Alex Cross (novel series)
the second novel in the series
Alex Cross is a crime, mystery, and thriller novel series written by James Patterson. Focusing on protagonist Alex Cross as he fights off against threats to his family and Washington, D.C., Cross is a widowed father and detective; his wife died leaving him with his children, Damon and Janelle as well as his grandmother "Nana Mama". The series is narrated in first-person perspective by Alex Cross, yet unusually also narrates from the villains' point of view in third person.
The series has been published in both the United States and UK, in paperback and hardcover editions. The books are currently being published by Little, Brown. The first book in the series, Along Came a Spider, was released in 1993 to positive reviews, spawning a series of over twenty subsequent novels. The series has led to three films, Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls, and Alex Cross (a reboot) with a possible sequel, despite very negative reception from films.
Alex Cross is a widower-detective-father who often fights against threatening villains—and criminals—who wish to kill Cross and others. It mainly focuses on Cross trying to solve the very difficult cases while attempting to mend his relationship with his family and solve the case. This occurs in many novels, for example in Merry Christmas, Alex Cross, Cross misses out on Christmas Eve and Christmas itself to focus on finding and defeating a min-terrorist group. Through the course of books, he is constantly faced by Kyle Craig, the "Mastermind" who wants to kill Cross, later because of revenge for Alex putting him in prison. In most recent books, Cross sometimes works with—or against—the President/Secret Service in a few books such as Along Came a Spider, Jack & Jill, I, Alex Cross, and Kill Alex Cross. In the first few novels, his motive for solving the crimes and cases is usually his deceased wife, Maria, eventually becoming more than that. Cross later reveals another reason for trying to solve the cases: so he can protect his family from danger. Cross currently lives on Fifth Street in Southeast Washington, D.C., along with grandmother, Nana Mama, children, Damon, Janelle and Alex Jr., and his current—and new—wife, Brianna Stone-Cross.
When Alex was 9, his father died of alcoholism, a year after his mother died. He went to Washington, D.C., to live with his grandmother—Nana Mama. During his childhood, he met his later best friend John Sampson. He also later met his wife, Maria, in Washington, and married her. After giving birth to two children, a few months or years later, she is murdered. Alex later meets a woman named Christine, who becomes pregnant, giving birth to an additional third child for the Cross family—Alex Jr. She later leaves Alex Jr. with Alex dealing with traumatization over her kidnapping in Pop Goes the Weasel. Afterwards, she tried claiming custody over Alex Jr. "Ali" and succeeded. However, she later gave Ali back to Alex, who had joined the FBI at the time. His deadliest foes are Geoffrey Shafer, Gary Soneji, and Kyle Craig; all three have been killed through the course and events of the book series.
In Cross, Alex discovers who really killed his wife, and will do anything to take down her murderer. He learns he was chasing a false killer, and the real killer is Jimmy Hats, whom Sampson killed long ago. At the end of the novel, Alex comes to terms with Maria's death and moves on with his life. Double Cross sees Alex as he falls in love again—with detective Bree Stone; he must also assist her in the case of DCAK, a murderer, known as DC Audience Killer, as he retired from the FBI before the events of Cross. In I, Alex Cross, he decides to find and solve the murder case in which his deceased niece, Caroline Cross, was involved in due to her being a victim. He later learns who the murderer is—the president's husband—but the murderer is later killed by an agent from the Secret Service. Also in the book, Alex proposes to Bree and she accepts, becoming his fiancée. By Cross Fire, Alex and Bree get married and face off once more against Kyle Craig, who dies at the end. With Kyle dead, Alex, Bree, and his family experience a sense of peace, something they haven't felt for a long time.
In Kill Alex Cross, after Nana Mama finds a girl trying to steal from their house, she and Bree agree to adopt the girl towards the end of the book; he also goes on the case to rescue the new president's children. In Merry Christmas, Alex Cross, Alex risks everything to solve a case, stop possible murders, help a church, and must use every skill he knows of to help him solve the case and may not make it to Christmas dinner alive. Alex misses Christmas which upsets him and his wife, Bree. In Alex Cross, Run renowned plastic surgeon, Elijha Creem, is arrested and wants revenge on Alex. Alex eventually defeats Creem. However, another antagonist of the novel kills Ava. Alex, in retaliation, with Sampson and Bree find the killer and arrest him. At the end of the novel, several issues are left unresolved, such as Alex's lifetime problem: endangering his family's life as well as his own. He ponders whether he shall stay with the Metro Police. His therapist assures him he will eventually outgrow the issue, or solve it somehow. There is also some unresolved issues between Alex and Bree as well, but their love for each other continues to remain strong, helping them recover.
Cross My Heart is the twenty-first novel in the series. For most of the novel, Alex is trying to solve a double killer case in which the murderers kill prostitutes. Soon Alex and Bree learn that there is only one murderer, who has multiple personalities and arrest him. Additionally, Bree is searching for Ava, when Alex realizes that she may have killed a girl, and faked her own death. Halfway through the novel, Damon is offered a ride home by a strange woman - throughout the novel it's revealed that the Cross family were being watched - the woman drugs Damon afterwards. Meanwhile her accomplice kidnaps the rest of the family including Bree, Ali, Nana Mama, and Alex's daughter. They alert Cross he can do nothing to try to save his family. Meanwhile Ava reappears along with Sampson, assuring him to continue life normally while they handle the kidnappings. The novel was released in November 2013. A subsequent novel titled Hope to Die will be released November, 2014 and continue the events if Cross My Heart.
- Alex Cross, the protagonist—and main character—of the series. His wife was murdered by an assassin, which leaves Cross a widower with two children and his grandmother, Nanna Mama. In the first few books he is alone until meets and falls in love with a woman named Christine, who he has a third child—a boy—named Alex Jr with. "Ali" is the short, nickname for his third son. During the books he is hunted by a criminal/threat in Washington, D.C., where he lives, which causes Christine to leave him out of fear. He is a detective who tries to be as close to his family as can be. After Christine left him, Alex later started dating again, but some of the women have either died and left him over the course of the novels. By the novel Cross, Alex discovers that an assassin named Jimmy Hats Galati, murdered his wife and was killed by his best friend, John Sampson, who didn't want Alex to go down the road of revenge. Now having solved the murder of his wife, Alex finds the will to move on with his life, finding peace for the very first time. In the newest books, he begins a relationship with Bree Stone, whom he eventually marries. Since Roses Are Red up to Cross Fire, The Mastermind, Kyle Craig, has been his primary enemy. It is unknown exactly why Craig wants to kill Alex however. Craig is to have supposedly died in Cross Fire. Cross allows the adopted girl, Ava (after Nana Mama finds her in Kill Alex Cross), to live with his family. Alex marries Bree in Cross Fire and is finally at peace with her. He has had three major love interests throughout the series, Maria Cross (his deceased wife), Christine Johnson (his ex-girlfriend, whom he'd been engaged to), and Bree (his current wife). He has been friends with Sampson since he was 10, meaning they've been friends since he first arrived in Washington, D.C. In Alex Cross, Run, Alex faces several cases and his life becomes severely complicated. When Ava is murdered, he finds her killer and avenges her death along with Bree. However, he still faces several issues: problems with his new wife, Bree; what he will do after Ava's death and weather he will continue being a detective; if he may have children with Bree; and if he will ever stop having to face the recurring problem in his life - endangering himself and his family all the time. His shrink, Finally, says she will help him deal with his life for as long as it takes.
- John Sampson, is Cross's best friend since childhood and also Alex's partner. Sampson, in Cross is known to have killed Jimmy Hats Galati, Alex's deceased wife's killer. John explains that he didn't want to see Jimmy get away with murdering Alex's wife and also didn't want to see Alex go down a road of revenge and had decided to avenge Alex's wife for him. In another book, Double Cross he is taken hostage while trying to solve the case with Cross's new love interest, Brianna Stone. In earlier books, the first few, he is seen to have had been in love with Nina Childs, who dies in Pop Goes the Weasel causing him to vow to find the killer and get him. In Along Came a Spider some background history is told, one being that when Alex moved to Washington, D.C., after his parents' death (and his move with grandmother Nana Mama) he instantly became friends with Alex. They were known for robbing grocery stores when they were teenagers. Sampson got married in Four Blind Mice to a woman, who he fell in love with, named Billie, despite his reluctance since he is afraid of being a father because his parents were so horrible. It is said that Billie is first and only girl that he has ever made love to. In Alex Cross, Run Sampson informs Alex that Ava has been killed and later assists Bree and Alex in avenging Ava's death.
- Brianna Stone/Cross, who is Cross' girlfriend/now wife, and was also a detective. She first appeared in Double Cross, having started a relationship with Alex and falling in love with him. Bree is described as a tough Burearu detective, and is put on the case for DCAK, which she works with Alex and Sampson. At the beginning and near the end of the novel, she professes her love for Alex. In Cross Country, Bree and Alex's relationship continues to grow more stronger. She helps him investigate The Tiger, especially when his family is kidnapped by the killer also. In I, Alex Cross, Bree is shown living with Alex at the Cross home. She continues to stay at the Cross house to take care of Nana Mama, after Nana nearly dies. In the end of the book, Alex proposes to her and she happily accepts. In Cross Fire, both Bree and Alex look forward to their wedding, while at the same time dealing with Kyle Craig. They get married after facing off against Kyle Craig "the Mastermind" one final time. At the end of the novel, Kyle is killed and Bree and Alex are finally enjoying a life of peace together. In Kill Alex Cross she discovers a homeless girl trying to steal from the Cross house, and later agrees to adopt her due to Nanna's wishes. In Merry Christmas, Alex Cross she seems distraught and annoyed that Alex must be away from his family on Christmas. However, at the end of the novel, Alex and her share a dance while on a double date with Sampson and Billie, and they share a kiss. In Alex Cross, Run she is distraught and wants vengeance when Ava, a young girl she and Nana adopted, is burned alive. She and Sampson assist Alex in capturing Ava's murderer and killing him. At the end of the novel, she and Alex continue to recover from the death of Ava and their love for each other remains strong.
- Nana Mama, the matriarch of the Cross family. She is Cross's grandmother that took him in when he was 10, since both his parents had died. She is currently entering her 90s, having nearly died in I, Alex Cross and adopting a young girl named Ava in Kill Alex Cross. She is described as a very "old woman", but tough for her age. She is also described by Alex as "stubborn". She usually argues with Alex over several things thus Alex dumbs her as "old woman" and "stubborn". She approves of Alex's new wife, Bree Stone, and considers her to be a daughter to her. Nana was once married to Alex's grandfather, who she was deeply in love with. Once he died, Nana never married again or dated, as it was mentioned in Four Blind Mice. She is also known for always having the last word against Alex.
- Damon, Janelle, Ali, Ava, Alex's three children. Damon and Janelle were the first to be born, born to Maria Cross—Damon is the oldest—while "Ali" Alex Jr. has a different mother and is the youngest too. His mother is a woman that Alex has known since Jack & Jill, but started dating in Cat and Mouse named Christine Johnson. In Pop Goes the Weasel, she gives birth to Ali, while being held by Geoffrey Shaffer. She leaves Ali with Alex in Roses Are Red. In Double Cross Damon goes away to a prep school in Massachusetts called 'Crushing' and doesn't return until Cross Country. Ali, however, is not featured in Merry Christmas, Alex Cross since he is supposedly spending Christmas with his true mother, Christine, who is briefly mentioned in the book. Ava, a girl that Nana Mama finds in Kill Alex Cross and adopts, is first seen/mentioned in Kill Alex Cross where she tries to steal but is caught by Bree and Nana Mama. She returns, along with Damon and Jannie in the 19th novel in the series, Merry Christmas. Ava is sent to a housing home for orphans again sometime during the events of Alex Cross, Run, for doing drugs. At the end of the novel, she is burned alive by one of Alex's newest nemesis. Alex's deceased wife, Maria, was once pregnant with his third child, before Ali came along, but died when Maria was killed.
- Christine Johnson is Alex's one-time-girlfriend and ex-fiancé. She first appeared in Jack and Jill where her husband is killed and she meets Alex. In Cat and Mouse she begins dating him and the two fall in love with each other. In Pop Goes the Weasel she is kidnapped for over a year; during that time she is pregnant with Alex's child and gives birth at the end. Alex is able to find her and their new born son, Ali. In Roses Are Red she becomes paranoid since the events of the previous novel, and the baby, who she names after Alex, is living with her. She has changed and begins to distant herself from Alex, fearing the work he does and believes that her life is ruined because of him. She eventually leaves for Seattle and also leaves Alex "Ali" with Alex. She returns in Big Bad Wolf to claim custody over Ali. In Mary, Mary she appears in court for custody of Ali and wins, but near the end of the book, she gives Alex Ali. She returns in Cross Fire to spend time with Alex, after hearing that he was going to marry Bree Stone, but ends up angering him and leaves after her time with Ali. During the novel, it is hinted that she still harbors some love for Alex. She, though does not appear, is mentioned to be spending Christmas with Ali in Merry Cristmas, Alex Cross.
- Maria Simpson/Cross is Alex Cross's deceased wife and first love. Despite only being mentioned in the first eleven books in the series, Maria makes her very first appearance in a flashback setting in Cross. She is described as being "too short" and having a "beautiful smile". Before being killed, Maria was working as a social worker in Washington D.C. when she met Alex Cross for the very first time. They first met at St. Anthony's Hospital and fell in love soon after. They married and moved into an apartment together. Damon was born later in the marriage and Janelle was born sometime before Maria's death. Maria was revealed to be pregnant with their third child, during the events of Cross. When Alex came to pick up Maria from her work place, Maria was shot by an unknown sniper and died in Alex's arms. Her last words to Alex were that she loved him. It remains unknown if the shooter was aiming for Maria or Alex. After her death, Alex moved out of the apartment and back to his grandma's place. Maria's murderer was never caught, until the novel Cross, where it is revealed that a mob assassin named Jimmy Hats Galati, was responsible for killing Maria. John Sampson was the one to avenge Maria, to spare Alex from losing what was left of his soul. Maria has been the reason for Alex's moviation of taking on cases from the very beginning of the series. After the events of Cross, Alex has managed to let go of Maria, allowing himself to move on with his life.
- Kyle Craig/The Mastermind the main antagonist of the series. He is first introduced in the earlier novels, but doesn't become an actual villain until Roses Are Red where he robs the bank and goes on a killing spree while trying to kill Cross. He is stopped by Cross in the following book Violets Are Blue and is put into prison. In Double Cross he escapes from prison and begins a new massacre while another murderer, known as DCAK begins a new reign of terror, and runs away. He gives a taunting phone call, foreshadowing his return, in I, Alex Cross and he in fact does return in Cross Fire in which he disguises himself as Max Siegel and tries to kill Alex again. He once again fails and, shortly before going to prison again, picks up an officer's gun and kills himself—as well as two officers—by shooting a gas tank. He was once a FBI agent and friend of Alex, but was later explained to have always been a murderer. He had killed his abusive father, presumably killed one of his brothers, and later killed his mother. In Violets Are Blue several things are explained about Craig: in Kiss the Girls he went to college and killed with the villains; he is presumably an atheist, believing he is second to no one; he wants to kill Alex because he wants to prove to himself that he is truly smarter than Cross—but his reason is later changed to be for ruining Kyle's life by sending him to prison. He is described as a "woman hater" despite possibly having a crush on Kate McTiernan, a main protagonist in Kiss The Girls. Craig helps Alex on several cases since the first book, and even offers Alex a job at the FBI at one point, which Alex accepts after Kyle is arrested. Kyle is briefly seen in the films Kiss The Girls and Along Came a Spider, and may appear in Double Cross (a new in the works sequel) as the character appeared in the novel. In the new novel, Double Cross, Kyle escapes from prison and murders a few people while on the loose, with his mother being one of the victims. At the end of the novel, he is still at large, despite being wounded by Alex and his girlfriend, Bree Stone. Kyle makes another full return in Cross Fire, where he takes the identity of Max Siegel by plastic surgery. He uses his new identity to gain the trust of Alex once more before revealing himself at the end of the novel. He engages in a final fight with Alex and his wife, Bree Stone, where he is wounded and arrested. Not wanting to go back to prison, Kyle kills himself by shooting an oxygen tank.
- Gary Soneji/The Son of Lindbergh: is the main antagonist of Along Came a Spider, where he kidnaps two children from rich families and is captured later on. He meets Alex for the first time and promises to kill him in the nearby future. He is sent to prison by the end of the book and is still there in Kiss the Girls. However, he escapes in Jack & Jill and later calls Alex by the end, promising to see him soon. In the fourth book Cat and Mouse he tries to kill Cross (as well as a man who had raped him in prison), but is defeated/killed by Cross when he tries to throw a fire grenade but accidentally drops it on himself, burning him alive. Later on in the novel, his friend later attacks Alex as instructions from Soneji. While, Kyle Craig is the series' main antagonist, Soneji is Alex's deadliest adversary, and is therefore much more powerful in his own way than the "Mastermind" who is not as deadly as Soneji but is depicted as the main villain. Soneji appears in the movie adaptation Along Came A Spider, but dies in the film—which does not happen in that novel, as he dies in Cat and Mouse. He also gave the Cross family a cat in Jack and Jill which they keep and start getting attached to it; despite Alex's initial hesitant response—thinking the cat to be rigged with a device of some sorts or some such. The cat is forever mentioned and sometimes seen in most books. Soneji is also seen in two books; and is mentioned in several others.
- DCAK standing for DC Audience Killer, brother and sister Anthony and Sandy start a killing spree, which Bree Stone is put on the case, while Alex decides to help and nicknames them 'DCAK.' They appear in Double Cross. In the book they are believed to be lovers, while brother and sister. In the novel they kidnapp Sampson—keeping him hostage—while Alex and Bree stop them. Sandy is killed while Anthony is chased in hot pursuit by Alex. He is eventually shot and defeated; while Alex learns that Kyle Craig is back and in D.C., after learning DCAK was sort of working with the Mastermind (since they 'admired him). Craig is shot and flees; at a hospital, Anthony vows revenge on Alex.
- Geoffrey Shafer/The Weasel, the antagonist of Pop Goes the Weasel and secondary antagonist in London Bridges. Shafer is responsible for kindapping Christine Johnson, Alex's fiancee at the time, and killing his own wife, Lucy, in Pop Goes the Weasel. He is not seen until three or four books later (London Bridges) where he is forced to work with the Wolf, a serial killer and powerful organized crime boss. He is then assigned to keep Alex Cross busy and later decides to hunt down Alex in London, only to be fatally wounded and killed by Cross when he confronts him. In the novel Pop Goes The Weasel, Geoffrey competes with a small group of other people, known as The Horsemen to kill people, or "live their fantasies". He is also known to have started killing many years before he was even introduced and has gone over 100 murders. Shafer is described as one of Alex's worst enemies.
- The Wolf, is the antagonist of both The Big Bad Wolf and London Bridges. The Wolf is considered to be the first and only super-villian that Alex Cross has ever faced in the series. He is responsible for a network of human smuggling in The Big Bad Wolf and is never caught. His identity is remained unknown until the end of London Bridges, when he returns with Geoffrey Shafer to take on Alex. The Wolf's real name is revealed to be "Anton Christyakov". The Wolf is in control of an organization that proves to be very powerful in the events of the novel. At the end of London Bridges, Anton kills himself with poison, in order to avoid the authorities. Despite Kyle Craig, Gary Soneji, and Geoffrey Shafer, The Wolf has proven to be more dangerous than any them. Being able to keep his identity safe, forcing other killers to do his bidding, and taking on world governments.
- Along Came a Spider, in the original and first chapter of the Cross series, Gary Soneji, a "Math teacher", kidnaps Maggie Rose Dunne, famous actress, Katherine Dunne's daughter, and her best friend hostage. However, as things start to with one of them being kidnapped—again—and the other killed, Alex Cross, a Washington, D.C., detective is on the case with Secret Service agent Jezzie Flannigan to discover what really happened.
- In 2001, the novel was adapted into a film starring Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross, Monica Potter as Jezzie Flannigan, and Michael Wincott as Soneji.
- Kiss the Girls, the Cassanova, a new murderer and collector, strikes and even kidnapps Alex's niece, Naomi, forcing Alex to come into uncharted territory. While working with Kate McTernian, a surgeon who escaped Cassanova, Alex discovers that this new murderer is in fact a woman collector and that there are more women, along with Naomi, being held captive. But there is another killer doing the same thing on the opposite side of the country as well.
- In 1997, the novel was adapted into a film starring Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross and Ashley Judd as Kate McTernian.
- Jack & Jill, Alex faces against Jack and Jill, a new pair of murderers, who kill famous people and name one of their targets to be the President of the United States. While Alex tries to stop Jack and Jill, there is a new killer at Damon's school, forcing him to work two cases at once. But that isn't all that has hit Alex's life, especially when meets a strange woman named Christine Johnson.
- Cat and Mouse, now dating Christine, Alex feels that he is ready to move on, until Gary Soneji strikes back at Alex, forcing him to go after his oldest nemesis one more time. But while Alex is chasing Soneji, a new killer, Mr. Smith, is running across Europe as well.
- Pop Goes the Weasel, as Alex proposes to Christine, a series or murders rage out of hand in Southeast, forcing Alex to investigate. But when Christine is kidnapped—and the kidnapper possibly the Southeast killer—Alex will do anything to solve the case and save his love.
- Roses are Red, as Alex struggles with internal problems with his life, he is forced to investigate a series of bank robberies and a new killer, The Mastermind. Assigned with a new partner, FBI agent Betsey Cavalierre, Alex will stop at nothing to know the identity of the Mastermind himself.
- Violets Are Blue, with the Mastermind still on the loose, Alex must investigate a series of killings that relate to cult of vampires. Assigned with San Francisco Inspector, Jamilla Hughes, Alex travels across the United States to find out who are doing all of these murders. But, meanwhile, the Mastermind is planning is own mission to kill Alex once and for all.
- Four Blind Mice, as Alex prepares to retire from the police department, his partner, John Sampson, asks him to investigate a recent murder and help clean the name of his friend, who is being accused of the crime. As Alex and John go after three Army Rangers, who have served in Vietnam War, they discover that the murders may go on farther than they original realized.
- The Big Bad Wolf, with Alex officially working for the FBI now, he faces his first assignment to take down a network that is kidnapping people and selling them for sex slavery, which is being controlled by "The Wolf", an unknown Russian mobster. Meanwhile, Alex also faces the return of his ex-fiancée, Christine.
- London Bridges, as Alex investigates a bombing in New Mexico, he also discovers that Geoffrey Shafer has returned and is teaming up with The Wolf. Facing two of his biggest enemies yet, Alex travels from the United States to London, Paris, and back again in order to take them down. But the mystery of The Wolf's identity lingers on, forcing Alex to do whatever it takes to discover who he is, but it may cost him his life...
- Mary, Mary, while on vacation in Los Angeles with his family, Alex is pulled onto a last minute case to chase down a mysterious murderer, who is killing famous people. But at the same time, Alex must face a new threat that Christine, his ex-fiancée, may cause to his family. While facing many problems at home, Alex must solve the murders before it's too late and also make a powerful decision in the end as well.
- Cross, in the 12th book in the Cross series, Cross retires from the FBI and from his life as a detective. Now returning to private practice, Alex is enjoying his new life, until an old enemy from his past resurfaces, forcing him to work with his former partner, Detective John Sampson to find him. But this killer isn't like any other. This killer just maybe the one who killed Maria Cross, Alex's long deceased wife...
- In 2012, the novel was adapted into a film, titled Alex Cross, starring Tyler Perry as Alex Cross and Matthew Fox as The Butcher (renamed Picasso in the film).
- Double Cross, Alex has found love with his new girlfriend, Detective Bree Stone, and is enjoying his retired life. But when a new killer, known as DCAK, starts killing people in front of an audience, Alex comes out of his retirement and is officially reinstated with the police department. Working with Bree and his former partner, John Sampson, Alex goes on a hunt for not one, but two killers at the same time. Meanwhile, Kyle Craig (aka the Mastermind), escapes from prison and plans to finish his rivalry with Alex.
- In 2012, it was announced that Double Cross will be adapted and be made into a sequel for the movie Alex Cross. Tyler Perry said he would return as his role as Alex Cross again. A deal is being finalized by James Patterson and Tyler Perry.
- Cross Country, when a woman that Alex knew is killed by the Tiger, a new murderer, who is traveling between America and Africa, killing people along with his group of teenagers, Alex heads to Africa. But this time he is faced with a whole new challenge that will test him in every way. But what Alex experiences and discovers will change everything.
- Alex Cross's Trial, in this story-within-a-story concept, Alex writes about one of his ancestors, Abraham Cross, who teams up with a lawyer named Ben Corbett to help end the series of lynching that are happening in Eudora, Mississippi. But as they continue to investigate, they discover that the Ku Klux Klan maybe resurfacing and a dark secret is revealed.
- I, Alex Cross when Alex's niece, Caroline, is murdered by a serial killer/rapist known as Zeus, Alex takes on the case and will go to the ultimate depths to find the killer. But as he and his girlfriend, Bree Stone, uncover secrets to Caroline's past, they also uncover a darker secret about the killer. Whilst in the midst of the investigation, Alex has problems at home and comes to a decision about his relationship with Bree.
- Cross Fire as Alex and Bree Stone prepare for their wedding, a series of murders causes Alex to investigate as he begins to chase after two specialized killer who are killing off corrupt officials. Meanwhile, Kyle Craig comes back to finish off what he began in Double Cross, going as far as he never has before, he is out to exact revenge upon Cross and his family.
- Kill Alex Cross when the President's children are kidnapped. Alex is put on the case and seems relentless to give up, while DC faces a threat from a society known as the "Family".
- Merry Christmas, Alex Cross, when Cross' church is robbed he goes to investigate and is later put on a case of a series of murders. As he struggles to make it home for Christmas, a new and terrible threat forces him to investigate, making his wife, grandma, and children scared from him. Will Alex be needing a miracle to make it home for Christmas?
- Alex Cross, Run, in the 20th novel in the series, Alex must take on three crimes at the same time and must chase down three killers. But while he is struggling to do his job, he also faces problems at home as well. But all the while, a new enemy is stalking Alex and is wanting to claim vengeance. Can Alex survive?
- Cross My Heart, Alex Cross has been a family man at heart—he loves his children, his grandmother, and his beautiful wife Bree. Alex Cross has managed to stop serial killers and survive. But all of that is about to change. When a brand-new foe targets Alex's family, our hero finds himself in a whole new game. If he tries to save the his family or try to stop the killer, they die. Can Alex protect his family and stop a new killer at the same time?
Overall there have been three theatrical films of the Alex Cross series, all met with negative reviews, and poor box-office success, especially the newest film, Alex Cross. So far there have been two films (Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider) both met to poor box-office. Due to this, a reboot franchise was ordered. Tyler Perry was cast, his first role in a film that he doesn't direct, produce, write, etc. Despite three poorly received films, a fourth film is in pre-production and Tyler Perry of the 2012 film will come back. The reboot franchise is based on books Cross and Double Cross (the fourth adaptation of the series).
Two films, based on the first Cross novels, have been made starring Morgan Freeman (Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider), both released to negative reaction. Both of them are very loose adaptations of the books, with Along Came a Spider changing many of the plot's elements, while Kiss the Girls changes nearly the entire story's plot, except for the fact that Alex's niece is kidnapped and its primary antagonist is Casanova. A significant, and well-noted, change upon the books in the movies is that John Sampson is not white but African American, like Alex himself. Though if you go back to the first few books he is black, but in the newest books he is indeed white. Kyle Craig, the book series' main antagonist, is briefly seen in Kiss the Girls. Along Came a Spider's adaptation was also changed with the film taking out major plot elements or changing them. For instance, Jezzie Flannagan and Alex Cross are dating in the book, but are described as only friends in the film. Also, the most important changed elements is Gary Soneji dies, which would therefore erase him from any future adaptation of Cat and Mouse, nor does Soneji escape from prison, nor is the trial in court seen or mentioned in the film. A proposed third film based on Pop Goes the Weasel!, but after Along Came a Spider was panned at the box office, the plans were canceled.
Many years after Along Came a Spider's release, a sequel was revealed to be in the works, set for a 2011 release date. Idris Elba was attached to the film as the role of Alex Cross in the film. It was rumored to be based on I, Alex Cross, but director Rob Cohen denied this, revealing he only titled the film like such so as to tell fans: "their hero was back"; to avoid confusion the film's name was changed to Alex Cross with Tyler Perry replacing Elba. Edward Burns and Matthew Fox were later confirmed to star as Cross's partner, Tommy Kane, and the main antagonist, Picasso. The film was later confirmed to be based on the 12th book in the series, Cross. The film was released October 17, 2012, to mixed to negative reviews. The film was a minor box office success, grossing $32 million against its $23 million budget. Matthew Fox and Tyler Perry were praised for their roles in the film however.
Despite negative reception, a sequel based on Double Cross is currently being created, with Perry and Patterson in early talks for a deal for a sequel. Perry was confirmed to reprise his role as Cross for the sequel. The film still needs casting and a script however. A deal is being finalized between Patterson and Perry.
However, as of August 2013, no official word has been said on the sequel, with only news of Patterson and Perry signed on for the film.
The book series have been released on Paperback and Hardcover, while it can be listened to on Audio Book or excerpts from the series can be read online at the official JamesPatterson.com website or others. Merry Christmas, Alex Cross, the latest book in the Cross series was reported to, unlike its predecessors, be barely over 300 pages. Most of the recent novels have usually grossed between 300 and 400, with a rarity of over 400 pages. The films have also subsequently been released in 1997, 2001, and 2012 with both Tyler Perry and Morgan Freeman both getting the chance of portraying Cross in the films, most recently Perry in the 2012 reboot.
The series has been given mixed to positive reviews, with the exception of the 18th book Kill Alex Cross, which has been given mixed to negative reviews, and Cross Country, which received mixed reviews. Many have criticized Kill Alex Cross while few have given it positive reviews. So far, the most positive received book is rather Double Cross or I, Alex Cross. The series has at numerous times been on the New York Times Bestseller list for several weeks. Good reads.com said "I, Alex Cross is without a doubt the best, revealing new surprises and scares at every turn. It is even scarier than Along Came a Spider—and by far, better! This is Patterson at his best." Double Cross was on the New York Times Bestseller list (at #1) for numerous weeks before being eventually surpassed.
The film series, however, does not fare well with all three films being given negative reception, especially the newest film Alex Cross due to poor reviews and terrible at the box-office. Kiss the Girls was the best received film in the series.
The series has been running from 1990s to 2010s, and is ongoing. There have been twenty books published so far, with at least one more on the way. Nearly all have made bestsellers lists and garnered favorable reviews, especially Double Cross, Cross Fire, I, Alex Cross, and Alex Cross, Run. Cross My Heart, a 21st novel was released November, 2013. The novel, ending with a cliffhanger, will be followed up by a sequel called Hope to Die November 22, 2014 according to Patterson in recent interviews.
- "Cross My Heart (Alex Cross) [Hardcover]". Amazon.
- "Cross My Heart". Barnes & Noble.
- Patterson, James (2013). Cross My Heart. USA: Little, Brown. p. 448. ISBN 0316210919.
- Frappier, Rob. "Matthew Fox and Ed Burns Join 'I, Alex Cross'". Screenrant.
- Hammond, Pete (October 18, 2012). "Alex Cross". Retrieved December 17, 2012. "this is Perry's show all the way and he proves he can still deliever something audiences aren't expecting"
- O'Connor, Clint. "'Alex Cross': Tyler Perry becomes James Patterson's detective in new thriller: Review". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved December 17, 2012. "powerful screen presence"
- Fox, Jesse. "An Alex Cross Sequel Is Already in the Works". Vulture. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- "Alex Cross Sequel Double Cross Planned". Coming Soon.net. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- Houx, Damon. "'ALEX CROSS 2' - TYLER PERRY IS ALREADY PLOTTING SEQUEL, 'DOUBLE CROSS'". Screencrush. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- Joseph, Matt. "Tyler Perry To Play Alex Cross Again In Double Cross". We Got This Covered.com. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- Trumbore, Dave. "Tyler Perry and James Patterson Finalize Deal for ALEX CROSS Sequel, DOUBLE CROSS". Collider. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- Patterson, James. "Books".