Cross Fire (Alex Cross Series #17)

Cross Fire (Alex Cross Series #17)

by James Patterson

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Alex Cross encounters his most explosive case ever as a D. C. assassin picks off politicians . . . and his most deadly enemy is waiting to kill everyone he loves.
Detective Alex Cross and Bree's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington D.C.'s most corrupt: a dirty congressmen and an underhanded lobbyist. Next, the elusive gunman begins picking off other crooked politicians, sparking a blaze of theories: is the marksman a hero or a vigilante?
The case explodes, and the FBI assigns agent Max Siegel to the investigation. As Alex and Siegel battle over jurisdiction, the murders continue-and they won't stop until Cross and his family are gone for good. With a supercharged blend of action, deception, and suspense, Cross Fire is James Patterson's most visceral and exciting Alex Cross novel ever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316122252
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 11/15/2010
Series: Alex Cross Series
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 10,463
File size: 3 MB

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 375 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.


Palm Beach, Florida

Date of Birth:

March 22, 1947

Place of Birth:

Newburgh, New York


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

Read an Excerpt

Cross Fire

By Patterson, James

Little, Brown and Company

Copyright © 2010 Patterson, James
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316036177




IT HAD BEEN MONTHS since Kyle Craig had killed a man. Once upon a time, he’d been the type who needed everything yesterday, if not sooner. But no more. If years of hellish solitude in ADX Florence in Colorado had taught him nothing else, it was how to wait for what he wanted.

He sat patiently in the foyer of his quarry’s Miami apartment, weapon cradled on his lap, watching the lights of the harbor and biding his time. He was in no particular hurry, enjoying the view, maybe finally learning to enjoy life. He certainly looked relaxed — faded jeans, sandals, a T-shirt that said CONSIDER THIS FAIR WARNING.

At 2:12 a.m., a key sounded in the lock. Kyle immediately rose to his feet and pressed his back against the wall, hanging there as silently as a piece of art.

The man of the hour, Max Siegel, was whistling as he came in. Kyle recognized the melody, an old snatch from his childhood. It was from Peter and the Wolf. The strings section — Peter’s hunting theme. Ironically enough.

He waited for Mr. Siegel to close the door behind him and take a few more steps into the still-dark apartment. Then Kyle leveled his red laser site and squeezed the trigger. “Hello, Mr. Siegel,” he said. “Good to meet you.”

A stream of electrically charged saline solution hit Siegel squarely in the back, carrying fifty thousand volts with it. He grunted between clenched teeth. His shoulders seized up just before his body went completely rigid, and he fell like a tree to the floor.

Kyle didn’t hesitate for a second. He quickly slipped a nylon cord across Siegel’s throat, wound it around three times, and started to drag him in a small circle to sop up the saline solution on the floor, then yanked him straight through the apartment toward the master bath in the back. Siegel was too weak to struggle. Whatever effort he could muster was spent on the cord itself, trying not to be strangled.

“Don’t fight me,” Kyle said finally. “There’s no point in it.”

In the bathroom, Kyle lifted him into the oversize tub and tied off the ends of the cord to one of the chrome fixtures. It wasn’t necessary, physically speaking, but it kept Siegel’s head up where Kyle could see his face.

“You probably don’t even know about these, do you?” he said, holding up the strange gun he’d carried in. “I know you’ve been underground awhile, but trust me, they’re going to be huge.”

The thing looked like a Super Soaker, which it kind of was. Regular Tasers could go for thirty seconds at best. This baby could run and run, thanks to a two-gallon wearable water pack strapped to his back.

“What… do you want?” Siegel finally choked out in response to the madness.

Kyle withdrew a small Canon digital camera from his pocket and started taking pictures. Full face, left profile, right profile.

“I know who you are, Agent Siegel. Let’s start there, okay?”

A look of confusion crossed the man’s face. Then fear. “Oh God, this is some kind of horrible mistake. My name is Ivan Schimmel!”

“No,” Kyle said, snapping away — brow, nose, chin. “You’re Max Siegel, and you’re FBI. You’ve been deep undercover for the last twenty-six months. Worked your way up with the Buenez cartel until they trusted you enough to start making shipments.

“Now, while everyone’s watching Colombia, you’re running heroin from Phuket and Bangkok to Miami.”

He lowered the camera and looked Siegel in the eye. “Never mind the moral relativism. It’s all in the name of the big takedown at the end. Isn’t that right, Agent Siegel?”

“I don’t know who you’re talking about!” he cried. “Please! Check my wallet!” He’d begun to struggle again, but another dose of voltage put a quick end to that. The electricity went right after the motor and sensory nerves. Siegel’s pain tolerance was irrelevant. And the ammo, such as it was, ran right down the drain into Biscayne Bay.

“I suppose you might be forgiven for not recognizing me,” Kyle went on. “Does the name ‘Kyle Craig’ mean anything to you? Or maybe the Mastermind? That’s what they call me up at the Puzzle Palace in DC. As a matter of fact, I used to work there. Long time ago.”

A flash of recognition came and went in Siegel’s eyes, not that Kyle needed any kind of confirmation. His reconnaissance was still flawless.

But this Max Siegel was a pro, too. He wasn’t about to stop playing the game now, especially now. “Please,” he blubbered on when he found his voice again, “what is this? Who are you? I don’t know what you want.”

“Everything, Max. Every last little thing.”

Kyle took another half dozen pictures and repocketed the camera. “You’re actually a victim of your own good work, if that’s any consolation. Nobody knows who you are down here, not even the local FBI. That’s why I chose you. I selected you out of all the agents working in the United States. You, Max. Can you guess why?”

His voice had changed as he spoke. It was more nasal now, with the same shades of Brooklyn accent that laced the real Max Siegel’s speech.

“This will never work! You’re insane!” Siegel screamed at him. “You’re fucking mad!”

“By some standards, I think that might be true,” Kyle said. “But I’m also the most brilliant son of a bitch you’ll ever have the pleasure to know.” Then he pulled the trigger one more time and just let the thing run.

Siegel writhed mutely on the bottom of the tub. Eventually, he began to gag on his own tongue. Kyle watched, carefully noting every detail all the way to the end, studying his subject until there was nothing left to learn.

“Let’s hope this works,” he said. “Wouldn’t want you to have died for nothing, Mr. Siegel.”


Excerpted from Cross Fire by Patterson, James Copyright © 2010 by Patterson, James. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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Cross Fire 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1715 reviews.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
The Mastermind is back, and he's about to destroy everything - and everyone Alex Cross loves. Wedding Bells Ring: Detective Alex Cross and Bree Stone's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington, DC's most corrupt: a dirty congressman and an underhanded lobbyist. Next, the elusive gunman begins picking off other crooked insiders, sparking a blaze of theories - is the marksman a hero or a vigilante? A Murderer Returns: The case explodes, and the FBI assigns Agent Max Siegel to the investigation. As Alex and Max battle over jurisdiction, the murders continue. It becomes clear that thee killings are the work of a professional who has detailed knowledge of his victims' movements - information that only a Washington insider could possess. Caught In A Lethal Cross Fire: As Alex contends with the sniper, Siegel, and the wedding, he receives a call from his deadliest adversary, Kyle Craig. The Mastermind is in DC and will not relent until he had eliminated Cross and his family for good. With a supercharged blend of action, deception, and suspense, Cross Fire is James Patterson's most visceral and exciting Alex Cross novel ever. My Review: Another excellent page turning novel that literally has you on the edge of your seat til the very end. I saw this novel as a blend between the movie Face Off with John Travolta and Nicholas Cage and a great episode of Criminal Minds. The character of Kyle Craig, goes to the greatest lengths possible to devise an ending to Alex Cross and his family and leaves you wondering how it will all play out in the end. I received this book compliments of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review and once more James Patterson does not disappoint. This is book number 17 in the series and I would rate this book a perfect 5 out of 5 stars for another perfect crime and suspense thriller. This book is available in Hardcover, eBook, CD and large print formats.
Flyingwhiteowl More than 1 year ago
Truly written in Patterson style - fast, suspensful, riviting. Bought it to read over Thanksgiving weekend and finished it in two days! Bringing back K.C. was great, added to the suspense. Highly recommend.
Justin Toussing More than 1 year ago
no way i will pay 14.99. thats for sure!
terrylazar More than 1 year ago
I stopped reading James Patterson's books about 2 years ago because they were getting predictable, the type was bigger, and the chapters were so small that the plot was lost. However, he seemed to spend a little extra time with this book. When I read that Nana Momma was ill, the plot became more about the family and less about Cross himself. Now I must go back to others I failed to read to see if this was a fluke or he is thinking more about his stories than cranking out a book a week. This was a very entertaining read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GEORGIAMOON More than 1 year ago
The novel is about multiple murders in Washington, D.C. The victims include a corrupt politician, a fraudulent lobbyist, and a shady tycoon. These people were hated by many. While investigating the murders, Alex finds a complex math formula in a most unusual place and comes across his long-time nemesis, Kyle Craig. Kyle taunts him with calls, harasses him with threats and tortures him with sadistic implications. Alex can't draw him out and he's so close he could touch him. This mastermind monster outwits them all and plans to destroy everything Alex holds dear. This is the usual Patterson page-turner, fascinating and scary, guaranteed to keep you awake until you are finished!
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Kyle Craig was supposed to be sent away to a prison he could not escape from and never come back, that is something Alex Cross had to believe had happened. Kyle Craig was titled The Mastermind because he was a vicious and sadistic killer who only had one nemesis in Alex Cross so when Alex caught him and had him locked up for life or so he thought but Kyle outwitted them all and this time his play to destroy Alex and everything he loves is as flawless as his skin. Unfortunately, for Alex the past is back and Kyle is in his life standing so close to Alex he could touch him and yet Alex doesn't even know why is that? Kyle taunts him with calls, harasses him with threats and tortures him with sadistic implications and still Alex can't draw him out. Perhaps the distraction of a new version of the DC Snipers who believe they are self-appointed heroes cleaning up their version of the bad seed in America is the reason. Perhaps this is the explanation for Alex's mis-steps and lost chances to catch Kyle but it might be that Kyle really does have the upper hand. But these seemingly random killings of high profile citizens being gunned down by sniper or could it be snipers continues. With nary a clue to be found Alex finds himself trying to stop that while another serial killer is doing his dirty work in another part of town. His personal life may be as calm as it can get with a wedding coming up and his family in good health and spirits but Alex is distracted with Kyle and his feeling that they are going to meet and only one will walk away this time. Even an unexpected visit from his youngest son's mother, Christine doesn't distract as much as irritate Alex and he can control this situation yet seems to have lost control with Kyle Craig and that is the only key to solving the crime. James Patterson writes this story like it is second nature to him and the reader feels his passion for Alex Cross, the life Cross leads and the people involved in the story. These books always have so much going on you might think it distracting to the reader but in fact each person both good and bad bring something to the book that is enjoyable, fascinating and a more than a little scary but I hope there are more Alex Cross types out there than Masterminds but sometimes you are not so sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just luv James Patterson and his Alex Cross series they r the best always awaiting the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
back in the saddle with AC.
MrsGris More than 1 year ago
I love Alex Cross, his family, and of course Samson! I couldn't put this one down and already have "kill Alex Cross" cued up on my Nook app for tonight!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the Alex Cros novels!
Piano502 More than 1 year ago
This is not the best of the Alex Cross Series....but it is a good read. It took me a while to start this one. But because this is my book club's pick and the meeting is next Sat, I decided to plow through. The plotline picked up and became hard to put down---Especially the sub-plot with "The Patriot".
booklovercm More than 1 year ago
I love the Alex Cross character, so I always enjoy books with him as central character. This is one of the best. I prefer to do some research and read books that are a part of a series in the order they were written. I also generally like anything James Patterson writes. If you like mystery and/or intrigue, you will like this.
mikedraper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of Det. Alex Cross's hated enemies is Kyle Craig who escapes from prison and is seeking revenge on Alex. Craig kills FBI agent, Max Siegel, has plastic surgery to look like Siegel and learns everything he can about him.In Washington, D.C. Alex Cross has just gotten engaged to Brianna Stone. He's called to investigate a sniper assassination of two corrupt officials.When another killing takes place and also by sniper fire, this person was under investigation for corruption, the media praises the sniper as patriotic and officials wonder if they have another Beltway Sniper.Kyle posing as Siegal is assigned to the case and is able to move his plan for revenge into high gear. With Cross not suspecting anything from a fellow officer, the suspense is excellent.The story is a page turner but the reader must suspend their concept that a person can have plastic surgery and learn about another person and then take their place without the other person's co-workers being able to see the difference.Even with this skepticism, James Patterson shows that he is the master of nail biters because he still gets the reader's involvement in the case. We wonder how Cross will be able to stop the snipers and to stop Craig before he can take revenge on Cross and his family.
CMash on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
CROSS FIRE by James PattersonPublished by Little Brown and CompanyISBN-13: 9780316036177 At the request of The Hachette Book Group, a HC book was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion. Synopsis (borrowed from B&N): Wedding bells ringDetective Alex Cross and Bree's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington D.C.'s most corrupt: a dirty congressmen and an underhanded lobbyist. Next, the elusive gunman begins picking off other crooked politicians, sparking a blaze of theories--is the marksman a hero or a vigilante?A murderer returnsThe case explodes, and the FBI assigns agent Max Siegel to the investigation. As Alex and Siegel battle over jurisdiction, the murders continue. It becomes clear that they are the work of a professional who has detailed knowledge of his victims' movements--information that only a Washington insider could possess.Caught in a lethal cross fireAs Alex contends with the sniper, Siegel, and the wedding, he receives a call from his deadliest adversary, Kyle Craig. The Mastermind is in D.C. and will not relent until he has eliminated Cross and his family for good. With a supercharged blend of action, deception, and suspense, Cross Fire is James Patterson's most visceral and exciting Alex Cross novel ever. My Thoughts and Opinion: Who doesn't like a classic James Patterson book with it's 2-4 page chapters, especially his long running Alex Cross series? I got hooked on his books many years ago, and Cross Fire was true to form. Dr. Alex Cross, Nana and the kids are all a central part of the story line and his devotion to his family makes the character even more likable. And in this book he finally gets married. The action is fast paced and as stated above, because of the short chapters, it is very easy to say "just one more chapter" and you find that you have read ten. A very quick read. Even though I enjoyed this novel because it was an "Alex Cross book", I found it to be predictable and lacking the high drama of investigation that one could find in his earlier books. Will I read another Patterson book? Yes....I still like his writing style. My Rating: 3
gma2lana on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy a good story by James Patterson. The short chapters always make the book seem to go by fast! I enjoyed the story in this book, and of course the ultimate outcome of Alex Cross as well....
suzanne5002 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Alex Cross and Kyle Craig meet face to face. Although this time, Craig has had plastic surgery to impersonate an FBI agent(Max Siegel) whom he murders in cold bloood. Craig, alias Siegel, is called upon to help Cross and the rest of the MDP solve what is called The Numbers Murders.Cross and Craig are on a stake out together one night. Cross still does not realize that it is not Siegel. They begin talking and he asks Cross if he could kill Craig face to face, Cross replied no. Craig was really surprised about this information.Cross marries a few weeks later and is on his honeymoon. He also invites his family to accompany he and his new bride which they did. Lo and behold, who should call Cross one morning, but Craig himself. Cross was shocked. He looked all around the secluded beacg area and spotted Craig holding a gun to his sons' head. Nobody messes around with his family. The ending is a shocker. But one must remember, Kyle Craig thinks he is the Mastermind.I always enjoy Alex Cross books. They keep you guessing during the whole book. It's hard to believe that Cross and Craig were once best buddies; now, they're arch enemies. Craig always tries to be one step ahead of Cross, but Cross questions his motives always.I'm not sure how many Alex Cross books are left in the series but I'll be sad when they are gone.
Berly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cross Fire by James Patterson. What can I say? I like Detective/Action Thrillers. The ending was a little abrupt, but workable. Alex Cross battles his deadly adversary, Kyle Craig, while trying to solve a rash of assassinations by a hero vigilante. All the action puts his marriage to Bree Stone on hold. Will he make it to the alter? Only over lots of dead bodies. (Tee-hee.) Three and a half stars.
dools46 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this one a lot more then his last couple *********spoiler************(I just hope he doesnt bring KC back)
WeeziesBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed listening to this Patterson novel on audio book. I like the Alex Cross books more than those that Patterson writes without a co-author. In ¿Cross Fire¿ Alex Cross is again in danger from an old foe, Kyle Craig. The twists come as Craig take the identity as a fellow law enforcement officer working for the FBI. He and Alex have to work together on unsolved murders and those that continue to happen as they are working together. In order to get to this point, Craig has had extensive plastic surgery and worked hard to present himself as a new coworker, wanting to be collaborative and possibly even be a friend to Cross. It is rather unbelievable that Cross wouldn¿t recognize him at least by his voice, but he doesn't in this story.As Craig assumes the identity of FBI agent Max Siegel and becomes close to Cross they work together to find out who is killing other criminals and carving mathematical formulas into their bodies. One new strand is Cross and Bee Stone, his fiancee begin to plan a wedding with the blessing of his family. There are stories within the story that keep you guessing and this is a better book that some of his others that I have read lately. I still prefer Patterson¿s earlier books but find him an enjoyable writer and recommend the books that he writes by himself more than those that are a collaborative effort.
skinglist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
and so ends a week-long marathon of playing catch up with the Alex Cross series. I think this one is one of my favorites recently but I'd have taken more from it had I reread the earlier Kyle books because there are some details I don't remember. Reading in clumps is how I tend to read JP and this was no different. I don't for one minute believe that Kyle is gone or dead. It's too convenient that he's burned beyond recognition. He'll be back. He's Alex's dark side in more ways than one.The private wedding was very fitting for Alex and Bree. It worked and I"m so glad Nana lived to see it. Personally I'm surprised Kyle as Siegel didn't crash that. I wish the last 50 pages were this book and not the nonsense wizard series. I'd like to see more of the behind the scenes into the FBI and how Kyle/Siegel did this. It was almost too easy. I'm also not sure what purpose the fly by of Christine did other than maybe tease for the future? I was expecting some Kyle connection there. I was left surprised that Kyle.Siegel didn't kill Alex when he had the chance with the sniper. And Denny killing his handlers made me wonder if Kyle was the pupetter behind that as well. The epilogue teasing out Mr. Smith (who I also don't remember) is a nice hint at a crossover with the upcoming 10th anniversary in the WMC series. Also answers the question as to why there was new Cross book on the horizon.
kissmeimgone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cross Fire by James Patterson would for sure have to be my favorite in his Alex Cross series. In Cross Fire, a man known by the name of Kyle Craig that Alex Cross put away behind bars years ago is out on the loose again and has his eyes set on his target, Cross. Much closer than Cross could ever imagine, Cross Fire defintley ends with a big bang. I defintley recommend this book to everyone.
es135 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It was really impossible for this novel to fail. Without a doubt, Kyle Craig is the best Cross villain. He is such a foil to the main character that it is always entertaining to read about their encounters. On the human side, Patterson delivers with a potential wedding (Bree is the perfect match for Alex), and Nana's ever present health issues. This is Patterson at his best.
TomWheaton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great Alex Cross read. I didn't mind that I knew almost from the start that Kyle Craig takes the persona of Max Siegel. The reader is still held in suspense wondering when Alex will discover the switch. And if Alex will finally end the tormenting of Kyle Craig. The last paragraph was intreuging! Will the next Women's Murder Club book see the collaboration of Cross & Boxer or will we have to wait for the next Alex Cross book?
saramllr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It was good to see Alex's old arch-nemesis, Kyle Craig, back in this installment in the Alex Cross series. He's a great villain and Alex Cross is just not the same without him. James Patterson seems to be wrapping up a lot of story lines here; is he getting ready to retire Alex Cross for good?