Cat & Mouse (novel)

Two lights glow in a railroad tunnel above which a cat stands looking at the trackThe six-page prologue to Cat & Mouse opens with Gary Soneji entering the basement of the Washington D.C. home of Alex Cross and his family, whom he plans to murder. Then the prologue shifts to London where Mr. Smith, a serial killer, is dismembering the latest victim of murders he began in Cambridge, Mass., in 1993.

Cross, a widowed police detective raising two children with the help of his grandmother, is about starting to date his children’s school principal. Those relationships make him especially vulnerable now.

Cross and his partner kill Soneji in the tunnels under Grand Central Station.

Days later, Cross’s home is broken into, all members of his family beaten, and Cross himself battered so badly he’s not expected to live.

Who is the perp?

Is it possible Soneji didn’t die in the explosion? If he survived, why didn’t he kill everyone in Cross’s household?

Or did Soneji send a villian too softhearted to kill?

Readers of James Patterson’s previous three novels about Cross will follow the story easily. The rest of us must rely on the liner notes to untangle the relationship between the two serial killers.

What we eventually find is a formulaic, sex-and-violence tale for macho readers.

Cat & Mouse by James Patterson
Little, Brown. ©1997. 399 p.
1997 bestseller #9; my grade: C

©2020 Linda G. Aragoni

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Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

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