Alex Cross, a black Washington, D.C., police detective with a Ph.D.
in psychology, and Jezzie Flanagan, a white motorcycling Secret
Service agent, become lovers as they work together to apprehend a
chilling psychopath who has kidnapped two children from a posh
private school. The psychotic villain, who aspires to become more
notorious than Lindbergh baby kidnapper Bruno Hauptmann, is
effectively nightmarish. Atypical characters, sex, sometimes
shocking violence, and several surprising plot twists are all
attention-grabbing, while short chapters with a shifting viewpoint
add brisk pacing and genuine suspense. Patterson's storytelling
talent is in top form in this grisly escapist yarn.