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James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.
In a recent column in Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King cited Patterson's thrillers as the example of "dopey" bestsellers. We hope that doesn't mean that those who enjoy them are dopes, because this new one is vastly entertaining. Alex Cross, Patterson's black lawman hero, has left the D.C. police force for the FBI. But Cross was a star cop, so when the Bureau becomes aware that attractive white women are disappearing at an unusually high rate in the nation's capital, Cross, despite still being in training at Quantico, is brought onto the case and is personally mentored by the Bureau's director, earning the ire of some Feds but the support of others. Behind the disappearances is a sexual slavery operation run as a sideline by one of the more believable and most compellingly evil villains in the Patterson universe, the Wolf, a mysterious former KGB man who's now the world's top mobster. The narrative throughout is swift and varied, as Patterson cuts among the diabolical schemes of a Russian magnate who may be the Wolf, the plight of several kidnap victims, the dogged pursuit by Cross and company of the Wolf, and the hideous designs of the members of an encrypted computer chat room who pay the Wolf fortunes to snatch women who fit their fantasies. And there's domestic drama, too, as the mother of Cross's young son, Alex, decides that she wants her boy back. Full of plot surprises and featuring a balanced mix of intrigue, hard action and angst, the novel, on which Patterson notably does not share cover credit, grips from start to finish. The Alex Cross series remains Patterson's finest, and this is the finest Cross in years. Maybe we're dopes, but we're smiling ones. (One-day laydown Nov. 17) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
In this new episode in the life of ace detective Alex Cross, he has just joined the FBI. While still in training, he is called upon to help break up a kidnapping ring. Beautiful, rich, educated women and men across the country are being abducted. No ransom is requested, and the victims often are never heard from again. It appears that an organized crime godfather known as the Wolf is behind the scheme to buy and sell humans. Alex, a street cop at heart, loves the power and technology available via the FBI, but he is impatient with the bureaucracy. Back at home, Alex's ex-girlfriend and mother of his toddler, little Alex, reappears and starts custody proceedings. Then the kidnapping case puts Alex's family in danger. Patterson ties all the twists and turns in this plot into one interesting and plausible story, well read by Peter J. Fernandez and Denis O'Hare. Recommended.AJoanna M. Burkhardt, Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Univ. of Rhode Island, Providence Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"James Patterson does everything but stick our finger in a light socket to give us a buzz."