Written on: 13/11/2004 by Harriet Klausner (18660 reviews written)
Little, Brown, Nov 2004, $27.95, 391 pp.
In Salvador, Brazil, the Wolf abducts Colonel Geoffrey the "Weasel" Shafer; while hanging upside down, Weasel learns that the Wolf has a job for him. US Army soldiers evacuate the 315 residents of Sunrise Valley, Nevada. As the Wolf watched his plan in Sunrise Valley succeed via remote in Bel Air, a plane drops a daisy cutter bomb on the town, leaving parched earth behind.
DC based FBI Agent Alex Cross on vacation visits his young son in Seattle before going to San Francisco to see his girlfriend Jamilla Hughes. FBI Agents Jean Matthews and John Thompson interrupt Alex's romantic interlude to inform him that FBI Director Burns needs him to attend to an emergency in Nevada. Weasel's photo near the Nevada destruction and a homicide shocks Alex. He senses THE BIG BAD WOLF is back. Soon threats to do to London, New York and other megalopolises what happened to Sunrise Valley arrive. Alex knows he must cross swords with Weasel and believes ultimately the Wolf.
The sequel to the BIG BAD WOLF is a terrific suspense thriller that showcases why James Patterson is one of the best the genre offers. The storyline grips the audience from the moment the Wolf captures the amoral Weasel and never lets up until the climatic confrontation between Alex and the Wolf. Though the action is non-stop so that the audience never fully catches our breath, the tale is much stronger than the usual terrorist-antiterrorist contest because key players such as Alex (obviously), the two prime villains, and a host of secondary cast members seem so real that the deadly caper feels authentic. James Patterson is on his top game with the tenth Cross thriller.