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Along Came a Spider Hardcover – Feb 1 1993

4.2 out of 5 stars 288 customer reviews

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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: 15.2 x 2.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 288 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #302,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Audio CD
This is a cunningly crafted story that kept me listening long after I should have moved on to other tasks. Along Came A Spider is the book that launched the highly successful Alex Cross series, which now spans more than 20 novels.

We first meet Detective Alex Cross when he is investigating a brutal murder of a family of three in Washington, D.C. He is soon called away to deal with a high profile abduction of two nine year olds from their private school by one of their teachers. The teacher, Gary Soneji, turns out to be one of the most loathsome characters I have encountered in a book.

This abridged version was read by Alton Fitzgerald White and Michael Compstey (cover shown is from the unabridged version). The reader for Gary was so effective, then when I heard his voice, I actually cringed.

Author James Patterson has created in Alex Cross, a man I could respect. He is thoughtful, considerate and of course, highly intelligent. He is a trained psychologist who has seen some of the worst that man can perpetrate against each other, yet he hasn't lost his compassion for those he encounters in his work and for his own family. I look forward to reading further books in this series.

If you like characters such as Gary Soneji, you might enjoy the Color of Evil Series by author Connie C. Wilson.
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Format: Paperback
OK, so I've decided to read Patterson's Alex Cross series from beginning to end. There are currently 16 books in the series, with a 17th to be published this fall.

The first installment, entitled Along Came A Spider, introduces us to the character of Alex Cross, the tough detective/psychologist from Washington DC, as he sets out to catch a sociopathic serial killer with a possible split personality, Gary Soneji, who has kidnapped 2 young children. After one of the children is found dead, Cross partners up with a female secret service agent to find the surviving child before it's too late. His search leads him along a journey through the darkest alcoves of the human psyche before emerging into the light. A page-turner from beginning to end, the novel captures the reader's attention and doesn't let go until the killer is caught.

This was my first EVER eBook, and while the screen on my iPhone is a bit small, I quickly got used to it, and read the novel in a couple of days. I love the convenience of having the book wherever I go too!
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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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