mi amigo me hizo involucrarme en otra serie policiaca en vez de ser un libro suelto, buscarlos desde el primerito y llevarlos secuencialmente. Es lo mismo que me sucedió cuando leí a Brian freeman y su serie Jonathan Stride, empezando desde el quinto. Pero que no quepa duda de que aún y con todo esto, me disfruté esta novela.
Profile Image for Sharon.
1,443 reviews
January 24, 2015
I keep saying that I've read my last Patterson, it annoys me that his chapters are 2 pages long, it annoys me that the villains are more evil than is possible, it annoys me ..... but then I read another one because the thing I like about his books is Alex Cross, specifically, his ethics, his children, his friends, his grandmother, I want them to exist, I want someone that good to continue winning,

When the story opens, Alex and Maria are discussing a case she's working on as a social worker. She's tells Alex about a client she's just seen. This woman has been raped and is scared spitless and not going to the police. Maria is very disturbed for this woman. Unfortunately Maria is not to continue, she's taken out by what looks like a stray bullet. Enter Alex's grandmother, Nana who steps in to look after the brood but after a time, has had enough of picking up after his children, cleaning his house, teaching his children, and being general dogsbody for the family. She throws up her hands, packs her bags and leaves. Point taken, when she comes back as you knew she had to, the stars align and all is right with the family once again. But she's made Alex promise to quit the FBI and continue as a psychologist.

Alex is a good psychologist. But he's a better police officer. His old partner Sampson convinces Alex to collaborate on a very interesting case, a serial killer, a serial rapist and a vigilante, all rolled into one. This is one nasty dude. It's hard to believe that anyone can be that evil.

Profile Image for Filipe Dias.
63 reviews
November 21, 2012
Quando vi o anúncio da publicação do livro fiquei curioso. Contudo, verifiquei que já era o 12º da série Alex Cross. Continuo a manifestar o meu total desagrado pelas editoras pegarem nas séries a meio e não publicarem depois em ordem. Mas vamos ao livro.
Conta-nos o percurso de opostos. Dum lado temos o próprio Alex Cross, e a sua vida normal, com a mulher que ama e os seus filhos. No outro oposto temos um assassino impiedoso que mata de uma forma agoniante, com um bisturi.
A vida dos dois está interligada, uma vez que Cross investiga os crimes do assassino. Até que certo dia Cross está em casa e o assassino entra sem explicação, fala e sai. Dias depois a mulher de Cross é assassinada enquanto está nos seus braços. Quem terá sido? É a dúvida. Passam uns anos, o assassino volta a causar vítimas e Cross volta a investigar os casos, um após outro, sendo eles frequentes. Há um assassino para apanhar, um mistério para resolver, e talvez esteja tudo interligado. É desta forma que a estória se desenrola.
O autor confere a este conto muita acção, muita movimentação de personagens, poucas descrições. Parece que estamos quase a ver o filme do que lemos, o que torna a leitura muito mais atractiva e acessível.
Gostei, e gostaria também de poder continuar a seguir esta série. Fica o pedido à editora...
Profile Image for Heather Kidder.
40 reviews60 followers
January 3, 2015
I picked this up at a yard sale. I had never read one of his books so I thought for a quarter why not, I'll try it out, I like crime books. The ideas are good, the characters are relatable but the writing is terrible. Instead of creating suspense he tells you 'I'm in suspense', he goes off on tangents to create the vision of what he wants you to see but again instead of actually making the story create the situation he just tells you "He looks like an athlete, but maybe like one who hasn't played in awhile". Why not describe a tall, muscular, slightly aging man instead? Even that wouldn't have been so bad if it hand not been thrown in the middle of a shoot out. How does this help? I'm just distracted now. There are a million little things that irked the hell out of me. It had potential but it failed. Miserably. Blech.
Profile Image for Jammin Jenny.
1,341 reviews180 followers
November 27, 2020
This is one of my favorite books in the Alex Cross series. I really liked the mob aspect, and The Butcher was an intriguing psychopath. He raped and brutalized a young woman in Georgetown, Washington DC around the time Maria (Alex's wife) was shot and killed. He quits the force and just does psychiatry for a while. But, The Butcher comes up again and Alex finds himself pulled back in to working with the FBI and DC police.
April 4, 2015
I have at some time or another, read most of the Alex Cross series.

This one simply does not measure up to other earlier books in the series which I enjoyed immensely.

It begins with a flashback to Alex's wife's murder, and really deteriorates from there. It wasn't bad enough to make me abandon it, but the thought did cross my mind once or twice.

Not recommended.
Profile Image for ❆ Crystal ❆.
1,200 reviews57 followers
November 10, 2015
4 stars. Great story. I'm happy (just like last book) that the story line was a bit different and not as predictable as some of the others in the series. A lot happened in this book and I look forward to reading more.
Profile Image for Πάνος Τουρλής.
2,109 reviews151 followers
January 7, 2019
Ο Μάικλ Σάλιβαν ή Χασάπης ήταν το δεξί χέρι και εκτελεστής του αρχηγού της ιταλικής Μαφίας Ντόμινικ Ματζιόνε όμως οι ανορθόδοξες μέθοδοί του δεν ήταν ό,τι καλύτερο για τη φήμη της οργάνωσης. Ο Ματζιόνε Τζούνιορ, όταν πήρε τη θέση του πατέρα του, βάζει στο μάτι τον Σάλιβαν κι αυτό είναι η αρχή μιας τρομερής βεντέτας. Ταυτόχρονα, ο Τζον Σάμπσον ζητά τη βοήθεια του Άλεξ Κρος για να πιάσουν έναν ψυχοπαθή κατά συρροήν δολοφόνο που σκοτώνει ανθρώπους και μετά χαράζει τα πρόσωπά τους. Κάποιες πρώτες ψηφίδες μάλιστα δείχνουν πως ίσως αυτός δολοφόνησε τη Μαρία πριν δέκα χρόνια περίπου.

Στο μυθιστόρημα, το 12ο της σειράς με τον έγχρωμο ψυχολόγο και ντετέκτιβ, εκτυλίσσεται όλη η τραγική σκηνή της δολοφονίας της Μαρίας που έλαβε χώρα το 1993 και αποκαλύπτεται το συναισθηματικό φορτίο που κουβαλά ο Κρος τόσα χρόνια τώρα. Μέχρι και η ψυχολόγος του, Αντέλ Φίναλι, επανεμφανίζεται. Εν τω μεταξύ, η ένταση και ο κίνδυνος που έζησε για άλλη μια φορά σε μια πολύ άσχημη υπόθεση ανταλλαγής πυροβολισμών και ομηρείας έφεραν τον Κρος στα άκρα και υπέβαλε την παραίτησή του από το FBI. Έτσι άνοιξε ξανά το γραφείο του ως ψυχολόγος κι αρχίζει να αποκτά τους πρώτους του πελάτες.

Η υπόθεση του Μάικλ Σάλιβαν είναι αρκετά ενδιαφέρουσα, μιας και είναι ένας χαρακτήρας κάπως πιο ρεαλιστικός απ’ όσους μας έχει παρουσιάσει ως τώρα ο συγγραφέας. Είναι ένας στην κυριολεξία χασάπης, ένας μακελάρης, που εκτελεί δολοφονίες επί πληρωμή όμως ταυτόχρονα είναι εθισμένος στους βιασμούς και ξεδίνει σκοτώνοντας άγνωστες περαστικές. Αυτή η παράνοιά του βρίσκει πρόσφορο έδαφος όταν ανακαλύπτει πως ο Ματζιόνε Τζούνιορ θέλει να τον βγάλει από τη μέση κι έτσι αρχίζει μια σειρά από δολοφονίες συγγενών και υπαρχηγών του Δον της Μαφίας. Ταυτόχρονα, το παρελθόν του και τα ίχνη της οικογένειάς του αρχίζουν σταδιακά να βγαίνουν στο φως κι έτσι ο Κρος με τον Σάμπσον κοντεύουν να τον φτάσουν. Αυτό που κρατάω από την αιματοβαμμένη ιστορία είναι το γεγονός πως όσο παρανοϊκός κι αν είσαι, βουτηγμένος στο έγκλημα και στην παρανομία, δημιουργείς μια οικογένεια με παιδιά! Δεν μπορώ να το καταλάβω με τίποτα, μιας και, ξέχωρα από τη διαρκή αγωνία να είναι ασφαλείς οι άνθρωποί σου, τα παιδιά δεν έχουν κανένα μέλλον, πλην της διαδοχής στον υπόκοσμο! Πάντως, μου άρεσε η τελευταία κίνηση που έκανε ο Σάλιβαν απέναντι στην οικογένειά του και μου έδειξε τι πραγματικά σκεφτόταν γι’ αυτούς!

Σε προσωπικό επίπεδο, παράλληλα με το ανθρωποκυνηγητό του Σάλιβαν και τη σωρεία των φόνων που διαπράττει, έχουμε πάρα πολλά περιστατικά που οδηγούν τον Άλεξ Κρος στην απόφασή του να παραιτηθεί, να ανοίξει το γραφείο του, να δεχτεί τους πρώτους του πελάτες (με την πρώτη μάλιστα ανακατεύεται περισσότερο απ’ όσο θα έπρεπε) και να απολαύσει τη θαλπωρή της οικογένειάς του, του 14χρονου πια Ντέιμον και της Τζάνι, η οποία άρχισε να γίνεται καυστική και ειρωνική απέναντι στον πατέρα της και τα άστατα ωράριά του πριν αλλάξει καριέρα. Μου άρεσε επίσης που ο Μικρός Άλεξ επέστρεψε στην οικογένειά του κι ας είχε κερδίσει η μητέρα του την κηδεμονία, γιατί εκείνη απλώς άλλαξε γνώμη! Δε θα βιαστώ να κατακρίνω τον συγγραφέα για επιπολαιότητα ή προχειρότητα, μιας και έχουμε να κάνουμε με συνέπεια χαρακτήρα: η Κριστίν Τζόνσον στο προηγούμενο βιβλίο, «Φόνοι στο Μπέβερλι Χιλς», έδειχνε ήδη σημάδια αναποφασιστικότητας. Τέλος, η Κέιλα Κόουλς αποφασίζει να γυρίσει στη Βόρεια Καρολίνα, μιας και διαπιστώνει πως εκεί τη χρειάζονται περισσότερο και νιώθει πιο οικεία, αφού εκεί γεννήθηκε και μεγάλωσε.

Τελικά ήταν ο δολοφόνος της Μαίρης ο Μάικλ Σάλιβαν ή όχι; Πώς θα εξελιχθεί αυτή η βεντέτα; Τι αντίκτυπο θα έχει στις ζωές όλων; Θα προχωρήσει ο Άλεξ Κρος στη ζωή του; Θα χαρεί επιτέλους απερίσπαστος τη γαλήνη της οικογένειάς του; Όχι, γιατί στην τελευταία σελίδα του βιβλίου παίρνει στο τηλέφωνό του κάποιος να του ανακοινώσει έναν φόνο: «-Και γιατί πήρες εμένα; -Γιατί εσύ είσαι ο δόκτωρ Κρος κι εγώ είμαι ο δολοφόνος».
Profile Image for Mike Adamchuk.
967 reviews
May 12, 2022
This story covers a lot of ground. Maria's murder, the relationship he had with her and no has with his children and Nana Mama. Cross was FBI, then police and now has left the police, with strong urging from Nana Mama. He sets up his therapy office and starts seeing patience. His best bud, Sampson, asks him to help on a particularly gruesome series of rapes and murders. It appears the the mob is also involved and is hunting for the same man, The Butcher. Step by step, Alex and Sampson get closer to the Batcher. When they finally catch him, some of Alex's hatred of Maria's murderer has been wiped away.
Profile Image for Patricia Bergman.
432 reviews24 followers
May 28, 2022
Cross has now encountered an insane killer who enjoys not only killing but butchering his prey. He suspects that this is the killer of his wife, Maria. Although he and his partner, Samson, are on the chase, Patterson leaves the reader hanging with no conclusion. Must read the next book to discover the finale.
Profile Image for Angela.
439 reviews13 followers
March 6, 2020
Sadly, no better the second time around, but an o.k. read even though it is a bit predictable. I am gradually working my way through the series, in order this time.
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