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?
About the Author
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
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Cat & Mouse
By James Patterson
Warner BooksCopyright © 1997 James Patterson
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWashington, 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-powers, 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.
Excerpted from Cat & Mouse by James Patterson Copyright © 1997 by James Patterson. Excerpted by permission.
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