Cross's ingenious pursuit of the quirky killer produces a suspect - a British diplomat named Geoffrey Shafer. But proving that Shafer is the murderer becomes a difficult and deadly task. As the diplomat engages in a brilliant series of surprising countermoves, both in and out of the courtroom, Alex and his fiancie become hopelessly involved with the most memorable villain Cross has ever faced.
As Alex Cross investigates a series of ghastly murders, the suspect, a British diplomat, engages in a brilliant series of surprising counter moves, in and out of court, and masterminds a cabal of killers out to get Cross and his fiance. 5 CDs.
"There are few better than Patterson when it comes to spooky, scary plots and sinister, evil characters, even though his writing sometimes seems strained. In his latest macabre thriller, Patterson pits his popular hero, D.C. psychologist and cop Alex Cross, against his most fiendish villain yet. Cross is working on a series of Jane Doe murders in southeast Washington. His hard-nosed boss doesn't want to waste precious resources investigating the deaths of a bunch of "worthless prostitutes and druggies," but Cross is convinced the women are the victims of a particularly deadly serial killer. He's right, of course, and he nearly meets his match in Geoffrey Shafer, respectable British Embassy staffer by day, homicidal maniac by night. Shafer and three of his pals, all former assassins for Britain's MI6, are engaged in a deadly game called the Four Horsemen, a computer exercise in which they act out their most violent fantasies. But Shafer has turned fantasy into reality. After more than 400 pages of high-octane action, Patterson serves up a shocker of a finish that will have readers checking their locks twice. With a promised million-copy first printing and the usual mega-publicity, Patterson and his latest thriller are headed for their old stomping grounds--the top of the best-seller lists. --Emily Melton"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"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 trueÄanother fictional psychopath with infinite resourcesÄPatterson 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 clichd 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved