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Alex Cross

Among the villains Alex Cross has faced—Gary Soneji, Casanova, Kyle Craig, The Wolf—one psychopath tops them all. Alex knows him as his wife's killer.

#1 bestselling author James Patterson returns with the pinnacle of all Alex Cross thrillers.

Alex Cross was a rising star in the Washington, DC, Police Department when an unknown shooter gunned down his wife, Maria, in front of him. Alex's need for vengeance was placed on hold as he faced another huge challenge-raising his children without their mother.

THE MOST TERRIFYING CROSS EVER.
Years later Alex is making a bold move in his life. He has left the FBI and set up practice as a psychologist once again. His life with Nana Mama, Damon, Jannie, and little Alex finally feels like it's in order. He even has a chance at a new love.

Then Cross's former partner, John Sampson, calls in a favor. He is tracking a serial rapist in Georgetown, one whose brutal modus operandi includes threatening his victims with terrifying photos. Cross and Sampson need the testimonies of these women to stop the predator, but the rape victims refuse to reveal anything about their attacker.

THE MOST EMOTIONAL CROSS EVER.
When the case triggers a connection to Maria's death, Alex may have a chance to catch his wife's murderer after all these years. Is this a chance for justice at long last? Or the culminating scene in his own deadly obsession?

From the man USA Today has called the "master of the genre," Cross is the high-velocity thriller James Patterson and Alex Cross's fans have waited years to read.

Chapter 6

“THERE’S ALREADY BLOOD on this scalpel,” the Butcher said in a throaty whisper meant to scare her out of her wits. “You see it?”

Then he touched his jeans at the crotch. “Now this blade won’t hurt so much.” He brandished the scalpel in front of her eyes. “But this one will hurt a lot. Disfigure your pretty face for life. I’m not kidding around, college girl.”

He unzipped his jeans and pressed the scalpel against Marianne Riley’s throat—but he didn’t cut her. He lifted up her skirt, then pulled aside her blue panties.

He said, “I don’t want to cut you. You can tell that, can’t you?”

She could barely speak. “I don’t know.”

“You have my word on it, Marianne.”

Then he pushed himself inside the college girl slowly, so as not to hurt her with a thrust. He knew he shouldn’t spend a lot of time here, but he didn’t want to give up her tight insides. Hell, I’ll never see Marianne, Marianne after tonight.

At least she was smart enough not to scream or try to fight him with her knees or nails. When he was finished with his business he showed her a couple of photographs he carried around. Just to be sure she understood her situation, understood it perfectly.

“I took these pictures myself. Look at the pictures, Marianne. Now, you must never speak of tonight. Not to anyone, but especially not to the police. You understand?”

She nodded without looking at him.

“I need you to speak the words, little girl. I need you to look at me, painful as that might be.”

“Understood,” she said. “I’ll never tell anybody.”

“Look at me.”

Her eyes met his, and the change in her was amazing. He saw fear and hatred, and it was something he enjoyed. It was a long story why, a growing-up-in-Brooklyn story, a father-and-son tale that he preferred to keep to himself.

“Good girl. Strange to say—I like you. What I mean is, I have affection for you. Good-bye, Marianne, Marianne.”

Before leaving the bathroom, he searched through her purse and took her wallet. “Insurance,” he said. “Don’t talk to anybody.”

Then the Butcher opened the door and left. Marianne Riley let herself collapse to the bathroom floor, shaking all over. She would never forget what had just happened—especially those horrifying photographs.

Copyright © 2006 by James Patterson

Read by Peter Jay Fernandez & Jay O. Sanders

Peter Jay Fernandez is a New York based actor and narrator. He has appeared on Broadway in Jelly's Last Jam and The Merchant of Venice, and has performed in numerous off-Broadway plays and musicals. His extensive television credits include Funny Valentines, The Prosecuters, Law & Order, and Cosby. He currently lives in Harlem with his wife Denise and read London Bridges, also by James Patterson, for Hachette Audio.

Jay O. Sanders attended the acting conservatory at The State University of New York at Purchase. He began his career off-Broadway in Shakespearean roles in Henry V, Measure for Measure, and Twelfth Night. Jay has narrated more than fifty audiobooks and has appeared in several films including Half Nelson and The Day After Tomorrow.

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