Four Blind Mice Hardcover – Nov 18 2002
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In this latest thriller from perennial bestselling author James Patterson, Washington cop Alex Cross gets involved in his partner's effort to save the life of an old Army buddy who's facing execution for a horrendous and inexplicable murder spree in North Carolina. The Army's evidence against Sergeant Ellis Cooper, a decorated Vietnam vet, is overwhelming, which isn't surprising since it's all been planted by a quartet of killers whose reason for framing the erstwhile hero isn't revealed until long after they are. The big secret is who set the murderers loose, and in true cliffhanger fashion, Patterson keeps it under wraps until the very end. Meanwhile, his usual blend of action, violence, fast pacing and uninspired-though-serviceable prose prevail, and will probably do so all the way to the top of the bestseller lists. --Jane Adams
From Publishers Weekly
With Patterson continuing to move in unexpected directions (his next novel, The Jester, due out in March 2003, is a medieval adventure), it's a pleasure to see him touch home base with another Alex Cross thriller this one the best Cross yet. The mice of the title are three homicidal Army Rangers, Vietnam vets, and their mysterious controller; as is usual in the Cross novels, we know this much sooner than does the black Washington, D.C., detective, who gets involved when an army careerist, Sgt. Ellis Cooper, an old pal of Cross's colleague and best friend, John Sampson, is found guilty at military trial for the brutal murder of three women, but claims innocence. Traveling to North Carolina, where Cooper awaits execution, and to Fort Bragg to investigate, Cross and Sampson encounter stonewalling among the military which only intensifies as they uncover a pattern of other military men executed for like crimes they may not have committed. As the duo visits West Point, they confront an even thicker "gray" wall of silence. Meanwhile, the killers strike again, and when Cross and Sampson identify them, the Rangers begin hunting the cops. The action leads, as is Patterson's custom, to a firecracker string of climaxes; the finale finds Cross handcuffed and stripped naked in deep woods, about to be killed. Throughout, Patterson expertly balances the conspiratorial action with intriguing developments in Cross's domestic life, including health problems for his family's anchor, the elderly Nana, and growing romance between him and a California cop. Everything clicks in this novel, from Patterson's patented short chapters (115 here) to the whiplash plotting. This may not be high lit, but it sure is entertainment.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Admittedly, there's nothing about "Mary, Mary" that will elevate it beyond the ranks of enjoyable brain candy thriller to the status of literature. But it is worth noting that unlike the outrageously weak fare that we suffered through in "London Bridges", "Mary, Mary" seems to be a long awaited return to the quality of thriller that justifiably vaulted James Patterson onto best seller lists around the world. We're treated to an enjoyable plot that moves along with compelling page-turning speed. Alex Cross, in the manner of Inspector Rebus, Harry Bosch and all of the other loner cops in mystery and thriller literature successfully marches to the rhythm of his own drummer. We are also witness to some realistic character development as we watch the relationship with his current squeeze, Jamilla, go down in flames and we hurt with him as he is hauled into a nasty court custody battle for his beloved son, Alex. And our heart aches as Patterson gives us a wrenching example of the trials of a complete mental breakdown!
Literature? No. Brain Candy? Yes. Memorable? Not particularly. Enjoyable? Absolutely! Highly recommended.
All Patterson's books are good, but Alex Cross is his best character. I feel like I know him and his family after all this time, and I can feel the conflict between his beloved family and his dedication to his job of catching and stopping killers before the go on to kill more innocent people. Alex is a man torn between doing what's right for humanity while doing right by his family too.
I do see growth in Alex and it's refreshing to see him split with various loves for various good, understandable reasons. It makes him appear more human because that's exactly how it happens in real life. The path of true love never runs smooth, and Alex will find his soulmate in due time ... just like we real-life mortals do.
Patterson had the right amount of twists and turns in this book, and he really surprised me. I thought I had figured out who the killer was, but NO!!! So, once again, I had a surprise ending.
I really enjoyed the excitement of this book. (An aside: My favorite co-author of Patterson's is Maxine Paetro, and I'm pleased to know this dynamic duo has paired for some of his "numbers" series.)
Most recent customer reviews
The book was as described and it arrived on time. I am happy with my purchase.Published 15 days ago by E. Catherine Sones
When I planned to put it down, end of chapter lead me to another. Great book and series. Suggest but not neccessary to read books in orderPublished 19 months ago by Skeeter
Have really gotten into James Patterson's "Alex Cross" books, over the last few years. Have been trying to collect all, or most, of them. Read morePublished 19 months ago by B. H.
Alex Cross and John Sampson have become my heros. To know that they can each find happiness through so much madness is food for the soul.Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
Just as expected from James Patterson. The story was compelling and kept me thinking. It was a hard book to put down.Published 21 months ago by lh1963