Along Came a Spider by James Patterson
(Alex Cross)

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If a contemporary would-be nail-biter is to thrill as it should, it urgently needs stronger connections to reality than this book has.
-Publishers Weekly


A missing little girl named Maggie Rose.

A family of three brutally murdered in the projects of Washington, D.C.

The thrill-killing of a beautiful elementary school teacher.

A psychopathic serial kidnapper/murderer who calls himself the Son of Lindbergh. He is so terrifying that the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police cannot outsmart him - even after he's been captured.

Gary Soneji is a mild-mannered mathematics teacher at a Washington, D.C., private school for the children of the political and social elite. He's so popular that the kids all call him "Mr. Chips." And he's very, very smart. Growing up, he always knew he was smarter than the rest of them - he knew that the Great Ones always fooled everybody. He kidnaps Maggie Rose, the golden-haired daughter of a famous movie actress, and her best friend, Shrimpie Goldberg, the son of the secretary of the treasury, right out from under the noses of their two Secret Service agents. But Gary Soneji is not surprised at his skill. He's done it before. Hundreds of times before.

Alex Cross is a homicide detective with a Ph.D. in psychology. he looks like Muhammad Ali in his prime. Cross works and lives in the ghettos of D.C. He's a tough guy from a tough part of town who wears Harris Tweed jackets and likes to relax by banging out Gershwin tunes on his baby grand piano. He has two adorable kids of his own. They are his own special vulnerabilities.

Jezzie Flanaganis the first woman ever to hold the highly sensitive job as supervisor of the Secret Service in Washington. Blond, mysterious, seductive, she's got an outer shell that's as tough s it is beautiful. She rides her black BMW motorcycle at speeds of no less than 100 mph. What is she running from? What is her secret?

Alex Cross and Jezzie Flanagan are about to have a forbidden love affair-at the worst possible time for both of them. Because Gary Soneji, who wants to commit the "crime of the century," is playing at the top of his game. The latest of the unspeakable crimes happened in Alex Cross's precinct. They happened under the protection of Jezzie Flanagan's men. Now Soneji is at large again, still wreaking havoc.

Alex Cross must face the ultimate test as a psychologist: how do you outmaneuver a brilliant psychopath? Especially one who appears to have a split personality - one who won't let the other half remember those horrific acts?

Soneji has outsmarted the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police. Who will be his next victim?

Gary Soneji is every parent's worst nightmare. He has become Alex Cross's nightmare. And now, reader, he's about to become yours.

About James Patterson

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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 240 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. Mr. Patterson also writes the bestselling Women's Murder Club novels, set in San Francisco, and the top-selling New York detective series of all time, featuring Detective Michael Bennett. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.
Published February 15, 2001 by Little, Brown and Company. 528 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Horror, Crime. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Along Came a Spider
All: 5 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 2


Below average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Nov 15 2008

Catchy title; too bad the psychothriller behind it--despite the publisher's big push--is a mostly routine tale of cop vs. serial-killer.

Read Full Review of Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross) | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Below average
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on Feb 01 2008

If a contemporary would-be nail-biter is to thrill as it should, it urgently needs stronger connections to reality than this book has.

Read Full Review of Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross) | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

The Trades

Reviewed by Yael Rose on Nov 16 2008

If you are into reading thrillers, this is recommended reading.

Read Full Review of Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross)

Gather Books

Reviewed by Tony Peters on Mar 20 2009

I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes thrillers, mysteries, or any kind of crime novel.

Read Full Review of Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross)

Reading Lark

Reviewed by John Sprague on Jan 07 2012

It is a book you won't want to put down.

Read Full Review of Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross)

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Anna Wasewicz 11 Dec 2013

Rated the book as 1 out of 5