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Mary, Mary Hardcover – November 14, 2005

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Mary, Mary + London Bridges + Violets Are Blue ~ Detective Alex Cross Series
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (November 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031615976x
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316159760
  • ASIN: 031615976X
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (373 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Last seen in London Bridges (2004) chasing a terrorist, Washington, D.C., PD detective turned FBI agent Alex Cross is enjoying a much-needed vacation at Disneyland with his family when he's called in by the FBI to consult with the LAPD on a high-profile murder case. A-list actress Antonia Schifman has been slain, her face so badly cut up that she's almost unrecognizable. The murder isn't random; an L.A. Times gossip columnist has received a series of e-mails from a woman named Mary Smith, taking responsibility for the killing of Antonia, her chauffeur, and a well-known female movie producer. Cross studies the e-mails, which make reference to Mary's ordinary appearance and her fixation on the perfect families, particularly the children, of both women. When another prominent woman is slain, Cross is sucked into the case full time, jeopardizing the outcome of the custody battle he's involved in over his youngest son. As Cross studies the e-mails and patterns of the killer, he realizes he can't be certain of anything, even the gender of Mary Smith. The thrills in Patterson's latest lead to a truly unexpected, electrifying climax. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


'You wont be able to put down James Patterson's number one best seller Mary, Mary". Full of edge-of-your-seat suspense, you'll be dying to discover why somebody is murdering Hollywood's A-List' -- OK magazine, Australia 'It features Alex Cross one of the best heroes in the genre' -- Independent on Sunday 20051218 'You wont be able to put down James Patterson's number one best seller Mary, Mary". Full of edge-of-your-seat suspense, you'll be dying to discover why somebody is murdering Hollywood's A-List' -- OK magazine, Australia 'It features Alex Cross one of the best heroes in the genre' -- Independent on Sunday 20051218 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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, 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, 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 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.

Customer Reviews

I love all of James Patterson's book on Alex Cross, except Cross's Trail.
Neva Knuckey
The fast paced thrilling story captivates the reader with a very exciting climax.
S. Holmes
Also, the author seems to fill the book with too much irrelevant information.
Simply TA

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
After James Patterson's last Alex Cross novel London Bridges, I was beginning to think that the Cross character had perhaps run its course. So with a little trepidation, I picked up Mary, Mary from the library. It now appears that London Bridges was an anomaly, and Patterson/Cross are back on track.

Alex Cross is vacationing with his kids and grandmother at Disneyland, when he gets a call asking for a short one day consult on a celebrity killing in LA. Reluctant to give up his vacation time, he decides to make this one exception. That was his first mistake... While he was gone, the mother of his 3 year old shows up and takes the child back to Seattle, while also petitioning the court for permanent custody. His ongoing romance to Jamilla is also floundering, so he's left with little social life and a feeling that his personal life as a father is failing. The Mary Smith killer is keeping him occupied however. Pretty soon he finds himself traveling coast to coast on a regular basis helping the LAPD analyze the emails and clues as to who "Mary Smith", the killer, might be, as well as who might next be in the sights of the killer. And even when they have a person in custody who fits all the evidence, Cross isn't quite sure there isn't something else going on...

The action part of the story line for this novel was good. There are a number of characters that Patterson puts "in play" as potential suspects, and there's really not much elimination until the end. I was completely surprised at the twist ending, which was good. From a character standpoint, Patterson has set up Cross for some significant romantic changes ahead. All the regular players are moved out of the picture, and a few new ones make their appearance. All goes to show that Patterson isn't done with this series... And if they continue to play out along these lines instead of London Bridges, that will be a good thing...
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By DRob VINE VOICE on December 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Mary Mary by James Patterson is typical of his Alex Cross novels-- single dad Alex tries to juggle parenting and career along with a love life. This book centers around a series of murders of Hollywood mothers, with the killer sending emails to a Hollywood reporter and signing them as "Mary." FBI Agent Alex is pulled off a vacation with his family to Disneyland to help the LAPD with the case, although they are not exactly appreciative of his help.

I do enjoy the Alex Cross novels; I appreciate that Cross is a loving father and his conflict between taking care of his children and satisfying the demands of his job. The plot in this book, however, has holes big enough to drive a Zamboni through. The motivation for the face slashing of the victims is never adequately explained-- or, I should say, the slashing of the original victim is never explained satisfactorily. How the killer eventually catches up to Alex at the end is another big question. In this, as in so many other books, Patterson does not play fair-- he withholds crucial information till the end of the book in order to be able to keep the identity of the killer a surprise.

Underlying the main story is another continuing storyline of Alex's attempts to gain custody of his son, Ali, from his ex-wife, Christine. There are hints all the way through the novel that something is going on with Christine, but we never find out what, nor do we find out what causes her big change of heart at the end.

This is my continuing problem with the Alex Cross novels-- Alex Cross is a good, interesting character and the plots are taut and original. But Patterson does not seem to be confident enough in his own abilities as a writer to give the reader all the information necessary throughout the book.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By James N Simpson on November 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Well I must admit I did wonder if Patterson had another great Alex Cross adventure in him after recent efforts where he seems to have got confused between his star character being Alex Cross or James Bond. I am happy to say though that this is another excellent traditional style Cross adventure with one of the best serial killers yet, that will have readers guessing their identity until it is revealed near the end. Speaking of the ending though I thought it was a little but unrealistically convenient so Alex could be around for the next sequel. That's all I'll say on that though so as not to give it away to anyone who actually reads these reviews before making a decision to purchase books.

Overall I was very pleased with Mary, Mary and recommend it to any fan of quality Alex Cross adventures. I also recommend Patterson's previous novel (not an Alex Cross Adventure) Lifeguard which shows he can still write great stand alone novels as well, again some in this line have been rather average of late. Anyway its great to see Patterson back and hopefully he has learnt from the extensive criticism he got from his mediocre novels and will continue to put the time into producing the great work that we know he can and we all want to read.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on November 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Alex Cross, FBI agent, takes his family on a vacation to Disneyland - the first in a long time. Of course he couldn't expect to have a real vacation and he doesn't. On the first day he gets a call from the Los Angeles office that an actress has been murdered and they want his assistance. The murderer has also sent an email to a journalist describing the murder in detail. The email is signed "Mary Smith." The mysterious Mary Smith strikes again and again, killing well-known movie and TV figures and always, she sends her email message to take credit and explain her actions. Can a woman really be such a vicious serial killer? In every case, the woman she kills is the mother of young children. Alex and LAPD attempt to put a motive to Mary's killings; is she a disgruntled wanna-be movie star?

In the middle of the stress of the case, Jamilla, Alex's present lady friend, leaves him; the mother of his three-year-old son, Alex, Jr., comes to Los Angeles to take him back to Seattle and Nana Mama and the kids have to cut their vacation short. As Alex crisscrosses the country searching for clues, he is embroiled in family drama and relationship chaos. Nana Mama has some health issues and Dr. Kayla, the only person Nana Mama will listen to, must be called. On the soothing side, he reconnects with his childhood buddy, Sampson who is married and has a newborn daughter.

MARY MARY is definitely one of James Patterson's best Alex Cross mysteries. James Patterson gives enough background filler so that those who have never picked up an Alex Cross mystery will not be lost. The action was non-stop, both in the murder arena and also in Alex's private life. Each page seemed to have new and vital drama that forced me to continue reading.
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