Four Blind Mice (Alex Cross Series #8)

Four Blind Mice (Alex Cross Series #8)

by James Patterson

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Overview

In this #1 New York Times bestseller, Alex Cross is ready to resign-but when his partner shows up with a case he can't refuse, he goes up against the most bone-chilling killers of his entire career.
Detective Alex Cross is on his way to resign from the Washington, D.C., Police Force when his partner's oldest friend-a Vietnam veteran-is arrested for murder. He is subject to the iron hand of the United States Army, and the evidence against him is strong enough to send him to the gas chamber.
Sampson is certain his friend has been framed, and Alex's investigation turns up evidence overlooked-or concealed-by the military authorities. Drawing on their years of street training and an almost telepathic mutual trust, Cross and Sampson go deep behind military lines to confront the most terrifying-and deadly-killers they have ever encountered. Behind these three highly skilled killing machines there appears to be an even more threatening controller. Discovering the identity of this lethal genius will prove to be Cross's most terrifying challenge ever.
On his visits home, Alex must confront another, more harrowing mystery: what's the matter with Nana Mama? As he explores the possibility of a new relationship with a woman who offers him new hope, Alex must also confront the fact that his beloved grandmother is only human.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446409346
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 10/01/2003
Series: Alex Cross Series
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 8,715
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 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

Four Blind Mice


By James Patterson

Warner Vision

Copyright © 2002 James Patterson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-61326-6


Chapter One

THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY for Cumberland County, North Carolina, Marc Sherman, pushed the old wooden captain's chair away from the prosecution table, and it made a harsh, scraping eeek in the nearly silent courtroom. Then Sherman rose and slowly approached the jury box, where nine women and three men - six white, six African American - waited with anticipation to hear what he had to say. They liked Sherman. He knew that, even expected it. He also knew that he had already won this dramatic murder case, even without the stirring summation he was about to give.

But he was going to give this closing anyway. He felt the need to see Sergeant Ellis Cooper held accountable for his crimes. The soldier had committed the most heinous and cowardly murders in the history of Cumberland County, North Carolina. The so-called Bluelady Murders. The people in this county expected Sherman to punish Ellis Cooper, who happened to be a black man, and he wouldn't disappoint them.

The district attorney began: "I have been doing this for a while - seventeen years, to be exact. In all that time, I have never encountered murders such as those committed in December last, by the defendant, Sergeant Ellis Cooper. What began as a jealous rage aimed at one victim, Tanya Jackson, spilled over into the shameless massacre of three women. All were wives, all were mothers. Together these women had eleven children and, of course, three grieving husbands and countless other family members, neighbors, and dear friends.

"The fateful night was a Friday, 'ladies' night" for Tanya Jackson, Barbara Green, and Maureen Bruno. While their husbands enjoyed their usual card night at Fort Bragg, the wives got together for some personal talk, some laughter, and the treasured companionship of one another. Tanya, Barbara, and Maureen were great friends, you understand. This Friday night get-together took place at the home of the Jacksons, where Tanya and Abraham were raising their four children.

"Around ten o'clock, after consuming at least half a dozen shots of alcohol at the base, Sergeant Cooper went to the Jackson house. As you have heard in sworn testimony, he was seen outside the front door by two neighbors. He was yelling for Mrs. Jackson to come out.

"Then Sergeant Cooper barged into the house. Using an RTAK survival knife, a lightweight weapon favored by United States Army Special Forces, he attacked the woman who had spurned his advances. He killed Tanya Jackson instantly with a single knife thrust.

"Sergeant Ellis Cooper then turned the knife on thirtyone- year-old Barbara Green. And finally, on Maureen Bruno, who nearly made it out of the slaughterhouse but was caught by Cooper at the front door. All three women were killed with thrusts delivered by a powerful male, who has taught hand-to-hand fighting techniques at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, headquarters for the Army Special Forces.

"The survival knife has been identified as Sergeant Cooper's personal property, a deadly weapon he had kept since the early 1970s, when he left Vietnam. Sergeant Cooper's fingerprints were all over the knife.

"His prints were also found on the clothing of Mrs. Jackson and Mrs. Green. DNA from particles of skin found under the nails of Mrs. Jackson were matched to Sergeant Cooper. Strands of his hair were found at the murder scene. The murder weapon itself was discovered hidden in the attic of Cooper's house. So were pathetic 'love letters' he had written to Tanya Jackson - returned unopened.

"You have seen unspeakable photographs of what Sergeant Cooper did to the three women. Once they were dead, he painted the women's faces with ghoulish-looking blue paint. He painted their chests and stomachs. It is gruesome and twisted. As I said, the worst murders I have ever encountered. You know that there can be only one verdict. That verdict is guilty! Put this monster down!"

Suddenly, Sergeant Ellis Cooper rose from his seat at the defendant's table. The courtroom audience gasped. He was six feet four and powerfully built. At age fifty-five, his waist was still thirty-two inches, just as it had been when he enlisted in the army at eighteen. He was wearing his dress greens, and the medals on his chest included a Purple Heart, a Distinguished Service Cross, and a Silver Star. He looked impressive, even under the circumstances of the murder trial, and then he spoke in a clear, booming voice.

"I didn't kill Tanya Jackson, or any of those poor women. I never went inside the house that night. I didn't paint any bodies blue. I've never killed anyone, except for my country. I didn't kill those women. I'm innocent! I'm a war hero, for God's sake!"

Sergeant Cooper hurdled the wooden gate at the front of the courtroom. He was on Marc Sherman in seconds, knocking him to the floor, punching him in the face and chest.

"You liar, liar!" Cooper shouted. "Why are you trying to kill me?"

When the courtroom marshals finally pulled Cooper away, the prosecutor's shirt and jacket were torn, his face bloodied.

Marc Sherman struggled to his feet and then he turned back to the jury. "Need I say more? The verdict is guilty. Put this monster down."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Four Blind Mice by James Patterson Copyright © 2002 by James Patterson. 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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Four Blind Mice (Alex Cross Series #8) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 286 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. In fact, I have liked the entire series. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries. I like the short chapters, and the fact that the characters are believable - not all good or all bad, just human. I am just so sick of reading reviews that are more like high school book reports than reviews, especially the ones that give away important plot points or even the ending. When I read a review, I just want to know what the reviewer thought of the book and why - not a synopsis of the story. But anyway, Four Blind Mice is a good story and certainly up to James Patterson's usual high standards.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I to have been reading these in order and so far loved them all. I really enjoyed this one till the last minute. Everything wraps up nice at the end. Cant wait to read them all. They are all different but def keeps u hooked. People who say it was no good its bcause u have to read them in order otherwise certain things wont make sense so i recommend u start from the first one and i can assure youll be hooked. On to big bad wolf..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was one of Patterson's most thrilling books. It will keep you in suspense until the end. Enjoyed reading it from cover to cover!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of the Alex Cross series, but was disappointed by the inaccuracies in Four Blind Mice (and surprised that Patterson would make them). While various police departments might have 'service revolvers,' I don't believe that the military has had them for several decades. When I was in the military in the sixties, the sidearm was the Colt .45 semiautomatic (the famous Government Model). For the last decade or so it has been the Beretta Model 92 (also semiautomatic). Additionally, Patterson has one of the bad guys shooting someone with a silenced revolver, and anyone who has been around firearms for more than ten minutes knows you don't accomplish much by trying to 'silence' a revolver. Most readers might think it's no big deal, but the character doing the shooting is supposed to be a military professional who we would expect to know that. And for every author in America: revolvers do not have 'safeties.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read everything James Patterson has written and he is such an interesting author. However being a police officer and reading no less than 5 times "I clicked off the safety on my Glock" knowing that a Glock does not have a safety it just gets a little old. I know most authors research before they write.
Anonymous 9 months ago
repetitive++dialogue%2C+cardboard+characters%2C++constipated++plot%2C++diarrhea++sentences.+++pathetic%2C+boring%2C+useless+waste+of+time+and+money.++will+not+be+buying+another+work+from+this+author+again.+
mazda502001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The next in the Alex Cross series. Fast read and the book goes at a breakneck speed.Back Cover Blurb:Alex Cross is preparing to resign from the Washington Police Force. He's enjoying the feeling; not least because the Mastermind is now in prison. Also, Alex has met a woman, Jamilla Hughes, and he is talking about the future.Then John Sampson shows up at the house, desperate for Alex's help. Three young military wives have been savagely killed during a 'girls' night out' and Sampson's friend, a master sergeant at the army base, stands accused.Uncovering evidence of a series of suspicious murder convictions, Alex and Sampson are determined to infiltrate the closed world of the military. But what is the army trying to hide? And do the mysterious symbols daubed on the homes of the accused mean that there are more sinister forces at work?
daddyofattyo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The more James Patterson I read, the more boggled my mind becomes about the fanatical popularity of this writer. Sure, the stories are always compelling, the action non-stop, our heroes Alex Cross and John Sampson (not to mention Nana Mama and the kids) are all stellar individuals we love to hunker down with - But can we continue to call it literature? I think not - there must be a genre title for this type of story telling. It is so simple, condescending - the 2-3 page chapters that lob whoppers of action, spoon-feeding it to us, but it just lacks depth, emotion, itellectual challenge, novelty, wit - the things that stay with you for a while after reading a great novel. In the same genre Jeffrey Deaver and Elizabeth George come to mind as a means of comparison to what I'm talking about. Reading Patterson feels like eating with a really bad cold (which I'm currently nursing - hence, the analogy) - I can taste the texture - it's meaty and salty or it's a dougnut and is sweet -but not the actual flavours, spices, essences, things that would make me wonder - what's in this - it tastes so GOOD?! I'll stop ramblng and close by saying that I suppose I'll never stop eating fast food or reading James Patterson, but it'll always be filet mignon and chocolate souflee that I will dream of.
kymmayfield on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
wow this was great. one of the best in the alex cross series. As soon as I thought i knew who the killer was it proved me wrong. There were times in the book that i thought i would start to cry but then was smiling in triumph as James Patterson did it again with the emotional attachment that he is so go at. A must read for any suspense/mystery lover.
debavp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm glad Cross has finally been able to make decision and move forward in life at the conclusion of this. There's still enough uncertainty to make you want to read the next installment. And it was nice for Sampson to reveal more of his character as well. I didn't see that coming :)
SonicQuack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A refreshing change of direction in the series as Patterson presents Alex Cross's final case as a detective. This time Alex helps out long time friend Sampson as an old colleague of his is framed for murder. Sampson and Cross find themselves embroiled in a murder hunt within the confines of the American military, definitely new ground in this series. Three Blind Mice is also the most character driven Cross book so far, with plenty of narrative around Sampson and Cross's personal lives. This doesn't affect the usual Patterson pace and there is plenty of intrigue and certainly enough action sequeneces to keep those pages turning.
amacmillen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
8th in the Dr. Cross Series.A Dr. Cross novel. This book is about military assassins who are hired to frame military people for murders that they commit. A general from west Point is the 4th mouse. Everything stems from Vietnam and atrocities that the general was involved with.
Grandeplease on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story moves rapidly. It is laced with violence and death, spiced with thought provoking sermons about capturing family moments and sprinkled with not so subtle jabs at the business of war and some thereby employed.If you need Spock-like logical characters, this tale is not for you. Patterson's Detective Cross will annoy you when he repeatedly puts himself in harm's way - sometimes alone. Likely equally annoying will be the fact the Patterson does not slow the plot by taking time to explain how Detective Cross and his partner John Sampson are able to spend weeks solving crime(s) with no apparent connection to the District of Columbia - their employer.Read for entertainment, not to escape the ugliness that life brings to some.
skinglist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Journal entry 2 by SKingList from New York, New York USA on Thursday, April 14, 2005I liked this one, but not as much as some of the others in the AC series. I always liked the bit of the personal touch--about Nana and his kids--but I'm not really interested in Alex's sneaking off to be with Jamilla, or Sampson's private nurse, but I guess that's the non-romance fan in me.All in all, a good book. Well written and trying to find out who the head honcho was and not sorting it out until the last chapters.
ulfhjorr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fast pace helps pull readers along in what was, otherwise, a rather bland offering. The earlier Alex Cross books were a bit more exciting and fun to read, while this one seemed a little off.
TinyDancer11 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great one of Patterson's Alex Cross novels.
mramos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
James Paterson's narrative style has improved with this writting. We once again follow Alex Cross as he works on a homicide case. But this time, he is brought into the case by his best friend and partner John Sampson. An old army budy of John's from Vietnam, a decorated veteran with a perfect record, is convicted of a brutal murder. And Alex can not accept this. He ask Alex to investigate this crime as a favor. As they delve into the murder, they find that there is more then one crime associated with the Army that have the same profile. The army does not cooperate with Cross, and we are left wondering if they are protecting their own, or hiding something. There are a lot of distractions in this book, and some background. We learn why John feels like he was rasied by Alex's grandmother, Nana. The fact that John servered in Vietnam before going to the police academy. Both John and Alex have new budding relationships. And Nana is sick. As usual, we know who the killers are toward the begining of the book. And we get to see things from the killers propsective as our hero, Alex Cross tries to catch them. Still, the book is a page turner and I read it in one day.
Djupstrom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interest storyline with the addition of another friend, and not just the sexually ambiguous John Sampson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a good book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RandyTramp More than 1 year ago
Ready to resign from the Washington D.C. Police Force, Detective Alex Cross takes a case he can't resist. His friend, John Sampson, asks him to help prove a Vietnam buddy is innocent. One of the reasons I like Alex Cross is his family life. Alex is a year old, Damon twelve and Jannie is a teenager. Then there's Nana. And girlfriend, Jamilla Hughes. The scenes go back-and-forth between the murder investigation and home. Alex is a tough guy with a teddy bear heart. If this book would be rated it would be "R" for the bedroom scenes and language. I'm not a fan of that, thus my four-star rating. If not for that, it'd be five. The pacing of the book is great. It's like the tide coming in from the ocean. There's a build up, then the crashing of the waves. As the reader, we knew the who (Almost) but we didn't know the why. That was the fun of the book, not finding out until the very end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has a great story and I didn't think half of what happened was gonna happen. Most of the time I can see what's coming or at least have my mind in the right direction but this one threw me for a loop!! Worth the time to read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago