Violets Are Blue (novel)

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Violets Are Blue
Author James Patterson
Country United States
Language English
Series Alex Cross
Genre Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher Warner Books
Publication date
2001
Preceded by Roses Are Red
Followed by Four Blind Mice

Violets Are Blue is the seventh novel by James Patterson to feature the Washington, D.C. homicide detective and forensic psychiatrist Alex Cross.

Plot summary[edit]

The book begins where Roses are Red ended, with Dr. Alex Cross at the home of murdered FBI Agent Betsey Cavalierre. Alex is in his room when his cellphone rings. Alex answers and the Mastermind is on the line. He tells Alex that he killed Cavalierre to toy with Alex. He's going to kill his grandmother and his children, and John Sampson, Cross' best friend and partner, who was watching over Nana Mama, Damon and Janelle, cannot stop him.

Alex hangs up and calls Sampson, telling him what happened. Sampson tells Alex that the Mastermind can try but will not succeed. Alex is rushing home when the Mastermind calls him back and tells Cross that his family is safe for the moment. He warns Alex that he's next.

Elsewhere, in San Francisco, California, a man and a woman jog through a Golden Gate Park. As they jog, the woman, Martha Wiatt, hears some kind of growling behind them. As they both run faster, she gains some distance between her and her boyfriend, Davis O'Hara. Then, she hears her boyfriend screaming behind her, and runs for help. She sees a van driving by, flags it down, and two people get out. They tell her that she and her boyfriend were chosen. The last thing she sees before dying are vampires.

Later, Kyle Craig calls Alex about a similarity between two murders in San Francisco and a murder in Washington DC that they’d worked on a few months before. The case involved a runaway girl that was found hung from a light fixture in a hotel room.

The FBI requests that he go to San Francisco to meet Inspector Jamilla Hughes. First, Alex takes Jannie and Ali to school but tells them he'll be back for Damon's choir concert. Kyle Craig calls him to make sure he received the information he had faxed. On the flight, he reviews the details of the murders, which include being hung with the blood drained, and remembers that the little runaway girl in DC had died in exactly the same way.

Jamilla picks Cross up at the airport. She takes him to the morgue to see the bodies. A friend of hers, Dr. Allan Pang (a dental expert)is examining the bites on the victims. After reviewing the bites, he deduces that the man was bitten and mauled by a tiger and the girl was bitten by humans.


The two brothers went hunting again at Mill Valley, California. They are given a mission from a person called The Sire.

The Sire instructed them not to bring the cat when they go to kill the couple living inside the house. Inside, the couple were making dinner when Michael and William walked through the unlocked front door. The brothers bite the couple savagely, sucking on their blood. Before killing the woman, Michael whispers to her that they’re vampires.

Jamilla and Alex are working out of her office when the Mastermind calls Alex. The Mastermind tells Alex that he knows about San Francisco and Jamilla. Later that evening, Cross is on the phone with Kyle Craig, who will be working with Cross on the case. Jamilla interrupts and tells Alex that they have to go to San Luis Obispo where they’re going to exhume the body of a girl whose murder could be related to the San Francisco murders. The girl had also been hung, her blood drained.

The next day Alex arrives at the SFPD precinct where Jamilla works. Cross admires her work ethic. Jamilla was reading an e mail sent by the FBI and there had been eight murders similar in California and Nevada. Because of the murder in Washington DC, the FBI is now searching for similar murders on the east coast. That afternoon, Jamilla tells Alex that her friend Tim Bradley, from the San Francisco Examiner, has a few leads for her. Then, they are informed that the killers had struck again.

At the crime scene, Alex discovers that, again, the bodies had been drained of blood and were hanging from the ceiling by a light fixture.

William and Michael watch the story unfold on TV. They were on a mission and the publicity was part of the plan. William tells Michael that he has a plan for that night. The two brothers break into a funeral home and feast on a dead woman who had not yet been embalmed.

Cross is still impressed by Jamilla’s work ethic. Alex is working on trying to find a lead on the tiger. He’s checking with zoos, veterinarians, and animal trainers.

Jamilla calls Alex early the next morning regarding a lead from a reporter friend. They drive to Los Angeles to meet with a woman who had gotten away after an attack by two men, but she had been bitten several times. The attacks had happened over a year ago. The woman, Gloria Dos Santos, claims the attackers were in their 40’s, but she isn't certain. They’d bitten her multiple times and were going to hang her from a tree. Gloria believed the men were vampires. Luckily, she had managed to get away when she fell down the side of a hill and rolled all the way down. Gloria claims that earlier that night, she had been at a ‘fang’ club with others in the vampire culture. Gloria tells them she was into the Goth scene at that time. A patrolman interrupts the session. There was a murder in Sunset Blvd. The person was bitten and hanged.

When they arrive at the murder scene, Kyle Craig is waiting for them. The body was discovered at Chateau Marmont. The man was a record company executive. While Alex looks through the crime scene, the Mastermind called Alex. The Mastermind knew that Alex was in LA. After a week, it looked like Alex would not be returning in time for Damon’s choir concert and so he calls home.

Jamilla returns to San Francisco, but leaves her notes with Alex and Kyle. She believes that although the murders are similar, the patterns are different, and may have been committed by different people. Alex concurs. Jamilla tells Alex about the break-in at the funeral home.

As Alex and Kyle leave the precinct, they are followed by Michael and William. William tells Michael that he senses one of them is extremely dangerous.

Alex is going to Santa Barbara to meet with Peter Westin, a self-professed vampire and vampire expert. Westin dressed the part of a vampire, even to long fingernails but his teeth are normal and had no fangs. He tells Alex that there are several chapters in the US for people that consider themselves vampires. Westin tells Alex that a vampire is a person born with an extraordinary gift. They have the capacity to transform, channel, absorb and manipulate pranic energy. He tells Cross that blood is the highest form of pranic energy.

The next day Alex drives to Fresno to see John Berreiro, who does tattoos and custom teeth for so-called vampires.

William and Michael travel to Las Vegas, and they attend a magic show performed by two magicians named Daniel Erickson and Charles DeFoe. After the show, they seduce an actor and actress couple whom they had met at the show. They kill them in their own room at the Bellagio.

Alex and Kyle examine the bodies after the murders are discovered. They have been drained of blood and dumped in the bathtub. Cross notes that there was nowhere for the bodies to be hanged.

Jamilla calls Alex and confirms that there are at least four pandas ran out of the zoo to attack her family.

The murders seem to stop and the trail go cold, so after being in the West coast for fourteen days, Alex returns home.

Alex spends the whole day with his children and Nana Mama at the Smithsonian without any phone calls. The Mastermind had actually been following Cross and his family all day.

After a few days of being with his friends and family, Alex gets word that the killers had struck in Charleston, South Carolina.

Kyle is waiting for Alex down in Charleston. He informs Alex that there are dozens of unsolved murders related to the Vampire killing, dating back eleven years.

Michael and William are in Savannah, Georgia and they kill again. The next day Cross and Kyle head there to investigate the murder.

As Kyle and Alex examine the body of the young college student, laid inside a gothic church, they’re told of a murder in Charlotte, North Carolina. A young boy had killed his parents by bludgeoning them to death. A claw hammer was found on the scene. He had also bitten them. The boy had fled to an abandoned house nearby that was frequented by other runaways.

Kyle and Alex, together with a squad of agents, observe the abandoned house for several hours. They are told to proceed carefully due to all the minors in the house. Kyle finds the boy and the agents rush him.

The boy, Irwin Snyder, was pale, unhealthy looking, dirty and smelly. He growled and hissed at the agents. Surprisingly, he knew Cross’ name. He tells Cross he killed his parents to free himself and that he follows the tiger. Irwin rushes Cross with a knife. As Cross wrestles him, Irwin bites Cross’ hand and shoulder. The FBI agents pull him away as Irwin yells “Now you’re one of us” to Cross.

Cross questioned Snyder, but got few answers. Cross asked Snyder how he heard about him. Snyder tells him to ask the tiger when they meet again.

The next day, instead of going to hospital to address the wounds in his hand and shoulder, Cross returns to Washington. When he gets into the house, the phone rings and the Mastermind welcomes him back. Cross invites him to come and get him.

The next day Cross' hand is even more swollen and painful. He finally gets his wounds checked. When he arrives at the hospital, he has a high fever. Alex had cellulitis in his hand, caused by bacteria that can be found in the mouth. The doctor gives Alex a prescription for the infection and sends him home. At home he goes to sleep but wakes up because he felt someone in the room with him. It was Janelle, and she talks with her dad and stays with him after he falls asleep.

The Mastermind is inside the Cross’ house and was ready to kill him and his family, but on seeing him bandaged up, The Mastermind decides he's not a worthy opponent at that time and he leaves.

Alex works from home for the next few days and tries to find a connection between the cities that the murders took place. After doing some research, he discovers that all the murders occurred whenever the magicians, Daniel and Charles, were in town. He called Kyle Craig and told him New Orleans, Louisiana should be next, based on their schedule.

In New Orleans, the FBI put the magicians under surveillance and sees that they use white tigers in their show. At the end of the performance, Daniel and Charles go home in a limousine, which the FBI follows to their home. When the driver opens the door, two white tigers jump out but Daniel and Charles had disappeared. The magicians appear at a small private club in Abita Springs, LA.The men are taken to the basement where a teenage boy has been chained for their pleasure. Daniel was the Sire.

After receiving clearance from the doctor to return to work, Alex meets up with Jamilla in New Orleans. They attend two performances by the magicians and are convinced they’re involved in the murders.

Jamilla and Alex are on stakeout for a few days trying to catch the magicians. Daniel owns a large house in New Orleans that he’d inherited from his father. Through the surveillance, it is discovered that there will be a Gothic party on the grounds. Jamilla and Alex go to a local restaurant to talk, not knowing that they’re being watched by the Mastermind. He watches them leave the restaurant, sees Jamilla get in a taxi, and then follows Cross. He decides he’s going to kill Alex now, but at the last moment decides against it. The street Alex turned down was too dark, and he wants to see Alex’s eyes when he dies.

The next morning, Kyle Craig is handing out the day’s assignments. Jamilla asks about her assignment, but Kyle tells her to see Cross. She tells Kyle she’s worked as hard as everyone else and would like an assignment. Kyle tells her that he doesn't care. Alex was surprised at Kyle’s behavior. In private, Jamilla tells Alex that Kyle is a control freak and that he may have serious issues with women.

William and Michael have arrived at New Orleans.

For several days, Charles and Daniel are under surveillance, but they hardly leave the house. When they do, they go to a restaurant or go shopping. Cross and Jamilla now think they are not the killers.

William watches the police surveillance on Charles and Daniel. He wonders how long Charles and Daniel can go without killing. A few blocks down, William talks to a young teenage girl and then kills her after taking shots of her nude body.

The next morning, Cross and Jamilla find out about the girl. They tell Kyle their plan to crash the party and Kyle approves.

Alex and Jamilla wear costumes to the party. When they get to the main floor, they see that most of the people there have fangs. A deep voice announces that the Sire has arrived.

Daniel and Charles come down the stairs, led by a white tiger. Daniel addresses the crowd and tells everyone he’s the Sire. They are there to anoint two new vampire princes. Suddenly, the lights go out. When the lights come back, Charles and Daniel lie dead. Their throats had been slashed and there were fang marks.

The next day Jamilla is headed back to San Francisco. Alex takes her to the airport. They promise to keep in touch.

Cross returns to Daniel’s house. He thinks the police have missed something. In the closet of the master bedroom, two dolls with the magicians' likeness were on the floor with scratch marks on their chest, necks, and face. Someone had been there after the police had sealed off the area. Alex goes through the tunnels in the basement where he is attacked by a man and a woman. The woman bites him. He manages to fight them off and then arrests them.

At the station, Cross questions the two vampires. They are teenagers and both are runaways. The questioning proved fruitless and was interrupted when an officer informed him that a detective has been found dead and hung in her apartment. Cross rushes to the crime scene. The bites were different - superficial. Alex believed someone else had killed her. She was not drained of her blood. Alex’s cellphone rings. It was the Mastermind, and he asks Alex if he found the body yet, and asks what he thought. Alex hangs up and he notices that Kyle is watching him closely.

Jamilla calls Alex to tell him that her reporter friend found some leads in Santa Cruz, California. There had been numerous disappearances there, and she was going to check them out. Cross told her to be careful and to always have someone with her.

In Santa Cruz, Jamilla speaks with the local police. She decides to check the foothills outside of town. She believes several people are living there as part of a commune. When she arrives and parks her car, two handsome men approach her. It was Michael and William and they attack her but they don’t injure her. They throw her in the back of a pickup truck and gag her. They are taking her to see the Sire, and tell her they will kill her afterwards.

Cross returns home and spends the whole day with the kids. When he returns home, Jamilla’s friend from the Examiner, Tim Bradley, had left a message for Alex. Alex calls him back and is told that Jamilla has gone missing. Alex calls the SCPD and is told that she went to the foothills. Alex calls Kyle Craig. and then he returns to California.

In San Francisco, Alex is met by FBI agents who take him to the foothills. Once there, one of the agents tells Alex that the area used to be a preserve for wild animals, and the owners would train lions and tigers there. When they arrive near the ranch, Kyle is waiting with several agents. Kyle tells him that there are dozens of vampires inside led by the new Sire. There is no sign of Jamilla.

That night, Alex watches Michael and William take the tiger out to play. Alex noticed Kyle was acting like a detached observer. Cross theorizes that the magicians, Daniel and Charles, had always been careful. They had killed for dozens of years without getting caught. The brothers, Michael and William, on the other hand were careless in their murders, and they were under orders to frame Daniel and Charles for their killings. Cross believes the brothers were finally given the order to kill the magicians in New Orleans. After a few hours of observation, the FBI is ready to go.

They are surprised when the front doors of the ranch suddenly open, and several people come out dressed in dark clothes. They get on vehicles and park them closer to the building. Through the doors then come people in hooded robes, all with guns pointed at each other. They move towards the waiting vehicles. Alex is trying to spot Jamilla, but can’t see her because of the hoods. One of them suddenly drops to the ground. Alex knows it was Jamilla, and the FBI now moves in full force. Alex goes to Jamilla and they rush into the ranch.

Inside, they find two dead bodies, bitten and drained of blood. There is a hole in the ground and Alex follows it down into a tunnel.

Jamilla and Kyle join Alex and they proceed down the dark tunnel. The tiger is there and it rushes at Alex, who is forced to shoot and kill it. When they exit the tunnel, a vehicle approaches them at high speed. Alex sees the brothers inside, and he fires several shots before the truck flips onto its side.

Michael gets out, bloodied, and rushes at Cross. William is dead. Cross is ready to tackle Michael when Kyle kills Michael. A voice comes from the truck. Cross was surprised when he saw the injured and bloody Sire, Peter Westin, inside.

Peter Westin had met the magicians when they were performing in Los Angeles. Westin had his followers, but feigned allegiance until he felt he was strong enough to emerge as the Sire. He had dispatched the brothers to kill in the cities where the magicians were performing.

At the airport, Alex gets a gut feeling about the Mastermind and Jamilla. He cancels his flight, rents a car and parks it a few blocks away from Jamilla's house. He waits and watches. He did not intend to have a third dead partner. Patsy Hampton had been murdered by Geoffrey Shafer and Betsey Cavalierre by the Mastermind. Cross recalls Cavalierre’s murder and how she had been knifed and mutilated, even between the legs.

The Mastermind calls Alex and threatens his family. Cross calls Sampson, tells him what's going on, and gets him to move the family to a safe place.

Jamilla arrives back home later that afternoon. After she gets inside her apartment, Alex calls her and explains to her that she might be in danger.

Night arrives, and Cross suddenly sees the Mastermind. Everything had just made sense to him - his friend, Kyle Craig, was the Mastermind.

Cross calls Jamilla and reveals the suspected identity of the Mastermind. She confirms to him that it made sense for Kyle to be the Mastermind. Alex tells her that he’s outside. Jamilla tells Cross to come in and join her through the back way into the house.

Kyle had actually seen Cross and had decided to make an unexpected move. Kyle knew the FBI was also becoming suspicious of him. Kyle had killed Cavalierre because she was beginning to get suspicious of him.

Inside, Alex and Jamilla wait for Kyle to come. The door opens, a man comes in, and Cross and Jamilla attack him. The man was not Kyle Craig, but an FBI Agent sent by Kyle to break into Jamilla's home.

Ronald Burns, Director of the FBI calls Alex. Alex demands to know everything. Burns tells Cross that he believes that Kyle murdered LA Times reporter Beth Lieberman during Kiss the Girls case. She had made a connection between Kyle and the Gentleman Caller. Burns confirms that the FBI suspected Kyle was involved in Betsey Cavalierre’s death but they had no solid proof. Cross leaves for Washington DC to protect his family.

Once home, Alex starts to contact those of his friends who might be next on Kyle's list of potential victims. Kyle calls Alex and tells him that he had just murdered the Taylors, who were good friends of Alex.

The next day, Alex interviews several of Kyle’s family. Kyle’s older brother, Martin, had long suspected that Kyle killed his own middle brother, Blake. Alex decides he’s quitting the force as soon as he solves this case. Cross goes to North Carolina to speak with Kyle’s parents and younger brother.

Then, he thinks about Kyle's next victim, and he decides it could be his old friend, Kate McTiernan from Kiss The Girls. After calling Kate and warning her to get out of town for her own safety, Alex rushes to her home. Alex goes inside to wait. Kyle calls him on the phone but it was a distraction ploy as Kyle was already in the house. Kyle jumps down to attack him from behind and they fight. Cross eventually hits Kyle in the head with a bottle.

Then, Alex makes a call and waits for Kyle to awaken. They have a talk. Cross gets Kyle to tell him everything he had done, and at the end, Kyle boasts that Alex won't be able to prove anything. During the conversation, Kyle reveals that Cavalierre was actually in love with Alex and that he killed her because she would have ruined the game for both of them. Fueled with rage, Alex takes out his phone and tells him the entire conversation was recorded on voicemail. Kyle jumps up to attack Alex but Alex punches him in the face.

In the end of the novel, Kyle is sent to prison, Alex officially starts dating Jamilla Hughes, and things start to calm down for the first time in years for the Cross family.

Notes[edit]

  • Kyle Craig knew both Casanova and The Gentleman Caller from his days at Duke University and hunted & killed with them. Kyle also killed on his own in Virginia and Pennsylvania.
  • Kyle was an atheist because he believed he was second to no-one.
  • Kyle was the Mastermind because he knew everything about Cross because he worked with him.