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Pop Goes the Weasel (Alex Cross) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2000

3.8 out of 5 stars 714 customer reviews
Book 5 of 22 in the Alex Cross Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Likened to a "young Muhammad Ali," Alex Cross, the Porsche-driving profiler, doctor, detective, and father of two has seen his fair share of vicious killers. From a bloodthirsty butcher who came after his family (Cat and Mouse) to a devilish duo working cross-country (Kiss the Girls), Cross has managed to outmaneuver all of his enemies. Until he meets the Weasel.

A series of killings in the forgotten, crime-infested ghettos of southeast D.C. has sent Cross and his 6'9" 250-pound partner, John Sampson, in search of the "Jane Doe" killer. However, their racist, tyrannical boss George Pitman orders them to stay out of the southeast and investigate the high-profile murder of a wealthy white man. Cross already has suspicions that the murders are linked, but when Sampson's ex turns up in an abandoned southeast warehouse kicked to death, the two detectives carry on with their original investigation. Meanwhile, Cross's longtime love, Christine (Cat and Mouse), has taken prominence in his life, and it looks as if the two will finally get hitched--with one glitch: Cross puts everything he loves in jeopardy as he obsessively goes after the Weasel.

Akin to a slick Hollywood action flick, Pop Goes the Weasel doesn't have time for meaningful character development or thoughtful moral analysis. And it doesn't need to. Its winning formula is based on short scenes (chapters average about 3 pages), addictive plot progression, and mean dialogue: "Sampson sighed and said, 'I think her tongue is stapled inside the other girl. I'm pretty sure that's it, Alex. The Weasel stapled them together.' I looked at the two girls and shook my head. 'I don't think so. A staple, even a surgical one, would come apart on the tongue's surface.... Crazy glue would work." --Rebekah Warren --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Patterson dedicates his latest (after 1998's When the Wind Blows) to "the millions of Alex Cross readers who so frequently ask 'Can't you write faster?'" Those readers won't be disappointed: the successful formula is in high gear, with the Washington, D.C., psychologist/homicide detective up to his ears in unsolved murders. This tale features a duplicitous villain, a glut of dirty office politics and the inevitable threat to someone Cross just can't live without. A highly moral character, Cross is now firmly rooted in many imaginations as Morgan Freeman, who played him in the film version of Kiss the Girls. When he's not caring for Damon and Jannie, his two young children, Cross takes boys to visit their fathers in prison and works in a soup kitchen. After his boss, Chief Pittman, refuses to believe that a serial killer is striking in the neglected Southeast section, Cross and four other officers work extra hours on their own, the only ones who really care. Readers learn early on that the killer is a British diplomat, Geoffrey Shafer, a chilling madman ostensibly holding his sanity together with drugs. Shafer is obsessed with a real-life version of a computer game called the Four Horsemen, during which he masquerades as a taxi driver who kills his unsuspecting passengers. If Shafer is almost too good to be trueAanother fictional psychopath with infinite resourcesAPatterson is shrewd enough to show him making mistakes (like forgetting to wash) as he comes apart at the seams. The killer is caught in the middle of the narrative, setting the scene for a bold courtroom drama. Even the disappearance of Cross's new lady love (his wife was killed in a previous book) is less of a clich?d device than a ritual sacrifice as Patterson's well-oiled suspense machine grinds away with solid precision. 1 million first printing; $1 million ad/promo; 14-city author tour; Time Warner audio. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Alex Cross (Book 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446608815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446608817
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 1.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (714 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Patterson received the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community at the 2015 National Book Awards. His other awards include two Emmys, the Edgar Award, and the Children's Choice Award for Author of the Year. He is a tireless champion of the power of books and reading, exemplified by his new children's book imprint, JIMMY Patterson, whose mission is simple: "We want every kid who finishes a JIMMY Book to say: 'PLEASE GIVE ME ANOTHER BOOK.'" He has donated more than one million books to students and soldiers and has over four hundred Teacher Education Scholarships at 24 colleges and universities. He has also donated millions to independent bookstores and school libraries. Patterson will be investing proceeds from the sales of JIMMY Patterson Books in pro-reading initiatives.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I very much engaged with Alex Cross, John Sampson and Christine. At one point in the book I thought it was about to become very predictable, but the book came up with some good twists. The villain was unusual, interesting and, for me, very frightening. One reviewed complained about being set-up for a sequel. I guess this is somewhat true but I view the book as more of an ongoing saga about interesting characters. In this way it is like Patricia Cornwell who had a focus on one villain for quite a few books.
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Format: Hardcover
After Patterson's last disaster, When The Wind Blows,he has redeemed himself with his newest book, Pop Goes The Weasel. This story is very exciting but light in terms of character develoment, narrative style and basically most other literary elements which make for a well-written novel. However, these are not elements I, and I think many other readers', seek in a James Patterson book.With this said, I think you will enjoy Pop Goes The Weasel very much and find it a very, very fast read. The one minor flaw that I've found in this and other Alex Cross books is the totally unrealistic maturity level and dialogue voiced by Cross's seven year old daughter, Jannie. I'd suggest that in doing research for future books, Patterson should spend a little time finding out what real seven year olds are like.
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Format: Hardcover
After reading Cat and Mouse, I was eagerly awaiting the release of Pop Goes the Weasel. However, I was disappointed in James Patterson's latest novel. I believe there were a few things wrong with this book. First, the chilling suspense present in his other books was virtually nonexistent here and there was no mystery nor interesting plot twists. Second, while the villian was evil and twisted as usual, he was not as cunning and scary as Mr. Smith nor Gary Soneiji were in the previous novels. If you are a die hard Alex Cross fan then you would enjoy this book but it falls short of the chilling suspense and interesting plot twists that we all come to love and expect from Mr. Patterson.
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By A Customer on November 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Pop Goes The Weasel is an excellent book to read. It is the first book that I have read that is by James Patterson. I read this book in 4 days. Once you start it you won't be able to put it down. I recommend this book to anybody who likes mysteries or suspense.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Another Alex Cross adventure comes with another super villain and non stop thrills. This time Cross is investigating a series of "Jane Doe" murders in the impoverished sections of Washington D.C. The problem is that he is doing so unofficially and he is one of the few that sees the crimes as being related.
The killer is a well respected foreign dignitary who also has a passion for role playing games. He, along with three others throughout the world are members of an exclusive game called the four horsemen. How Cross comes to his identity and possible capture is a series of non stop chills. The ending may not be as topsy turvy and dramatic as other Patterson books, but some surprises do change the complexion of future Cross novels.
Patterson sticks to his format here. The positive aspect is that his fans know the characters and enjoy their continuing saga. Sampson has developed into the type of figure that would be extraordinary in his own book. The negative aspect is that some of Cross's statements and the details of his family life are a bit worn on the faithful Patterson fan. As a result, the Alex Cross novels could use an injection of freshness. Therefore the novel was a bit shy of the better Cross chapters.
Overall the book has a quick flow and only sputters in some of the chapters that surround Alex's relationship with Christine. The villain is devious but also falls short of a Gary Soneji or Jack and Jill. The plot is better than average and I am still left wanting more Alex Cross. A no brainer four star piece of fiction.
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Format: Audio Cassette
This audiobook starts out as an intriguing thriller. A series of murders is sweeping Southeast Washington, DC. Detective Alex Cross, psychologist and expert profiler, nicknames this remorseless, stealthy, and psychopathic killer "The Weasel" and is itching to capture him.
From the beginning, the reader knows who the killer is. He is none other than urbane, British diplomat, Geoffrey Shafer, who is playing a macabre, role playing game through the internet with some of his former buddies from British intelligence. His role, appropriately enough, is "Death". The problem is that for Shafer it is no longer a game. It is an obsession.
Meanwhile, Detective Alex Cross and his long time main squeeze, Christine, have decided to get married, despite his relentless pursuit of "The Weasel". Just before they actually do so, however, this diabolical fiend creates a serious hitch in their wedding plans. Cross carries on, as "The Weasel" plays a cat and mouse game with him. There are a number of surprising moves and countermoves, though it seems that Detective Cross is always on the receiving end.
Unfortunately, while the book starts out with a bang, it sort of ends with a whimper. The author simply fails to realize the promise inherent in the book. The resolution of the issue involving his fiancee, Christine, is simply unrealistic. The final ending, however, with regards to Shafer is somewhat intriguing, as it leaves open the possibility of a sequel with this most intriguing killer.
This audiobook is made most engrossing by the virtuoso reading by narrator Michael Kramer. He is simply superlative. He takes this book and makes it come alive. While the content of the book rates about a strong three, Michael Kramer's reading rates a high five, which is why I am awarding this audiobook four stars.
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