Jack & Jill (novel)

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Jack & Jill
Author James Patterson
Country United States
Language English
Series Alex Cross
Genre Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
Publication date
September, 1996
Media type Print (hardcover) & Paperback
Pages 432 pp
ISBN 0-316-69371-5
Preceded by Kiss the Girls
Followed by Cat and Mouse

Jack & Jill is the third novel in a series written by James Patterson which features Washington, D.C. psychologist and homicide police detective Alex Cross. The previous two books are Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls.

Plot summary[edit]

A man named Sam Harrison or Jack (not his real name) and a woman Sara Rosen or Jill set up a United States Senator. They kill him and videotape it. On the other side of Washington D.C. a different killer kills a child named Shanelle Green using a baseball bat.

Cross is awoken by his partner, John Sampson at the dead of the night and is promptly told there is a new case for them. Cross and Sampson drive to Sojourner Truth School in Southeast where the mutilated body of Shanelle Green was found.

Alex then starts an investigation to find the child killer. He is informed by one of his informants of someone who would do such a thing, Emmanuel Perez, aka Chop-It-Off Chuckie. Alex and Sampson go to question the suspect and a police-suspect foot chase occurs. It ends when the suspect falls off a building after trying to evade Cross and Sampson. After the death of their suspect another child murder is committed. This proves that the "real" child killer is still alive and it is not the work of Chop-It-Off-Chuckie.

One day the police commissioner and the Chief of Detectives Pittman visit Alex's house. They inform him that he was requested to work on the Jack and Jill case because of his famous encounters with psychopathic killers and expertise in psychology. He declines by saying that he has connection with the Truth School killer and he wishes to solve it instead. In the end he has no choice but to leave the child killer case and work on the Jack and Jill murders. Later a confrontation arises between Pittman and him in which he physically abuses Pittman at a crime scene.

Jack and Jill kill another two famous people. With Cross on the investigation and his obsession with the child killer case lingering, he asks for the help of a group of fellow detectives to work secretly on the Truth School Murders so that the case won't get cold. With Sampson and the other detectives solving the child murders, Alex concentrates on trying to solve the Jack and Jill case.

He becomes part of a group formed in the white house to solve the Jack and Jill case. Cooperating with FBI, Secret Service and the CIA, the case begins to show signs of cracking. But still it isn't enough to solve the case.

On the other hand, Jack and Jill ask for the help of another killer, Kevin Hawkins, but without Kevin Hawkins' knowledge that he is just a patsy. He is being used by Jack to elude the cops. Hawkins then kills a woman. At first the investigation team thinks he made a mistake by killing a not famous person, but they soon find out that the woman is the American president's mistress.

It is revealed that Jack and Jill's main target is to kill the president, using the other murders to show that they are good at what they do, and they are really serious about it.

Sampson is informed that someone has admitted to the murders of Shanelle Green and Vernon Wheatley. With Alex Cross's help Sampson and Alex go to the address that was given to them. They find out that the child killer is also a child (13 years old), Sumner Moore.

'Sumner' is on the run. He spends the day on the streets, then goes home in the middle of the night and kills his parents in a fit of rage.

Alex continues to work with the Jack & Jill case. Without enough evidence and mistakes by Jack & Jill the case is still unsolvable. Alex then, with the help of the general inspector of the CIA, Jeanne Sterling, locates Kevin Hawkins, but Hawkins is able to escape.

Sampson is called to the murder of another child. This time it is Sumner Moore; the real child killer is not him. The killer is revealed as another boy who suffers from depression and is on medication, which he has stopped taking.

The president decides to resume schedules as normal. He goes to address the people of New York. At the Madison Square Garden, with enough security, Kevin Hawkins is waiting, dressed as an FBI woman. After a while a bomb explodes and the auditorium is plunged into chaos. The president and his wife are protected by the Secret Service, and try to escape to the alternate escape route. What they don't know is that Kevin Hawkins is waiting. Hawkins is shot and dies at the hospital but he successfully kills the president.

Another murder is reported and Alex rushes to the scene where a woman was found dead. Sara Rosen. Later on Alex using his profiling knowledge starts to look for evidence. He finds a tape in Sara Rosen's/Jill's apartment that contains the footage of the first victim's murder. By accident, the camera caught Jack as he shot the US senator. Alex thinks that the tape was some kind of revenge by Sara Rosen for if Jack betrayed her.

The next day Alex and the CIA Agent Grayer follow 'Jack' and arrest him. It is Brett Sterling, a CIA contract killer (ghosts) and husband of CIA Inspector General Jeanne Sterling. A while later they arrest Jeanne at their home. She tries to escape but is unsuccessful as Cross stops her.

The real Jack and Jill are imprisoned in Lorton where Gary Soneji was imprisoned. A few days later the two of them are found dead due to poisoning. A flesh and blood is found under Jeanne's fingernails, meaning that they were murdered and that they fought whoever it was.

Alex theory is that they were contracted by someone with money who will benefit if the president dies, but they don't know and can't find out who.

All the while the real child killer takes Christine Johnson hostage, the principal of the Sojourner Truth School and kills her husband George at their home. The killer, Danny Bordreaux, a 13-year-old, requests Alex Cross for negotiations. After Cross enters the house, a confrontation happens and Danny is apprehended.

After all the cases are solved Alex is visited by Christine Johnson at his home and they talk. A day later while arranging the Christmas tree Gary Soneji calls and tells him he will come for him and he's the one who left Rosie the Cat at their home. Alex hangs up and goes back to do the tree.