In the middle of the night, a controversial U.S. senator is found murdered in bed in his Georgetown pied-a-terre. The police turn up only one clue: a mysterious rhyme signed "Jack and Jill" promising that this is just the beginning. Jack and Jill are out to get the rich and famous, and they will stop at nothing until their fiendish plan is carried out.
Meanwhile, Washington, D. C., homicide detective Alex Cross is called to a murder scene only blocks from his house, far from the corridors of power where he spends his days. The victim: a beautiful little girl, savagely beaten--and desposited in front of the elementary school Cross's son, Damon, attends.
Could there be a connection between the two murders? As Cross tries to put the pieces together, the killer- or killers - strike again. And again. No one in Washington is safe - not children, not politicians, not even the President of the United States. Only Alex Cross has the skills and the courage to crack the case-but will he discover the truth in time?
A relentless roller coaster of heart-pounding suspense and jolting plot twists, Jack and Jill proves that no one can write a more compelling thriller than James Patterson-the master of the nonstop nightmare.
Patterson's most recent thriller, Hide and Seek, lacked his customary hero, Alex Cross, and didn't catch fire with readers. Here, Patterson brings back the black psychiatrist and Washington, D.C., homicide cop (Kiss the Girls, etc.) for a gripping game of death that will have fans flocking. Two simultaneous investigations bear down on Cross: the first concerns the killings perpetrated by a duo known as "Jack and Jill," who are murdering famous people (beginning with a U.S. senator) in Washington, taunting the police and "practicing for the big one"; the second involves the brutal slayings of young black children in Cross's own Southeast D.C. neighborhood. The Washington P.D. makes Cross its liaison with a frantic Secret Service, FBI and CIA while he sets up his own off-duty team to track the child-killer. Through crisp cross-cutting of multiple points of view, first-person and third, Patterson grabs readers right from the beginning and sweeps them along toward riveting dual climaxes. He adds texture by devoting space to Cross's concern about his own motherless son and daughter (the first murdered child attended the same grammar school as Alex's boy), his growing interest in the school's attractive principal, his dealings with his octogenarian grandmother, Nana Mama (think of an acerbic Dilsey from The Sound and the Fury) and life in the largely black Southeast district. It's fine, full-blooded entertainment from start to finish, with a last-page surprise from an earlier Cross nemesis promising at least one more Cross installment to come. Literary Guild main selection; simultaneous Time Warner AudioBook.