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Along Came a Spider Hardcover – Feb 1 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (Feb. 1 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316693642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316693646
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 24.1 x 3.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 748 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (281 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #524,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This second big winter thriller by a writer named Patterson (see Fiction Forecasts, Oct. 19) features a villain (a multiple-personality serial killer/kidnapper) whom the publisher hopes will remind readers of Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lecter, and a hero who is compared to those of Jonathan Kellerman. Unfortunately, the novel has few merits of its own to set against those authors' works. Hero Alex Cross is in fact a black senior detective in Washington, D.C., who is also a psychiatrist and has a facile but not entirely convincing line of sentimental-cynical patter. The villain is Gary Soneji/Murphy (read Hyde/Jekyll), who kills for recognition, and finally kidnaps the kids of prominent parents. Alex is soon on the case, more enraged by Gary's killing of poor ghetto blacks than by the Lindbergh-inspired kidnapping, and becomes involved with a gorgeous, motorcycle-riding Secret Service supervisor who is not what she seems. Soneji/Murphy is eventually captured--but can the bad part of him be proven guilty? There is even a hint at the end that he may survive for a sequel, though the reader has virtually forgotten him by then. Spider reads fluently enough, but its action and characters seem to have come out of some movie-inspired never-never land. If a contemporary would-be nail-biter is to thrill as it should, it urgently needs stronger connections to reality than this book has. Come back, Thomas Harris! 150,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Alex Cross, a black Washington, D.C., police detective with a Ph.D. in psychology, and Jezzie Flanagan, a white motorcycling Secret Service agent, become lovers as they work together to apprehend a chilling psychopath who has kidnapped two children from a posh private school. The psychotic villain, who aspires to become more notorious than Lindbergh baby kidnapper Bruno Hauptmann, is effectively nightmarish. Atypical characters, sex, sometimes shocking violence, and several surprising plot twists are all attention-grabbing, while short chapters with a shifting viewpoint add brisk pacing and genuine suspense. Patterson's storytelling talent is in top form in this grisly escapist yarn. Highly recommended for public libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/92.
- Will Hepfer, SUNY at Buffalo Libs.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Theresa W on May 14 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book a few years back, and recently saw the movie. I'm such a fan of Patterson's, I wanted to include my review.
In the first of the Alex Cross series, this story is a race against time to find a kidnapped girl of a famous actress. Cross is called in to help, and in only the way he can, he finds his way to the end of this suspenseful ride. Not only will you enjoy the writing which propells the suspense and mystery, but you'll also enjoy the character development. It leaves you wanting more of Alex Cross, one of my most favorite detectives of all time!
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading thrillers. I'll warn you though, like me, after you read this book, you'll be off to the store or library to pick up many more books by James Patterson.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 11 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like all Patterson novels, the chapters are short, there's sex and violence, and the story is superbly told. What more could you want? If you haven't read any of Mr. P's novels before, this one is a good place to start. It features Alex Cross, as do almost all of his books, who is working on a case of kidnapping. And as if one kidnapping were not enough, Patterson gives us more than that. There's love story inbedded within the plot (Patterson knows his audience) and enough thrills to keep you turning the page well into the night. But the most amazing thing about ALONG CAME A SPIDER as well as many other Patterson books, is that not only is it a thriller in the real sense, but psychologically as well. (...)
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By A Customer on Feb. 26 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
first of all i want to say that the the book kept me interested the whole time i was reading it. It was so hard to put it down. I dont like alot of books and i barely ever read alot of books but for an english project i had to do i choose this one bc i saw the previews for the movie and it looks really interesting so i desided to go with this one. The begining of the book was really good it really got my attention and kept me focused in the book witch is really important to me bc i look focus with books ealily if there not interesting in the begining.
The book starts off ass Detective Alex Cross, a hardbitten black cop / psychology major from DC, is investigating a series of gruesome deaths in the ghettos of Washington when he and his partner get dragged off on a case involving the kidnapping from an exclusive private school of two children. One is the son of the secretary of the treasury; the other, Maggie Rose, is the daughter of a famous movie star. Initially Dr. Cross is annoyed at all the attention being focussed on the privileged but he finds himself getting dragged into the case.
It appears that a Gary Soneji, a teacher at the school who was so well liked he was named Mr. Chips, kidnapped the children out of the blue. As the plot thickens, leads seem to connect to the ghetto killings, one of the children turns up dead, a ransom is paid and lost and the kidnapper proves elusive. Alex Cross, vilified for his role in the handing over of the ransom, finds solice in the figure of Jezzie Flanagan - the prime secret service minder of the two children. The relationship, crossing racial boundaries, adds more tension.
All in all i think the book is a great book and would deffinatly recogmend it to people who like mysteries and suspence novels.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Author James Patterson again at his best. Readers who are not familiar with Patterson's work may find his short-chapter style an unattractive read and be put off by the style. New readers to Patterson's style need to give his books a chance, knowing that the reader will find Patterson's stories a good read.
This reader is used to Patterson's style of writing and finds that it adds to the attraction of the read. Riveting and enjoyable for this avid reader is the shifting from Alex Cross in one chapter, with another character in the next, back and forth. This JP fan had the pleasure of meeting Patterson more than once in Manhattan before 9/11.
ALONG CAME A SPIDER is riveting and glues you to reading the book in as less sittings as possible. This bestseller is written simply, with a harrowing plot. Detective Alex Cross, family man and psychologist too, profoundly plays a key role in many of Patterson's novels. Cross' manner and delivery of detecting is above par with a concentrated number of detectives in novels, among which are Sara Paretsky's "VI Warshawski", and Patricia Cornwell's "Kay Scarpetta". Considering it is the first Alex Cross book, Cross is a character a reader can relate to with his mild manner but hard-driving methods of investigation.
Cross' associate in the plot is Jezzie Flanagan, also a police detective with a PhD in psychology connected with the Secret Service.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think that all fans of detective novels - particularly those of a psychological nature - will get a big kick out of these eight legs! James Patterson brilliantly keeps up the tension throughout the novel. As with great stories like this the villain seems unlikely at first but all the clues are there and it all fits!
Detective Alex Cross, a hardbitten black cop / psychology major from DC, is investigating a series of gruesome deaths in the ghettos of Washington when he and his partner get dragged off on a case involving the kidnapping from an exclusive private school of two children. One is the son of the secretary of the treasury; the other, Maggie Rose, is the daughter of a famous movie star. Initially Dr. Cross is annoyed at all the attention being focussed on the privileged but he finds himself getting dragged into the case.
It appears that a Gary Soneji, a teacher at the school who was so well liked he was named Mr. Chips, kidnapped the children out of the blue. As the plot thickens, leads seem to connect to the ghetto killings, one of the children turns up dead, a ransom is paid and lost and the kidnapper proves elusive. Alex Cross, vilified for his role in the handing over of the ransom, finds solice in the figure of Jezzie Flanagan - the prime secret service minder of the two children. The relationship, crossing racial boundaries, adds more tension.
The figure of Gary Soneji, the alter-ego of a Gary Murphy, is a brilliant creation up there with the likes of Hannibal Lecter. At least you know where you are with Mr. Lecter - Murphy/Soneji keep you guessing all the way - scary!
James Patterson brilliantly handles all of the threads, not letting any of them unravel and adding twist after clue after hint. The final unveiling of the villain is wonderful - suprising, but the clues are all there to find.
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