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Merry Christmas, Alex Cross
Merry Christmas, Alex Cross
Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316210684
$28.99/U.S.
400 pages
Little, Brown and Company

It's Christmas Eve and Detective Alex Cross has been called out to catch someone who's robbing his church's poor box. That mission behind him, Alex returns home to celebrate with Bree, Nana, and his children. The tree decorating is barely underway before his phone rings again—a horrific hostage situation is quickly spiraling out of control. Away from his own family on the most precious of days, Alex calls upon every ounce of his training, creativity, and daring to save another family. Alex risks everything—and he may not make it back alive on this most sacred of family days. Alex Cross is a hero for our time, and never more so than in this story of family, action, and the deepest moral choices. MERRY CHRISTMAS, ALEX CROSS will be a holiday classic for years to come.

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross
Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316210684
$28.99/U.S.
400 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Prologue | THE DEVIL ON CHRISTMAS EVE

Two

FATHER HARRIS FLIPPED A SWITCH BACK IN THE SACRISTY. EVERY LIGHT IN ST. Anthony’s went on. The man of the year bolted, carrying the crowbar like it was the baton in a relay race. He shouldered his way through the front door and bounded down the steps as the first snowflakes of the year began to fall.

Sampson and I were right behind him, and we were almost on top of the perp before he reached the corner. I got to him first and hammered him with my fist between the shoulder blades. He sprawled hard on the sidewalk. Sampson put a knee on his back and cuffed him. It was done in less than a minute.

I rolled him over, looked at my partner, and said, “John, say merry Christmas to our old friend Latrell Lewis.”

“It is Lewis! Holy shit!” said Sampson, and then, remembering he was still very close to the church, he added, “Sorry about that.”

Latrell Lewis and I had had some unpleasant history together. It’d started five years ago when he was a fifteenyear-old bag messenger for one of the second-tier Columbia Heights gangs. Street name Lit-Lat, the punk was arrogant enough to try going out on his own and then stupid enough to get picked up by Sampson and me the first week he was flying solo. Next time we took him in, Latrell ended up in a lovely spot in the Maryland countryside, Jessup Correctional Institution, for an eighteen-month swing.

“I’d assumed you were a caged man, Lit-Lat,” I said to him.

“Maybe you should learn to count—or buy yourself a calendar, Cross.”

We pulled Lewis up off the sidewalk. He was jittery, not just from nerves but from cocaine or heroin or whatever drug he was buying with church money. I really didn’t care. I’m a psychologist, but I was in no mood to make a diagnosis and give the man some pro bono counseling.

“Come on. It’s Christmas Eve. Show a brother a little heart,” Lewis said.

“Yeah, we will,” I answered. “We’ll show you as much heart as you showed the church and the folks who need that money for food and shelter.”

Then we hustled him down the sidewalk toward an unmarked squad car. The wind picked up. The temperature was dropping. You could tell a real winter storm was coming on Christmas Eve.

“C’mon, man. Don’t put me in no police car.” Latrell moaned. “That’d be sad stuff for the holidays, man. I needed that cash to buy my kid a present. I’m poor, man.”

I looked up at the white sky. Then I looked down at this punk junkie and said, “You don’t have a kid. You wouldn’t be poor if you quit your habit. But it is Christmas, and I don’t want you to be sad, Latrell.”

He looked up at me, hope all over his face. “Yeah?”

“Yeah. I’ll tell you what. On the way to the station, we’ll all sing Christmas carols, and you get to pick the first one.”

“And for your sake, it better be ‘Silent Night,’” Sampson said, shoving him in the backseat and slamming the door.

Copyright © 2012 by James Patterson

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross
Fiction/General
Audiobook (Unabridged CD)
ISBN: 1611130298
$34.98/U.S.
Hachette Audio

Read by Michael Boatman, Stephen Kunken & Cristin Milioti

Michael Boatman is an Image Award-nominated American actor and writer. He is best known for his roles as U.S. Army Specialist Samuel Beckett in the drama series China Beach, as New York City mayoral aide Carter Heywood in the sitcom Spin City, and as sports agent Stanley Babson in the comedy series Arli$$.

Stephen Kunken is an American actor, best known for his work in theatre. His Broadway credits include Frost/Nixon, Rock 'n' Roll, and Enron, for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Featured Actor in a Play.

Cristin Milioti is currently starring in her Tony nominated role as 'Girl' in the Broadway smash hit musical Once. The critically acclaimed show has won numerous accolades along with eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Milioti's next project is the upcoming Martin Scorsese film The Wolf of Wall Street where she plays opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. Recent roles include a hilarious turn on 30 Rock as the sexy, baby-voiced writer, "Abby Flynn," and the straight laced sister of Mike Birbiglia's character in the recent indie hit Sleepwalk with Me.

Audio Excerpts (MP3)
Merry Christmas, Alex Cross
Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316210684
$28.99/U.S.
400 pages
Little, Brown and Company
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