Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today’s most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.
In 1976, a 29-year-old writer published a debut book called The Thomas Berryman Number that went on to capture the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. But James Patterson didn’t quit his day job until two decades later — after he’d launched his series starring detective Alex Cross, and set out to work full time as the architect of the modern blockbuster. More than 350 million books sold later, he’s now indubitably one of the most widely read fiction writers on the globe, writing and co-writing a vast array of propulsive stories — not only thrillers but middle-grade humor, dystopian fantasy, and even picture books for the youngest readers. On the occasion of his new thriller The People vs. Alex Cross, James Patterson sat down with Bill Tipper to talk about where his astonishing career started.
Alex Cross has never been on the wrong side of the law-until now. Charged with gunning down followers of his nemesis Gary Soneji in cold blood, Cross is being turned into the poster child for trigger-happy cops who think they’re above the law. Cross knows it was self-defense. But will a jury see it that way?
As Cross fights for his professional life and his freedom, his former partner John Sampson brings him a gruesome, titillating video tied to the mysterious disappearances of several young girls. Despite his suspension from the department, Cross can’t say no to Sampson. The illicit investigation leads them to the darkest corners of the Internet, where murder is just another form of entertainment.
The People vs. Alex Cross: the trial of the century
As the prosecution presents its case, and the nation watches, even those closest to Cross begin to doubt his innocence. If he can’t convince his own family that he didn’t pull the trigger with intent to kill, how can he hope to persuade a jury? But even with everything on the line, Cross will do whatever it takes to stop a dangerous criminal…even if he can’t save himself.
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