Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross)
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Product Description

A missing little girl named Maggie Rose. A family of three brutally murdered in the projects of Washington, D.C. The thrill-killing of a beautiful elementary school teacher. A psychopathic serial kidnapper/murderer who calls himself the Son of Lindbergh. He is so terrifying that the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police cannot outsmart him-even after he's been captured.Gary Soneji is a mild-mannered mathematics teacher at a Washington, D.C., private school for the children of the political and social elite. He's so popular that the kids all call him "Mr. Chips." And he's very, very smart. Growing up, he always knew he was smarter than the rest of them-he knew that the Great Ones always fooled everybody. He kidnaps Maggie Rose, the golden-haired daughter of a famous movie actress, and her best friend, Shrimpie Goldberg, the son of the secretary of the treasury, right out from under the noses of their two Secret Service agents. But Gary Soneji is not surprised at his skill. He's done it before. Hundreds of times before.Alex Cross must face the ultimate test as a psychologist: how do you outmaneuver a brilliant psychopath? Especially one who appears to have a split personality-one who won't let the other half remember those horrific acts?Soneji has outsmarted the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police. Who will be his next victim?

Customer Reviews:

  • james patterson: Along came a spider
    This is the first book that I've read by this author, and most definitely the last. It is completely devoid of any craftsmanship;the plot is unbelievably sloppily laid out;the characters are one-dimensional. ...more info
  • You Will Burn the Midnight Oil with This One!
    Alex cross is The Deputy Chief of Detectives on the Washington DC police force. He has a degree in Psychology and is very adept at getting into the mind of serial killers. He's black, has two children, he us a widower (his wife was killed in a drive by shooting) and Mama Nana (his cantakorous grandmother) lives with him. Sampson is Cross's partner and friend, someone he can always count on and on of the best characters I've ever encountered in a mystery thriller.

    Jessie Flannigan is a secret service agent and her job is to protect some of the children at a private school, among them the daugther of a United States Senator, a girl named Megan. When Megan is kidnapped along with another child, Alex is called in to help. Of course he falls in love with Jezzie, but I didn't mind that because I was so caught up in the story and in the character of Gary Sonji, the serial killer (or is he, you'll have to read the book and be amazed as I was at the outcome). Also again I have to put in another plug for Sampson, a character I just wanted to take home and hug to death.

    There is murder here. Good cops are taken off a case, only to have to investigate on their own time. There is frustration, excitement, twists and turns, somethings expected, others unexpected. You will burn the midnight oil with this one, I know I did....more info
  • Good Audio Book
    The audio book was very good. I was able to listen to it going to and from work each day. I have not seen the movie, so I do not know which version is better....more info
  • Awesome start to the series
    I blazed through the last 180 pages of this novel. It was awesome. The action kept up even when the chapters changed. I thought that with the short chapters which depicted a scene change would make the book "herky-jerky" but that was far from the truth. What did end up happening is the action was swift and gigantic in its brashness. I am currently on "Kiss The Girls" which I won't speak of here but when I'm done I will give my take on it. ...more info
  • What Happened to Maggie Rose?
    December 21, 1992. At a high-security private school, math teacher Gary Soneji kidnapped two students - Michael Goldberg, whose father is the Secretary of the Treasury, and Maggie Rose Dunne, the daughter of a famous actress.

    Alex Cross is a forensic psychologist who works as a DC homicide detective. After being pulled off a serial killer case in one of DC's lower-income neighborhoods, Alex is thrown into the hunt for Michael and Maggie Rose, as well as apprehending Gary Soneji. Michael soon turns up dead, and Gary Soneji is arrested in a McDonalds far from the capital city.

    There's just one problem. Gary Soneji is known to the world as Gary Murphy, a quiet man who works hard to provide for his family. This is not the image that the kidnapper, who calls himself the "Son of Lindbergh", has given himself. Does he suffer from multiple personality disorder? Or is he just putting on an act for the police? And what has happened to Maggie Rose?

    During the next two years, Alex Cross develops a relationship with Gary. But when things start to look strange, he begins to ask questions that reach far into the government. Who is Gary Murphy/Soneji? And how exactly does Secret Service agent Jezzie Flannigan fit into the puzzle?

    "Along Came a Spider" is James Patterson's first Alex Cross novel, and it is truly a page-turning thriller. With a vividly-described and likable protagonist and a mystery with more turns than a maze, Patterson has created a world that will stay with you long after the final secret is revealed....more info
  • Much better than the movie
    If you've seen the movie, do not let that stop you from reading the book. It is a great suspense novel and quite different from the movie...much more character development and more to the story. ...more info
  • STARTED IT ALL!
    Here is where this book changed things for me...it tells you who the "bad guy" is in the beginning...and you think (or atleast I did) "great now there is no guessing games...no fun" but believe me this book gets addicting from page one. Guessing Games, Thrills, Action, and everything else it takes to make a great book...I gave Patterson a chance to either make me say "yea it was alright...nothing special..." or "its amazing i have to read more of the series"...well obviously its the second one. I recommend to start here and keep going with the series...reading out of order would be way to confusing at times. Patterson really has a talent and shows it with this book....more info
  • Patterson Is King of Suspense!
    Starting the first Alex Cross novel was one of the best books i have ever read. The first 200 or so pages really keep you hooked and then the last 300 make you not even want to get up. There are twists and turns everywhere especially towards the end with a "Silence of The Lambs" type of ending. In one review someone said the romance with Alex Cross didn't really contribute to anything and i will agree because there really was no use for the relationship considering the only real relationship they had was sex and mind games (towards the end). But this book has the greatest twists and turns in almost any novel i have ever read that you can esily over look the dumb romance. I want to tell everyone the mega twist but i urge you to find out for yourselves. I will go ahead and say it concerns an unthinkable betrayel and you find out at the end of chapter 75. Thats all im saying. What also will keep you enthralled is the characters because they are so real and interesting to read about. But despite the useless romance this book is about the best suspense thriller your gonna get, I urge you to pick this one up. Now I can't wait to start "Kiss The Girls."...more info
  • Alex at his best
    I enjoyed the book, and the movie as well. Full of twists and turns and a very quick read....more info
  • Great Book
    Gary Soneji is a math teacher at a private school in Washington DC that only accept children of the political and social elite. Everything's going so great that all the kids are calling him "Mr. Chips". Gary is a very, very smart man and has known since he was younger that he way ahead of everyone. He has a split personality, which makes him better at what he does. He kidnaps a beautiful young girl by the name of Maggie Rose, whom is the daughter of a famous actress. Gary also kidnaps the young girls best friend, Shrimpie Goldberg the son of the secretary of the treasury, right out from under the feet of two secret service agents. Gary Soneji isn't surprised at all at how easy this was, because he's done it many times before. He's outsmarted a psychologist, a homicide detective, and the FBI, will he ever be stopped?
    I like how this book goes into great detail about the characters lives, strengths, and weaknesses. Another thing that I like about this book is how fast paced it is. It will never bore you by throwing in great twists and turns that keep you guessing. I also really liked this book because the events that occurred in this book were all possible and realistic. I believe that would be the main reason that this is a great thriller, because it continues to be realistic which keeps the reader involved, knowing that there could actually be a man out there like Gary. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. If you'r getting sick and tired of reading boring books that are slow and unrealistic, this would be a great book to jump back on track with.
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  • Loved it!
    Along Came a Spider is fantastic. I could not believe the twist in the overall story, and I think it was incredible. James Patterson gives you just enough information in the beginning of the story to keep you guessing, and then he absolutely blows you away. It is basically about a crazy man named Gary Soneji/Murphy, who has a lot of severe personality disorders due to his terrible childhood, trying to commit the perfect crime and become famous because of it. His whole theme is that he "wants to be somebody" through this book. He is the master of killing in the D.C. area, and he LOVES this game. He plays a school teacher at a day school for rich kids when his intent is to kidnap and kill the Dunne/Goldberg children. This happens in the first part of the book. Finally, one day he succeeds, drugging one, and killing the other. The kidnapping has the whole town of Washington D.C. freaking out. The main character, Alex Cross, who is a detective, comes up against a lot of problems along the way of trying to solve the mystery. He falls in love with another investigator, only to realize it is a huge mistake. After a while, the main story line expands into a two story line and they both have incredible climaxes at the same time. This book was a real page turner, it kept me guessing the entire time, and I didn't want it to end. There were no un-important or boring parts, everything fits into the plots. If you like mysteries, or even if you don't, read this one, you won't be disappointed....more info
  • I know I'm probably alone here...
    I know my opinion does not seem to be shared by the masses, but I definitely do not feel that this book was one of James Patterson's best. Even allowing for the extra description required to set up a character so that a series can be made out of him (i.e. Alex Cross), Patterson drags this story at best.

    I will admit that I read the first 250 or so pages VERY quickly, but all of a sudden the novel seemed to lose steam. Combine this with the budding romance of Alex Cross that was focused on to the nth degree and did nothing to advance the plot and it made for a very difficult novel to complete.

    I made myself finish the novel because I was eager to get on to other Alex Cross novels that I knew received rave reviews. I too do not like to read a series out of order so I forced myself through the remaining pages. However, I found myself questioning whether or not ANY of the other Alex Cross books would be worth reading (they are, don't worry) during the course of this book.

    One last bit before I conclude, I was INCREDIBLY disturbed by the final chapters of this novel and I do not feel much of the description was necessary to get Patterson's view across.

    With all this being said, please do not use Spider as a judge for the other books in the Alex Cross series. I have not come upon these issues again in any of the other Cross novels I have completed. But, suffice it to say that it took a little while for Patterson to find a rhythm for his most famous leading man....more info
  • Couldn't put the book down!
    AMAZING! I loved it. I would read it for hours and hours. I had a hard time putting the book down. It was great!...more info
  • Don't Expect the Obvious
    We first meet Alex Cross at the scene of a horrific murder, a mother, daughter and child have been slaughter in a seeming senseless attack. Then when Cross and his pal Sampson are taken off the case they decide to investigate it on their own time, which isn't going to be easy, because Cross is assigned to investigate the kidnapping of two children from a private school.

    One of the children is found dead, there is slim hope for the other. However, a ransom has been demanded and paid. The kidnapper killer is found, but he says he didn't ask for the money and he never received it. It is possible the police have arrested the wrong man? From here the story twists and turns as we eventually find out who the kidnapper is and along the way Cross falls in love with a beautiful secret service agent as he prepares to confront a psychopathic murderer.

    This is the first of the Alex Cross books and it is a terrific read. Truly a book you cannot put down. Mr. Patterson gives us great characters in just a few word of description. I particurally liked Mama Nana Cross's grandmother) and the pearls of wisdom she peppers her grandson with. If you haven't read James Patterson yet, it's time to start....more info
  • Great intro into the world of Alex Cross!
    I finally got around to reading the debut of the Alex Cross character in Along Comes A Spider and I really enjoyed it. Patterson makes a truely creepy villain who at times makes your skin crawl. A good hero is worthless without a good villain. The book dragged slightly in the middle but the beginning and end more than make up for it....more info
  • Not Free SF Reader
    This book is one of a series, it appears. A highly competent investigator has to track down a killer of the serial variety, who, is most definitely crazy.

    There is also a female FBI agent involved, and it appears that she is most likely more than a little bit dodgy, as well. A dick, deaths and a dodgy dame.


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  • James Patterson
    NEVER NEVER a disapointment This book is no exception
    I always think he can't outdo the last one but he always does
    Can't go wrong with this thriller...more info
  • Speed Reading
    Having missed this one in the Cross series I have planned to read it for a time. As usual it was a great book. I really enjoyed the short chapters and constant thinking of the Mad Man and what runs through their minds. The research was as always first class. The plot runs and twists always please. I guess to put it plainly it could not have been a better read. Fast, smooth and elegant. ...more info
  • Along Came A Spider
    "Along Came A Spider" is an intense psychological thriller that will keep you turning the pages. It gives you an in depth look into the mind of a homicide detective, as well as the twisted mind of a sociopath without conscience. It is written as a fast read and it is very easy to follow plot, but it will keep you guessing as well. You won't be disappointed. :)...more info
  • great novel
    Great suspense with good charecters. Extremelly fast paced which is classic patterson. This is one of the better alex cross novels....more info
  • Patterson
    Another great James Patterson book.....he keeps you on the edge of your seat and it is hard to allow anything else in your daily schedule until you read the entire book...............more info
  • A thriller on speed
    To the reader whose first book in the Alex Cross series is a recent one, it is not crystal clear that the hero is an African-American, but in this early offering, race is central to the plot. It is not clear why the emphasis on race was downplayed as the series progressed.

    Once again, we see the super-crafty criminal, a murderer and kidnapper. Such figures dominate thrillers, whereas in real life, the criminals tend to be below normal in intelligence and make mistake after mistake. Perhaps mediocre to stupid just isn't interesting enough. If I have a fault with the plot, it is the villain's talent and the attempt to cram too much of this into too few pages. Jeopardy, of course, is what fuels the story, but too much is still too much.

    The detailed, R-rated inter-racial love interest is distracting from the plot. It does figure in the finale, but it might have been done better. It just seemed manipulative, put into the book for the prurient reader.

    I liked the characters, particularly Nana Mama, a wise woman. The atmosphere of Washington and environs is good. All in all, this is one of the better novels featuring Dr./Detective Cross. The later ones are considerably less interesting.



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  • Nail Biting
    I have to admit, I never read James Paterson before. I always see people on planes & trains reading his books, they all look like they have the same cover. So I asked some people at work and they said this was the best one. I really liked it alot. I can do without all the loving family crap but the plot was really great and this book definitely kept my interest. Lots of good surprises & twists & turns. I don't know alot about Wash, DC, but based on this book it sounds like a terrible place. Is it reallly that bad?...more info
  • IT WILL KEEP YOU TURNING THE PAGES!
    I started to read some of the newer Alex Cross books & wanted to start reading them from the beginning. Along Came A Spider was excellent w/lot's of twist's & turn's in the plot! I'm ready for the 2nd one in the series! S.L. Chessor author of My Tongue Fell Out & Poodlums Boogeymen and Booglers.My Tongue Fell OutPoodlums, Boogeymen and Booglers: A Poetry Collection

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  • NON-Stop Good Read!!!
    after so many rave reviews this book got i finally got around this book.
    is very easy to read.....and also very suspenseful......
    you will finish the book in no time............more info