From Publishers Weekly
In a recent column in Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King cited Patterson's thrillers as the example of "dopey" bestsellers. We hope that doesn't mean that those who enjoy them are dopes, because this new one is vastly entertaining. Alex Cross, Patterson's black lawman hero, has left the D.C. police force for the FBI. But Cross was a star cop, so when the Bureau becomes aware that attractive white women are disappearing at an unusually high rate in the nation's capital, Cross, despite still being in training at Quantico, is brought onto the case and is personally mentored by the Bureau's director, earning the ire of some Feds but the support of others. Behind the disappearances is a sexual slavery operation run as a sideline by one of the more believable and most compellingly evil villains in the Patterson universe, the Wolf, a mysterious former KGB man who's now the world's top mobster. The narrative throughout is swift and varied, as Patterson cuts among the diabolical schemes of a Russian magnate who may be the Wolf, the plight of several kidnap victims, the dogged pursuit by Cross and company of the Wolf, and the hideous designs of the members of an encrypted computer chat room who pay the Wolf fortunes to snatch women who fit their fantasies. And there's domestic drama, too, as the mother of Cross's young son, Alex, decides that she wants her boy back. Full of plot surprises and featuring a balanced mix of intrigue, hard action and angst, the novel, on which Patterson notably does not share cover credit, grips from start to finish. The Alex Cross series remains Patterson's finest, and this is the finest Cross in years. Maybe we're dopes, but we're smiling ones.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Alex Cross finally took the plunge at the end of Four Blind Mice
(2002) and joined the FBI. The training is a little beneath Cross, who has spent years working with the FBI on the toughest cases, but he dutifully attends classes until he's pulled out to consult on a case. Wealthy women have been disappearing around the country. The latest, a judge's wife, was snatched at a shopping mall. It appears these women (and soon several young men as well) are being abducted and sold to people who have "selected" them and paid a hefty sum. The man behind it all is a Russian known only as the Wolf. Cross gets a break when one of the buyers releases the woman he paid to have abducted, but when they track him down, they find he's committed suicide. Then a major bombshell in his personal life distracts Cross from the case: his ex-girlfriend Christine, the mother of his youngest son, has reappeared, and she wants custody. Cross' first major case with the FBI will have readers on the edge of their seats, swiftly turning the pages to the exciting showdown. Kristine HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved