The best—and scariest!—Alex Cross novel since Along Came a Spider!
You can't run
Detective Alex Cross is pulled out of a family celebration and given the awful news that a beloved relative has been found brutally murdered. Alex vows to hunt down the killer, and soon learns that she was mixed up in one of Washington's wildest scenes. And she was not this killer's only victim.
You can't hide
The hunt for the murderer leads Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, to a place where every fantasy is possible, if you have the credentials to get in. Alex and Bree are soon facing down some very important, very protected, very dangerous people in levels of society where only one thing is certain—they will do anything to keep their secrets safe.
Alex Cross is your only hope to stay alive
As Alex closes in on the killer, he discovers evidence that points to the unimaginable—a revelation that could rock the entire world. With the unstoppable action, unforeseeable twists, and edge-of-your-seat suspense that only a James Patterson thriller delivers, I, Alex Cross is the master of suspense at his sharpest and best.
Prologue | FIRE AND WATER
NOBODY HAD EVER been any deader, or dumber, than he was right now. Johnny tucci knew that, even as he broke across the tree line and started slip-sliding down a ravine at the side of the highway.
He could hide from these cops, maybe, but not from the Family. Not in jail, not anywhere. It was a fact of life. You didn't lose a "package" like this without becoming one yourself.
Voices came from up the slope, and then dancing flashlight beams. Johnny dropped down low and threw himself under a clump of bushes. He was trembling all over, his heart was going so fast it hurt, and his lungs were heaving from too many cigarettes. It was almost impossible to keep still and keep quiet.
Oh shit, I am so dead. I am so, so dead.
"You see anything? See that little bastard? that freak?"
"Nothing yet. We'll get him. He's down here somewhere. Can't be far."
The troopers fanned out on either side of him, working their way down. Very deliberate and efficient.
Even as he caught his breath now, the trembling only got worse, and not just because of the cops. It was because he'd started to figure out what he had to do next. Strictly speaking, there were only two real options. One involved the .38 he had holstered to his ankle. The other, the package—and who owned it. It was only a question of which way he wanted to die.
And in that cold moonlight, it didn't really seem like much of a question at all.
Moving as slowly as he could, he reached down and pulled the .38. With a badly shaking hand, he fitted the barrel in his mouth. The damn metal clacked hard against his teeth and tasted sour on his tongue. He was ashamed of the tears coming down his face, but that couldn't be helped, and who would ever know but him anyway?
Jesus, was it really going down this way? Crying like a punk, all alone in the woods? What a crummy world this was.
He could just hear the boys now. Sure wouldn't want to go out the way Johnny did. Johnny twitchy. They'd put it on his gravestone—just for spite. Those heathen bastards!
The whole time, Johnny's brain was saying pull, but his trigger finger wouldn't do it. He tried again, both hands on the grip this time, but it was no go. He couldn't even do this right.
He finally spit the gun barrel out, still crying like a little kid. Somehow, knowing he was going to live another day didn't do a thing to stop the tears. He just lay there, biting his lips, feeling sorry for himself, until the cops got as far as the stream at the bottom of the ravine.
Then Johnny twitchy crawled real fast back up the way he'd come, ran across the interstate, and dropped into the woods on the other side—wondering how in Christ he was going to make himself disappear off the face of the earth, knowing that it just wasn't going to happen.
He'd looked. He'd seen what was in "the package."
Copyright © 2009 by James Patterson
Read by Tim Cain & Michael Cerveris
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