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

705 customer reviews
Book 5 of 22 in the Alex Cross Series

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Editorial Reviews 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 (705 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful 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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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Gerard T. McGuire on December 6, 2000
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bobbewig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 6, 1999
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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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Cedric on December 14, 1999
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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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful 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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 8, 2002
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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