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Kill Alex Cross

The President's son and daughter are abducted, and Detective Alex Cross is one of the first on the scene. But someone very high-up is using the FBI, Secret Service, and CIA to keep him off the case and in the dark.

A deadly contagion in the water supply cripples half of the capital, and Alex discovers that someone may be about to unleash the most devastating attack the United States has ever experienced.

As his window for solving both crimes narrows, Alex makes a desperate decision that goes against everything he believes—one that may alter the fate of the entire country. KILL ALEX CROSS is faster, more exciting, and more tightly wound than any Alex Cross thriller James Patterson has ever written!


Chapter 9

"THIS GUY JUST ATE SOMETHING!" ONE OF THE TSA OFFICERS SHOUTED to his partners. He held down the struggling, writhing husband while another guard tried to force the man's mouth open.

Hala saw the stream of blood run down over his chin. That meant he'd bitten through the capsule's rubber coating, into the glass bead inside. Her heart was thundering now. As a doctor, she knew all too well about the effects of potassium cyanide on the body. It was going to be horrible, absolutely awful to witness. Especially with a capsule right there in her own pocket.

Almost immediately, the man began to convulse. His torso bucked slowly, his legs kicking back and forth. It was an instinctive but ultimately useless response. While the oxygen built up to dangerous levels in his blood, less and less of it would reach his vital organs, including the lungs. The panic alone would be excruciating. The terrible burning inside.

The man's young wife collapsed at his feet next. A trickle of blood ran down her chin, too. Then more blood, from her nose.

"Something's wrong!" the female guard yelled. "Call emergency services! We need a doctor right now!"

Border Protection was doing its best to maintain order, but panic had begun to take over the arrivals hall. People started bottlenecking toward the screening stations. Frantic voices echoed against the high ceiling. Two-way radios crackled everywhere.

"Tariq?" Hala said. He was standing perfectly still, even as other travelers pushed past them. "Tariq? We have to go. Right now."

His eyes seemed to be locked on the other couple, dying there on the terminal floor.

"That could have been us,"he whispered.

"But it wasn't," Hala said. "Move. Now! Keep the pill in your hand, just in case. And speak nothing but English until we are out of here."

Tariq nodded. His wife was also his superior. Slowly, he tore his eyes away from the two suffering martyrs. Hala hooked her arm firmly into his and turned to go. Then she pulled him forward like a stubborn animal.

A moment later, the Al Dossaris had allowed themselves to be swallowed up in the crowd. People around them were crying. A young girl vomited right there on the floor. Then they were clamoring for the exits, just like anyone else. Only after they were clear of the security guards did they put away the cyanide pills.

They had made it to America.

Copyright © 2011 by James Patterson

Read by Andre Braugher & Zach Grenier

Andre Braughner is an Emmy-award and Obie-award winning actor. His most recent film and television credits include Salt, Passengers, and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and Men of a Certain Age. Born and raised in Chicago, he earned A BA from Stanford University and an MFA from Juilliard.

Zach Grenier’s film credits include Fight Club, Zodiac, Ride With the Devil, and Twister. He has appeared on such television series as The Good Wife, Deadwood, and 24. Most notable among his stage credits is the Broadway production of 33 Variations.

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