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Alex Cross Books In Order
Reading The Alex Cross Series In Order
So should you read the Alex Cross books in order or better read them as you get them? Having read all the books in the series by James Patterson, I can safely say that while it's great to read them in order of publication, because this is also the chronological order of the Alex Cross series, it is not absolutely necessary.
Each book is a standalone book, and I found that each novel had enough background information about the main characters that one could really pick up any book, start reading and be up to date with
Having said that, I'm a stickler for reading the books in order, no matter what the series is about, so for those like me, below you find every book published so far in the right order of publication. I will update the list as the author releases more Alex Cross novels.
All The Alex Cross Books In Order Of Publication
1 - Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross #1) - This is the first Alex Cross novel by James Patterson, published way back in 1993.
2 - Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross #2) - Kiss The Girls is the second of the Alex Cross books in order of publication, and it came out in 1995.
3 - Jack & Jill (Alex Cross #3) - Jack a& Jill, the third Alex Cross mystery was published in 1996.
4 - Cat & Mouse (Alex Cross #4) - Cat & Mouse, the 4th book in the popular Alex Cross series was first published in 1997.
5 - Pop Goes the Weasel (Alex Cross #5) - His 5th book in the Alex Cross crime series was published in 1999.
6 - Roses Are Red (Alex Cross #6) - Published in 2000, Roses are Red is the 6th book in the by now extremely popular Alex Cross series. Personally I think that this book is one of the best of the entire series which currently has 20 books.
7 - Violets Are Blue (Alex Cross #7) - Violets Are Blue is the follow-up book to Roses Are Red,and it makes the 7th book in the series. It was published in 2001. Even if you don't read all the Alex Cross books in order, you should at least read Roses Are Red before Violets Are Blue.
8 - Four Blind Mice (Alex Cross #8) - This is the next book in the series, published in 2002.
9 - The Big Bad Wolf (Alex Cross #9) - The Big Bad Wolf is the 9th Alex Cross book, and it was published in 2003.
10 - London Bridges (Alex Cross #10) - London Bridges is book #10 in the Alex Cross novel series, published in 2004. This is again one of those books that should be read in order. Before reading this, to not get lost, you should at least read Pop Goes the Weasel and Big Bad Wolf.
11 - Mary, Mary (Alex Cross #11) - Mary, Mary is James Patterson's 11th Alex Cross novel, and it was published in 2006.
12 - Cross (Alex Cross #12) - Cross, also known as Alex Cross, is the 12th novel in this popular mystery series by James Patterson. The book was published in 2006.
13 - Double Cross (Alex Cross, #13) - Double Cross is book #13 in the Alex Cross series, published in 2007. Not my very favorite one, btw.
14 - Cross Country (Alex Cross #14) - Cross Country is the next book in the series after Double Cross, and it was published in 2009.
15 - Alex Cross's Trial (Alex Cross #15) - This book was a bit of a weird one, to be honest, as it's not truly part of the Alex Cross series, since most of the book deals with things evolving around his ancestors back in in the early 1900s. Alex Cross gets only a few pages in the book, but if you're a fan of the series, you will get this one as well. It was published in 2009.
16 - I, Alex Cross (Book #16) - Also published in 2009, this is the 16th book in the Alex Cross series.
17 - Cross Fire (Alex Cross #17) - Cross Fire is James Patterson's 17th Alex Cross novel. It was published in 2010.
18 - Kill Alex Cross (Alex Cross #18) - Kill Alex Cross is book 18 in the series, published towards end of 2011.
19 - Merry Christmas, Alex Cross (Alex Cross #19) - Book 19, Merry Christmas, Alex Cross was recently published, in November 2012.
20 - Alex Cross, Run (Alex Cross #20) - So far the latest book in the Alex Cross series, book 20 was published end of February this year.
Alex Cross Books In Order - Overview
Reading The Alex Cross Series In Order?
While you do not have to read every single book of this series in order, there are some books that will make more sense if they are read after others. For example Violets Are Blue should be read after Roses Are Red. Same with London Bridges, to be read after Pop Goes The Weasel and The Big Bad Wolf.
Alex Cross Series Review Of All 20 Books
Along Came A Spider (Alex Cross #1) - with Morgan Freeman
Along Came A Spider is not only the first Alex Cross novel by James Patterson, but a very first movie involving this wonderful African-American detective, here depicted by Morgan Freeman so well. I love this actor, and I got instantly in love with this character, long after having read the first novel. Well worth a watch!
"I never miss a good chance to shut up"
~ James Patterson, Along Came a Spider
Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross #2) - With Morgan Freeman
If you haven't seen Kiss the Girls, the movie with Morgan Freeman, you're missing a wonderful movie with one of the best actors ever. I absolutely recommend this for any Alex Cross enthusiast.
“Everything I loved was taken away from me, and I did not die.”
~ James Patterson, Kiss the Girls
Jack & Jill (Alex Cross #3)
The third book in the Alex Cross series finds him tracking down Jack and Jill, two serial killers who are murdering high officials in Washington D.C. I did mention in the first book's review that Gary Soneji will make some other appearances throughout the later novels, and here he is back again. So this is really one reason that you should read the books in the proper chronological and publishing order, since it's so much easier to follow the various characters that go in and out of books. You never know who you might find next.
A great read full of non-stop action where Alex Cross has to solve not one, but two parallel crimes: the Jack and Jill political serial killers and a crime involving the very neighborhood where his own kids go to school. I like the way he also involves his family here and there, this makes the character of Alex Cross quite involved and realistic, as opposed to a two dimensional character that so many other writers hastily put together. A well worth read.
Cat & Mouse (Alex Cross #4)
Cat & Mouse is the next book in the popular detective mystery series involving Alex Cross. Here Gary Soneji is back and stronger than ever! (Told you to read the books in order!). In fact it's good to read the previous book before this one, as the story sort of continues.
After being put in prison by Alex Cross, Gary Soneji is out and he is seeking revenge. Of course, Alex is his target now and Gary's plan is to play a deadly game of cat and mouse with him..and his family. But I don't want to spoil the great story. Let me just say that it's well worth reading, full of edge of your seat action, psychological tension and a great read overall.
Pop Goes the Weasel (Alex Cross #5)
Pop Goes the Weasel is the fifth book in the Alex Cross series by James Patterson. A great, intense mystery where Alex gets engaged to Christine, while at the same time tries to catch a killer by the name of Geoffrey Schaefer who likes to play dice games. While on vacation with his family in Bermuda, Alex's fiancee Christine is kidnapped by a member of Four Horsemen, of which Schaefer is also belonging to. Here the things get personal and Alex, who is initially denied the request to go after Schaefer, now he takes things into his own hands.
Roses Are Red (Alex Cross #6)
Roses are Red is one of my favorite Alex Cross novels. The sixth book in the series, it involves Alex Cross going after the Mastermind, a devious serial killer who has the tendency to not only rob banks, but also kill the hostages in the process.
Added to that, Alex also has to deal with personal issues (his beloved has left him), so his mind is really torn into several pieces. And to add salt to the injury, the book doesn't really tell even at the end who the killer is - we need to read the next book to find out. Hah! Didn't I say the books are meant to be read in order?
Violets Are Blue (Alex Cross #7)
Violets Are Blue picks up where Roses Are Red left off: Alex pursuing the bank robber and killer. Of course added to that he has to also deal with other killings related to vampires. Are they real vampires, with real super powers, or not? They are real enough to enough to cause lots of damage to lots of people. A cult that Alex Cross has to remove from existence, while also maintaining his focus on the Mastermind.
A great read, one that some people were not quite sure about due to the slight 'supernatural' angle to the book, however if you don't like supernatural, don't worry, it's not as bad as it initially looks like. It's real killers, a real hero and a real story that needs to find closure.
“The cell phone in my pocket went off. Shit! Damn it! Why do I carry these infernal gadgets? Why does anybody in their right mind need to constantly be on call?”
~ James Patterson, Violets Are Blue
Four Blind Mice (Alex Cross #8)
Four Blind Mice is the 8th book in the Alex Cross series. Alex is thinking of retiring from police and joining the FBI as a profiler. However, before that he has to solve the case of Sergeant Ellis Cooper who is on trial for murder, where he says he didn't do it. He seemingly killed 3 wives of soldiers, and the evidence is staggering. Of course, only Alex Cross can help! And helping he will.
Another great storyline, full of non-stop action and suspense. While James Patterson's writing is not really worthy of a Nobel Price, he knows how to keep us engaged in the story and how to simply forget about the outside world for a couple of hours. And that is more than enough to like his loyal character, Alex Cross.
The Big Bad Wolf (Alex Cross #9)
Book 9 in the Alex Cross series, The Big Bad Wolf finds Alex in the ranks of the FBI, which he wanted to join in the previous book. The story is quite complex, involving a vicious killer and kidnapper, his family and the FBI as well. Wolf, who is on the list of FBI's most wanted, is a worthy opponent for Alex, who also has to battle with trying to keep the custody of his child from his ex-wife. Lost of stuff to deal with here with many puzzles involved!
A great read, one that is fast paced, thrilling and with lots and lots of action. I loved it!
London Bridges (Alex Cross #10)
Right now London Bridges is the half of the series with Alex Cross as main character. And this is the book that brings in two other characters from previous books, namely Wolf from Big Bad Wolf, and Weasel * Geoffrey Shafer) from Pop Goes To Weasel. So here Alex has to battle not on, but two truly badass serial killers, who are hell-bent on destroying not only Alex, but the city itself.
Lots of action, a great and exciting storyline which goes national and even international, including large scale terrorism, London Bridges has it all. And Alex Cross is again left to rid the world of two extremely nasty pieces of work who are haunting him from book to book.
Mary, Mary (Alex Cross #11)
Mary, Mary is James Patterson's 11th Alex Cross novel. Alex is a regular FBI agent now, on a holiday, when he's called back to solve the case of a Hollywood killings by 'Mary Smith', a sociopath who sends very detailed and descriptive emails to the press on how the murders were thought out and executed. The beginning of the book is actually quite compelling and draws you right in. It starts with Mary's killing plans.
A very chilling, fast paced thriller where Alex Cross has to run across the whole country to find the killer, while at the same time dealing with his custody battle with his ex-wife Christine Johnson who is seeking sole custody of their son, Alex. After the previous two books, which were a bit slower paced, this one picks up the pace again, going back to the popular style that we so love in the Alex Cross series.
Cross (Alex Cross #12)
An awesome movie featuring Alex Cross based on the 12th detective mystery novel in the Alex Cross series (coincidentally called Cross). I loved the film, it was very fast paced, lots of action and some of my very favorite actors. For example we get to see Matthew Fox (the LOST guy), this time playing the bad guy and quite wonderfully, I might add. Tyler Perry is playing this time Alex Cross, and that saddened me a bit because I so much enjoyed the movies with Morgan Freeman. However I have to say, he did do the character justice. The movie turned out great. Worth a look!
Double Cross (Alex Cross, #13)
The 13th book in the popular detective series, Double Cross finds Alex working in his therapy practice, settling in to a very calm and repetitive (something that he really needs) lifestyle. But not for long, of course. As with every other book in the Alex Cross series, he is drawn back to action when he has to catch a very nasty killer. Now Alex has a new girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, and together they have to catch two killers, not one. Remember The Mastermind from Roses Are Red and Violets are Blue? He escaped from prison and he's now terrorizing the city again. And if that's not enough, there is a second killer who loves his time in the spotlight. Not for nothing he's called The Audience Killer.
Another great fast paced mystery novel by James Patterson, one that is non-stop action (well, except when Alex is trying to find time to be with his girlfriend, not an easy feat when all these killers demand all his attention). I enjoyed the book, even though the style is repetitive, it's a style that we know and love.
Cross Country (Alex Cross #14)
In this new book in the series, Alex travels all the way to Africa in pursuit of a killer who murdered the family of an ex-girlfriend of his from college, Ellie Cox. In Africa, he's dealing with (and is being dealt with) a lot of stuff, including being beaten (that's a new for Alex!), having to deal with corrupt government employees who might have ties to the killer called Tiger, and of course eventually solves the crime.
This is more of a revenge based novel than your typical detective story, but it's a nice interruption and brief departure from the regular storyline. Maybe not his best book, but still worth a read.
“Who but the devil lives like a king in the middle of hell”
~ James Patterson, Cross Country
Alex Cross's Trial (Alex Cross #15)
If there is one book to choose in answer to the question 'Which book in the Alex Cross series did you like the least', it would have to be this one. This is a very strong departure from the regular murder mystery, going back back in the past, to the times of the Ku Klux Klan. Personally I didn't feel any connection to this story, maybe because not having lived in the US, this part of history is quite unknown to me, so there was no real point of reference for me. Other people liked it just fine, so don't let my lack of enthusiasm for this book stop you from reading it. You might be pleasantly surprised. But in all fairness, Alex is hardly on a few pages of this book, be warned.
I, Alex Cross (Book #16)
Alex Cross returns in this 16th part of the series with another chilling and deeply personal case when a family member is brutally murdered. As usual, for Alex Cross it gets personal. Alex is on his birthday party with his family when a dreaded call comes through - his niece, no less, was murdered.
Here we get a taste of sex clubs, shady ties to the White House, and prostitution rings. No wonder when Alex finds out that his niece was working as a prostitute. Quite a fast paced novel, just like we are used to from James Patterson. I liked the story, the style and how he solved the case. A great read!
“I, Alex Cross do solemnly promise-to all those present at this birthday party- to do my best to balance my life at home with my work,life,and not to go over to the dark side ever again.”
~ James Patterson, I, Alex Cross
Cross Fire (Alex Cross #17)
Pretty much in every novel Alex Cross is disturbed from doing something personal. He's either called back from a holiday, or his birthday party is cut short, or like now, his wedding plans to Bree's have to take a back seat when Kyle Craig - The Mastermind, his old nemesis comes back to haunt him. For some reason I did like this bad character, the author spends a lot of time explaining what drives him, why he eluded escape for so long, and why he's doing what he's doing. Of course, he's bad and he must be punished, but still, maybe because we're drawn into the mind of the evil character, we can see and feel how he feels and we get to know him a bit better, I do start to like him in a way.
The writing is very fast paced, the action is all there, the suspense and tension just as well, it's a typical Alex Cross novel that you can't but simply love! And of course, if you do like to know the story of the Mastermind from the beginning, then you need to read the Alex Books in order, there's no doubt about it.
Kill Alex Cross (Alex Cross #18)
The story in this new Alex Cross novel starts with a bang: the president's two kids, a son and a daughter are kidnapped from school. The First Lady asks Alex for help, against the wishes of the FBI. And of course, since in most stories Alex has two crimes to solve, here is the second one: a terrorist cell Al Alya (The Family) terrorizes the city, so Alex is left wondering whether these two cases are somehow linked. The more Alex gets involved in finding the president's children, the more he gets into the eyes of the kidnapper, who now has made a new goal for himself" kill Alex Cross.
A great fast paced story, told in that no-nonsense writing that James Patterson is known for. Of course, the style is repetitive, but that's exactly what we are looking for when picking up a new Alex Cross novel. I mean just look at the few departures from the genre and how bad they were received by the readers. But this book is just as good as his other best ones, it doesn't disappoint.
Merry Christmas, Alex Cross (Alex Cross #19)
The 19th book in the Alex Cross series is a recent publication from end 2012. True to the title, it is Christmas and Alex is called away from his family celebration of this tradition to solve a hostage situation. And, as usual, there right after another horrific story to unravel, one that involves thousands of people and terrorists. So no more Merry Christmas with the family for Alex, despite Nana Mama's angry outbursts at him for not spending this quality time at home with the family. But when serious things happen, things that affect an entire country, Alex Cross can not stay at home and do nothing.
As usual, a fast paced thriller, one that leaves you wanting for me. For some reason I did feel this novel was a bit shorter. Both main plots were big enough to warrant two separate books. Somehow the writer manages to put them both in one story line, however, which is a bit sad because I would have liked to see both stories expanded a bit more. Oh well. A great book, nevertheless.
Alex Cross, Run (Alex Cross #20)
Alex Cross, Run, is book 20 in the popular series by James Patterson. I haven't read it yet, it's due to be released in February, so not much time left to go until I can get the ebook version so I don't have to wait for it to be shipped. From the reviews, however, it looks like another winner, one that I can't wait to read. I will review it as soon as I managed to get hold of a copy and read it.
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