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|Alex Cross character|
|First appearance||Along Came a Spider|
|Created by||James Patterson|
|Portrayed by||Morgan Freeman (Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider)
Tyler Perry (Alex Cross)
|Nickname(s)||Peanut Butter Man|
|Family||Blake Cross (brother, deceased)|
|Spouse(s)||Maria Cross (deceased)
Brianna "Bree" Stone
|Significant other(s)||Eleanor Cox (ex-girlfriend, deceased)
Christine Johnson (ex-fiancé)
|Children||Damon Cross (son)
Janelle "Jannie" Cross (daughter)
Alex "Ali" Cross Jr. (son)
Ava (foster daughter, deceased)
|Relatives||Regina "Nana Mama" Cross (grandmother)
Naomi Cross (niece)
Caroline Cross (niece, deceased)
Character overview 
Cross is an African American detective and psychologist based out of the Southeast quadrant of Washington, D.C. He worked in the homicide division of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPDC), but eventually becomes a Senior Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). After his stint with the FBI, Alex returns to private psychology practice but continues to consult for the MPDC and the FBI as needed, ultimately rejoining the MPDC as a special consultant to the Major Case Squad.
As portrayed by Patterson, Cross is a hopeful but rational man of generally deep emotions. He is a model father and quite empathetic in dealing with the public. Despite the fact that he is highly intelligent, well-educated, and makes a decent living, he chooses to live in the Southeast quadrant of Washington, D.C., an area notorious for its poverty and violent crime. He is very involved in the community, exemplified by his volunteerism at St. Anthony's Parish.
Character biography 
Cross's father died of alcoholism a year after his mother died of lung cancer. Cross was sent to Washington at the age of nine to live with his grandmother, whom he calls Nana Mama. He received a doctorate in psychology from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Upon graduation, he worked as a migrant farm worker for a year. He started a private practice and worked as a psychologist for two years. He eventually decided to become a policeman after he became disillusioned with the politics of the medical community (from Violets Are Blue).
Cross joined the police force because the people in his neighborhood could not afford his services, while white people would not see a "black shrink". He never expected to like it, but he became hooked on solving crimes. He remembers the first case he solved was that of two men who were shot in southeast Washington, and their killings were written off as drug-related. Alex knew the men and began to investigate on his own. One of the men was dating a woman the local drug dealer thought he owned and had the men killed. Once he solved that case he left private practice (from Violets Are Blue).
He lives with his grandmother (Nana Mama) and three children, Damon, Janelle (Jannie), and Alex Jr. (Ali). His wife, Maria Simpson-Cross, a social worker, was murdered. Alex fathered Damon and Jannie with Maria. He fathered Alex Jr. with his ex-fiancée, Christine Johnson. Alex Jr. comes to live with Alex, Nana Mama, and the kids in Roses are Red.
Cross initially carries a revolver in Along Came a Spider but then changes sidearms to a Glock pistol. He drives a 1974 Porsche and bought a Mercedes-Benz R350 as a replacement for Maria's old Toyota, which served as the family car (from the novel Cross). He plays the piano to relax (from the novel Cross) and owns an Abyssinian cat named Rosie, who showed up one day and never left. In Jack and Jill, Gary Soneji telephones Cross saying that it was he who left the cat. Cross teaches his two elder children boxing in his home's basement (from Pop Goes the Weasel).
Cross volunteers at St. Anthony's soup kitchen frequently, where he is known as the "Peanut Butter Man". He began doing this with Maria. His partner in the PD, John Sampson, also volunteers there. Sampson calls Cross "Sugar" as a term of endearment. Cross calls Sampson "Man-Mountain" or "Two-John". They have been best friends since the age of 10 (from Pop Goes the Weasel).
Alex has had bad luck with women. His wife, Maria, was murdered, before the series even starts, and is shown in a flashback scene in Cross. His lover in Along Came a Spider, Jezzie Flanigan, is involved in the kidnapping of two children, for which she is executed by lethal injection. In Kiss The Girls, Cross also developed a deep friendship with Dr. Kateyla "Kate" McTiernan. There were hints of a possible romantic relationship, but they preferred to remain friends, due to the fear that a romantic relationship between them might end badly. Kate returns briefly in Violets Are Blue, and it is revealed that she is getting married, but her friendship with Alex remains strong. It is left believed that she has married since the events of the book. In Jack and Jill, Alex meets Christine Johnson for the first time and falls in love with her by Cat & Mouse, which they started dating. In Pop Goes the Weasel, Alex proposes to Christine and she accepts. But Christine was kidnapped for almost a year by Geoffrey Shafer, during which she was pregnant with Alex's son "Ali". After finding her at the end of the book, Alex meets his son, Ali, for the first time. By Roses Are Red, Christine has changed into a different woman and breaks off the engagement and moves to Seattle, leaving Ali with Alex. A detective named Patsy Hampton, showed some interest in Alex, but she was killed by Geoffrey before anything serious could happen. An FBI agent with whom he had been partnered with in Roses Are Red, Betsey Cavalierre, showed possible romantic interest in Alex and the two began a relationship. She was murdered by a serial killer called "The Mastermind". It was later revealed, by the Mastermind himself, in Violets Are Blue, that Betsey really liked Alex, even more than just a friend, providing that she may have loved him. Later he met a San Francisco Police Department inspector, Jamilla Hughes, with whom he struck up a relationship in Violets Are Blue.. They remained together for a few of the books, even expressing their feelings for each other, but due to living in separate locations and Alex's commitment to his job, they ultimately parted company, on good terms in Mary Mary. After breaking up with Jamilla, Alex meets Jeanne Galleta, who shows some interest in him, but the two never officially start a relationship, despite going out together only once. He began a new relationship with Dr. Kayla Coles, a resident physician at a local hospital in Southeast Washington, D.C. The two met in Four Blind Mice and started dating in Mary Mary. Both Alex and Kayla became really close throughout the middle of the novel, Cross. They were both born in North Carolina but raised in Washington, D.C. She suffered an attack from a junkie and was taken to the hospital, where Alex comforts her. She returned to North Carolina to spend time with her parents and decided to move back there. She has tried to convince Alex to move with her, but he declines the offer, believing that he can never leave Washington behind. Kayla has since moved back to North Carolina. In the novel Cross Country, it is revealed that Alex dated a woman named Eleanor Cox in college. It is believed that she was Alex's first love, even before Maria. Eleanor is killed by The Tiger, which causes Alex a great deal of pain. Also in Cross Country, Alex meets a reporter from The Guardian newspaper, Addanne Tasni, in Nigeria. They share a kiss and show possible romantic interest in each other, but perfer to remain friends. Addanne is killed by the Tiger, the killer that Alex is hunting. His next romantic involvement is with a rising star in the PD, Detective Brianna "Bree" Stone, who is introduced in Double Cross. Having fallen deeply in love with Bree, Alex proposed to her in I, Alex Cross, and she happily accepted. They get married in the 2010 book Cross Fire, finally ending Alex's bad luck.
Maria was originally thought to have been killed by an antagonist named Michael "The Butcher" Sullivan. However, in Cross, Cross learns that his best friend, John Sampson, and another detective, Rakeem Powell, killed Maria's real murderer, Jimmy "Hats". Sampson couldn't bring himself to tell Cross because he knew that Cross would be unable to deal with the fact that he never did it himself. Alex finally comes to terms with Maria's death at the end of the novel, Cross, and is able to move on, hoping that he may find love again in the future.
When Cross needs to talk to someone about his problems, he meets with another psychologist, Dr. Adele. Ultimately, Cross goes to work for her as an analyst. In Double Cross he meets Brianna "Bree" Stone and the two begin a serious relationship. Alex marries her in Cross Fire where he must face off against Kyle Craig again - until Craig kills himself at the end.
Appearances in the Alex Cross series 
- In Along Came a Spider, 1993, Cross deals with the kidnapping of two wealthy children at the hands of Gary Soneji.
- In Kiss the Girls, 1995, Cross battles the serial killers Casanova and The Gentleman Caller, who "collects" beautiful women, including Cross' niece Naomi.
- In Jack & Jill, 1996, Cross goes up against three killers: two who kill high-profile people and one who kills children.
- In Cat and Mouse, 1997, Cross engages Gary Soneji again and after dealing with him crosses paths with another killer, Mr. Smith.
- In Pop Goes the Weasel, 1999, Cross matches wits with a serial killer named Geoffrey Shafer, a British man with diplomatic immunity.
- In Roses Are Red, Cross goes against a criminal calling himself The Mastermind, who commits several brutal bank robberies.
- In Violets Are Blue, Cross goes against a cult of vampires and learns the true identity of the Mastermind, whom he takes down.
- In Four Blind Mice, Cross and his friend, John Sampson, investigate three killers who are framing seemingly innocent soldiers from the Vietnam War.
- In The Big Bad Wolf, Cross, now a member of the FBI, tries to stop a Russian mobster known only as the Wolf.
- In London Bridges, Cross tries to stop the Wolf once and for all, but the Wolf has enlisted the Weasel, Geoffrey Shafer, to help him take Cross down.
- In Mary, Mary, Cross tries to stop Mary Smith, a psychopathic killer targeting Hollywood stars and power-brokers.
- In Cross, Cross, who has left the FBI to open up a private psychology practice, and John Sampson try to stop The Butcher, a serial rapist/murderer who may be somehow connected to the murder of Alex's wife Maria.
- In Double Cross, Alex, still in private practice, rejoins the MPD as a special consultant to the Major Crimes Squad and is joined by John Sampson and new love interest, Det. Brianna Stone, in an effort to stop the DC Audience Killer, a serial killer with a flair for showmanship who may also have some connection to a previous Cross nemesis, The Mastermind.
- In Cross Country, Cross travels to Africa to investigate the death of an old friend, where he is brutally beaten several times. He ultimately unravels a conspiracy linking the killers with the US and African governments.
- In Alex Cross's Trial, Cross writes a novel based on the experiences of his great-uncle Abraham Cross, who in 1906 worked with attorney Ben Corbett (at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt) to investigate the lynching of Black citizens by the Ku Klux Klan in Eudora, Mississippi.
- In I, Alex Cross, Cross gets involved in the investigation of the death of a relative, which leads into a world of fantasy and violence. All leads points to a brutal murderer with White House connections known only as Zeus.
- In Cross Fire, Cross attempts to capture a sniper who is assassinating corrupt politicians. In the midst of the investigation, the Mastermind resurfaces.
- In Kill Alex Cross, The two children of the President of the United States have been kidnapped, with Det. Alex Cross being one of the first to attend the scene and investigate the crime. However, there's a shadowy figure who is using the CIA, FBI and Secret Service to stop him from being involved in the case and shedding light on the disappearances.
- In Merry Christmas, Alex Cross, Cross is put on the case when the local church's poor box is robbed. After solving the case, he must solve a series of murders and may not make it home for Christmas.
- Alex Cross, Run One of Cross's oldest enemies that he put into prison gets out and gets a face job, becoming unrecognisable, he decides to extract revenge upon Cross.
- Cross My Heart Alex Cross must face an unknown foe, who threatens to destroy Alex and his family. Alex has always managed to take down serials killers and survive. But now.... Alex's family is targeted and if he does anything to save them.... they will die. Can Alex protect the ones he loves and stop a brand-new killer at the same time?
The Wolf 
The Wolf is actually several different people. Except for Klara Lodge, all of the individuals taking the name share common characteristics: they are Russian males of considerable height, build, strength, and athleticism; are currently mobsters in the Russian mafia; and are former members of the Soviet Union's KGB intelligence agency.
- In The Big Bad Wolf, Pasha Sorokin is initially believed to be the Wolf. He is known by several aliases, the best known one being Ari Manning, an influential Israeli businessman based in Miami. Cross traces Sorokin's human smuggling ring by taking down his associates, leading to Sorokin's arrest at his Palm Beach mansion. While Sorokin is in custody, his associates are murdered despite being in witness protection. En route to court for his first appearance, the police convoy transporting Sorokin is ambushed. The Russian mobster Anton Christyakov, who actually goes by the nickname Wolf, blows up Sorokin with a rocket launcher to prevent him from betraying their organization.
- In London Bridges, the Wolf threatens to bomb New York City, London, Paris, Frankfurt and Washington, D.C. if his multi-billion dollar ransom demand is not met. He bombs a small town in Nevada and a village in rural England prove his point. There are two notable individuals who go by the alias:
- One Wolf is Klara Lodge, the Czech widow of Martin Lodge, the head of Scotland Yard. Klara holds Cross' family hostage in order to ensure that she receives the ransom money, so she can use it to stop the other "Wolves".
- The real Wolf is revealed to be Anton Christyakov, who had been recruited by CIA Director Thomas Weir and brought out of the Soviet Union in 1990. With the CIA's help, Christyakov was transported to Paris and was reunited with his family. However, they were killed when their house blew up in 1994, leading Christyakov to turn on the CIA. When Cross finishes his meeting with Tolya Bykov, a high-ranking Russian mobster, he recognizes one of his bodyguards as Christyakov and gives chase. Christyakov commits suicide before he can be captured.
The Weasel 
Geoffrey Shafer, also known as "The Weasel", is a colonel in the British Army who later received a posting by MI6 and served as a diplomat in the British embassy in Washington. In Pop Goes the Weasel, it is established that while he was posted in Bangkok, he started a game called the "Four Horsemen" with three other British officers and partook in murdering Thai prostitutes. Shafer became the most emotionally unhinged of the four, continuing his criminal spree after being posted at the embassy, in some cases selling kidnapped women to one of the other "Horsemen." Over the course of the novel, Shafer murders Cross' partner and love interest, Detective Patsy Hampton. Shafer waives his diplomatic immunity to stand trial for Hampton's murder, and is acquitted in a case marked by considerable media sensationalism. In the Bahamas, Shafer kills the other three "Horsemen" and then is apparently knocked out and drowns during an underwater scuffle with Cross. Shafer however survives and under a disguise he returns to England to murder his wife Lucy.
By the events of London Bridges, Shafer settles in Salvador, Brazil, but he is caught by "The Wolf" and forced to work for him, being assigned to kill Cross. In London, England, Shafer holds Cross at gunpoint but fails to anticipate that the latter would fight back; Cross gets the upper hand in the scuffle and shoots Shafer dead.
Kyle Craig 
FBI agent Kyle Craig, also known as "The Mastermind", is considered to be Cross' biggest nemesis. He was originally a close friend of Alex and worked with him to solve big cases, including the kidnapping of his niece in Kiss the Girls. The Mastermind is first introduced in Roses Are Red as the head of a local crime spree involving robberies and murder. At the end of the novel Alex's partner is raped and murdered and the reader is made aware that Kyle Craig is the culprit. In Violets Are Blue Alex discovers his identity and the two have a physical confrontation but eventually Kyle is captured and taken to a maximum security prison in Colorado. Alex visits him often to consult with him on cases until Kyle eventually escapes in Double Cross. Craig continues to taunt Cross throughout the next few novels. In Cross Fire, Craig disguises himself as FBI agent Max Seigel, and gets himself assigned to a case that Cross is investigating. After the case is solved, Craig decides to go after Cross's family while on the beach. At the end, Craig shoots an oxygen tank, killing himself.
The Tiger & Ian Flathery 
In Cross Country, Alex, while investigating the murder of his former girlfriend Eleanor Cox, encounters the Tiger and his crew of savage African teenager boys. Ian Flathery, Alex's CIA agent, seems to set him up before he even steps foot in Africa. In the end of the novel, Alex kills Tiger after a long wild chase and confrontation while Ian Flaherty is compromised and arrested.
Gary Soneji 
Gary Soneji first appears in Along Came a Spider. He kidnaps two children (see Along Came a Spider). At the end of that book Gary Soneji is in prison, but in the next book, Kiss the Girls, Gary escapes from prison yet again. In Jack and Jill, Cross gets a call from Gary saying that he'll be seeing him soon. In Cat and Mouse, Gary finally returns, coming back in the game by opening fire in many subway stations and killing his wife Missy, and locks his daughter Roni in a cellar as when he was as a kid. Eventually Cross finds out that while in prison Gary was raped and now has a disease that will kill him in a matter of time, making Gary go on a mad killing spree. Gary goes after the man who raped him, but Cross catches him and Gary leads them into a mad chase in a subway. Gary reveals he has a bomb and Cross shoots him. Gary falls down and at the same time the bomb goes off, setting Gary on fire. Gary dies. But, later, in the same book, Cross is attacked in his house, and suspicious that it was Gary rise. It is later found out that it was Gary's friend who did it because Gary told him to before.
The Audience Killer 
The Audience Killer, or DCAK (DC Audience Killer), appears in Double Cross. He likes to kill people in front of an audience, hence where Cross gets the name. In Double Cross, Kyle Craig, the Mastermind, escapes from prison and works with the DCAK. It is revealed that there are two people working together as the Audience Killer. A man and a woman. They kidnap Sampson, the lead Cross and Bree to a building where they reveal themselves. They were two of Cross's patients named Anthony and Sandy, though that is not their real names. Anthony and Sandy are lovers but also brother and sister. Bree shoots Sandy, killing her, and Cross and Anthony have a fight to the death-thus when Kyle shows up. Anthony lives and in the hospital promises he will get revenge of Cross.
The Butcher 
The Butcher, or Michael Sullivan, is a serial rapist/murderer who was around when Alex's wife, Maria, got shot. When Michael comes back Alex and Sampson work together and conclude it must be the same guy. Alex figures that he is the one who killed Maria. Cross and Sampson find Michael after some searching, violence, rape, murder (a lot happens in the book) and Michael says he didn't kill Maria. Cross kills him and almost dies himself. Alex later finds out that Michael didn't kill his wife, but rather his own partner, Jimmy "Hats" did.
Zeus is a murderer debuting in I, Alex Cross where he kills Alex's niece, Caroline, causing Alex to relentlessly give a great deal of an effort to solve the case. He eventually discovers Zeus' identity to be the U.S. President's husband, Theodore Vance; however, before Cross can arrest him Secret Service Agent Dan Cormorant kills Vance in loyalty.
Jimmy Hats Galati 
Jimmy Hats is the man who killed Alex Cross's wife, Maria, in Cross. He was an assassin-for-hire and worked for a certain family of the Mob. He was once partners with Michael The Butcher Sullivan before his death. Despite only appearing briefly in a flashback setting in the beginning of the novel and never offically meeting Alex face-to-face, Jimmy plays a big role in the series. Because of killing Maria, Alex became motiviated to find his wife's killer and causes him to take on cases. It is later revealed that John Sampson, Alex's best friend and partner, killed Jimmy, avenging Maria's death. When finding out, Alex is able to let go of Maria's murder and move on.
Portrayal in media adaptations 
Cross is portrayed by Morgan Freeman in the 1997 film Kiss the Girls and the 2001 film Along Came a Spider. Actor/filmmaker Tyler Perry portrays the character in the 2012 reboot film Alex Cross, a loose adaptation of the novel Cross. A sequel to Alex Cross is in pre-production; it is based upon the novel Double Cross.
Each of the Alex Cross novels has been released in Audiobook format. Peter J. Fernandez portrayed Cross on seven Audiobook adaptations. Numerous other actors have portrayed the character, including Shawn Andrew, Michael Boatman, Andre Braugher, Tim Cain, Keith David, Robert Guillaume, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Blair Underwood, and Alton Fitzgerald White.