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I, Alex Cross Hardcover – November 16, 2009


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The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Discover an addictive, suspenseful debut thriller filled with twists and turns that will keep you engrossed from start to finish. Learn more

Product Details

  • Series: Alex Cross
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (November 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316018784
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316018784
  • ASIN: 0316018783
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (543 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

Patricia 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 surgeon—just 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, I’ve always kind of liked sharpening pencils. I don’t mean to seem too over the top about this, but I really wouldn’t 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 there’s 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.

More About the Author

It is no surprise that in January, 2010, The New York Times Magazine featured James Patterson on its cover and hailed him as having "transformed book publishing," and that Time magazine hailed him as "The Man Who Can't Miss." Recently, NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams profiled Patterson's prolific career, AARP named him one of the "50 Most Influential People Who Make Our Days a Little Brighter," and Variety featured him in a cover story highlighting his adventures in Hollywood.

In 2013, it was estimated that one-in-five of all hardcover suspense/thriller novels sold was written by James Patterson, his books have sold over 300 million copies worldwide, and he holds the Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. And his success isn't based solely on thrillers like the perennially popular Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Michael Bennett series. Patterson is now also the current bestselling author in the young adult and middle grade categories.

He's been called the busiest man in publishing, and that's not just because of his own books. For the past decade, James has been devoting more and more of his time to championing books and reading. From the James Patterson Pageturner Awards, to his website ReadKiddoRead.com, to his College Book Bucks scholarships and his regular donations of hundreds of thousands of books to schools here in the states and troops overseas (see interviews on Fox & Friends, The Dennis Miller Radio Show and CNN.com), Patterson has passed on his passion of books and reading and supported those who do the same. Jim personally funded a major ad campaign re-printing a recent opinion piece on CNN.com about how it is our responsibility to get our kids reading. The ad has run in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and USA Today. Those ads are a call to action to parents to make their kids reading a top priority; and were featured by USA Today here. Patterson believes that we cannot rely on schools, teachers or the government to get our kids reading; only parents can make this crucial change in the reading habits of our kids. Here are links to some interviews on his first-ever dual lay down (two books, one for parents and one for kids, in one day): AOL's You've Got, NBC's "Today Show" with Hoda and Kathie Lee, USA Today and Family Circle, NBC's "Today Show" with Al Roker, as well as an interview with AARP.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

297 of 310 people found the following review helpful By Jake on November 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful By B. Davis on November 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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.
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63 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Tina on November 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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.
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105 of 133 people found the following review helpful By M. Silverstein on November 24, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I haven't read Patterson in a while now (few years) but with my new Kindle, decided to jump back into his writing. I'll keep this short, especially since I'm not one for writing reviews.

Bottom line: this book is terrible. The plot, which intrigues at first, quickly becomes tiresome. The additional "filler" as one reviewer put it, is exactly that: you could remove the entire Nana thread cutting the book by a third and still end up with the same character development and ending.

The end is (not a spoiler) just flat out worthless. I actually read the few remaining pages of the next book (advertised at the end of this book) hoping that I would receive something else - anything else - to appease my disappointment, unfortunately no luck.

Seems like this book was quickly "manufactured" using Patterson's name as the only means of selling copies.

You can definitely find much better books for the same price or better.
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