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.