Cat & Mouse (Alex Cross Series #4)

Cat & Mouse (Alex Cross Series #4)

by James Patterson
Cat & Mouse (Alex Cross Series #4)

Cat & Mouse (Alex Cross Series #4)

by James Patterson

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Overview

In this New York Times bestseller, two killers-one operating in America, one in Europe-believe Alex Cross is the only worthy opponent in the deadly game each has planned.


Gary Soneji, a dying prison escapee, is looking for revenge on Cross, while another insane killer is pursued by Thomas Augustine Pierce-a brilliant and relentless detective who may even be better than Cross. As the bodies pile up, and Cross is nearly murdered in his own home, the game of cat and mouse leads to one final trap. . .


The body count is high, the tension the highest, and the two killers on the loose are watching every move their pursuers make. Who is the cat, and who is the mouse? What and where is the final trap? And who survives?


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446692649
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 08/01/2003
Series: Alex Cross Series
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 38,407
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.12(d)

About the Author

About The Author
James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

Hometown:

Palm Beach, Florida

Date of Birth:

March 22, 1947

Place of Birth:

Newburgh, New York

Education:

B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

PROLOGUE: CATCH A SPIDER

Washington, D.C.

The Cross house was twenty paces away and the proximity and sight of it made Gary Soneji's skin prickle. It was Victorian-style, white-shingled, and extremely well kept. As Soneji stared across Fifth Street, he slowly bared his teeth in a sneer that could have passed for a smile. This was perfect. He had come here to murder Alex Cross and his family.

His eyes moved slowly from window to window, taking in everything from the crisp, white lace curtains to Cross's old piano on the sunporch, to a Batman and Robin kite stuck in the rain gutter of the roof. Damon's kite, he thought.

On two occasions he caught sight of Cross's elderly grandmother as she shuffled past one of the downstairs windows. Nana Mama's long, purposeless life would soon be at an end. That made him feel so much better. Enjoy every moment - stop and smell the roses, Soneji reminded himself. Taste the roses, eat Alex Cross's roses - flowers, stems, and thorns.

He finally moved across Fifth Street, being careful to stay in the shadows. Then he disappeared into the thick yews and forsythia bushes that ran like sentries alongside the front of the house.

He carefully made his way to a whitewashed cellar door, which was to one side of the porch, just off the kitchen. It had a Master padlock, but he had the door open in seconds.

He was inside the Cross house!

He was in the cellar: The cellar was a clue for those who collected them. The cellar was worth a thousand words. A thousand forensic pictures, too.

It was important to everything that would happen in the very near future. The Cross murders!

There were no large windows, but Soneji decided not to take any chances by turning on the lights. He used a Maglite flashlight. Just to look around, to learn a few more things about Cross and his family, to fuel his hatred, if that was possible.

The cellar was cleanly swept, as he had expected it would be. Cross's tools were haphazardly arranged on a pegged Masonite board. A stained Georgetown ball cap was hung on a hook. Soneji put it on his own head. He couldn't resist.

He ran his hands over folded laundry laid out on a long wooden table. He felt close to the doomed family now. He despised them more than ever. He felt around the hammocks of the old woman's bra. He touched the boy's small Jockey underwear. He felt like a total creep, and he loved it.

Soneji picked up a small red reindeer sweater. It would fit Cross's little girl, Jannie. He held it to his face and tried to smell the girl. He anticipated Jannie's murder and only wished that Cross would get to see it, too.

He saw a pair of Everlast gloves and black Pony shoes tied around a hook next to a weathered, old punching bag. They belonged to Cross's son, Damon, who must be nine years old now. Gary Soneji thought he would punch out the boy's heart.

Finally, he turned off the flashlight and sat all alone in the dark. Once upon a time, he had been a famous kidnapper and murderer. It was going to happen again. He was coming back with a vengeance that would blow everybody's mind. He folded his hands in his lap, and sighed. He had spun his web perfectly. Alex Cross would soon be dead, and so would everyone he loved.

CHAPTER TWO

London.

The killer who was currently terrorizing Europe was named Mr. Smith, no surname. It was given to him by the Boston press, and then the police had obligingly picked it up all over the world. He accepted the name, as children accept the name given by their parents, no matter how gross or disturbing or pedestrian the name might be.

Mr. Smith - so be it.

Actually, he had a thing about names. He was obsessive about them. The names of his victims were burned into his mind and also into his heart.

First and foremost, there was Isabella Calais. Then came Stephanie Michaela Apt, Ursula Davies, Robert Michael Neel, and so many others.

He could recite the complete names backward and forward, as if they had been memorized for a history quiz or a bizarre round of Trivial Pursuit. That was the ticket - this chase was trivial pursuit, wasn't it?

So far, no one seemed to understand, no one got it. Not the fabled FBI. Not the storied Interpol, not Scotland Yard, or any of the local police forces in the cities where he had committed murders.

No one understood the secret pattern of the victims, starting with Isabella Calais in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 22, 1993, and continuing today in London.

The victim of the moment was Drew Cabot. He was a chief inspector - of all the hopelessly inane things to do with your life. He was "hot" in London, having recently apprehended an IRA killer. His murder would electrify the town, drive everyone mad. Civilized and sophisticated London loved a gory murder as well as the next burg.

This afternoon Mr. Smith was operating in the toney, fashionable Knightsbridge section. He was there to study the human race - at least that was the way the newspapers described it. The press in London and across Europe also called him by another name - Alien. The prevailing theory was that Mr. Smith was an extraterrestrial. No human could do the things that he did. Or so they said.

Mr. Smith had to bend low to talk into Drew Cabot's ear, to be more intimate with his prey. He played music while he worked - all kinds of music. Today's selection was the overture to Don Giovanni. Opera buffa felt right to him.

Opera felt right for this live autopsy.

"Ten minutes or so after your death," Mr. Smith said, "flies will already have picked up the scent of gas accompanying the decomposition of your tissue. Green flies will lay the tiniest eggs within the orifices of your body. Ironically, the language reminds me of Dr. Seuss - 'green flies and ham.' What could that mean? I don't know. It's a curious association, though."

Drew Cabot had lost a lot of blood, but he wasn't giving up. He was a tall, rugged man with silver-blond hair. A never-say-never sort of chap. The inspector shook his head back and forth until Smith finally removed his gag.

"What is it, Drew?" he asked. "Speak."

"I have a wife and two children. Why are you doing this to me? Why me?" he whispered.

"Oh, let's say because you're Drew. Keep it simple and unsentimental. You, Drew, are a piece of the puzzle."

He tugged the inspector's gag back into place. No more chitchat from Drew.

Mr. Smith continued with his observations as he made his next surgical cuts and Don Giovanni played on.

"Near the time of death, breathing will become strained, intermittent. It's exactly what you're feeling now, as if each breath could be your last. Cessation will occur within two or three minutes," whispered Mr. Smith, whispered the dreaded Alien. "Your life will end. May I be the first to congratulate you. I sincerely mean that, Drew. Believe it or not, I envy you. I wish I were Drew."

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