This was one of the most interesting books in the series so far. We finally got some more insight into Alex’s life with his dead wife Maria. Her murder was finally explained to us.Forensic psychologist Alex Cross's storied career in private practice, with the FBI and as a Washington, D.C., cop has brought him into contact with all kinds of seriously disturbed killers, but his 12th outing from bestseller Patterson (after 2005's Mary, Mary) may be the ultimate in lunatic deadliness. Beginning with a flashback to the murder of Cross's wife, Maria, Patterson quickly introduces Michael Sullivan (aka the Butcher of Sligo). What follows is a frenetically paced series of brutal rapes and killings by Sullivan, once employed by the mob as a freelancer and now at war with them. Cross juggles being a single parent and being involved in the dangerous game of tracking serial killers until he finally decides to give it up for his family. Needless to say, he's drawn back into the game when it promises a chance of finding Maria's killer. Cross's competence and vulnerability make a stark contrast with Sullivan's sadistic mutilations and psychological manipulations of his victims. Fans know that Cross will survive, but at what cost?
She has been an important part of the whole series without actually being in it, so finally being almost introduced to her character and getting to read about her death made this one of the best books in the series.
The man that Alex and Sampson are hunting down is absolutely insane, but he is good at what he does. It makes it a lot creepier, especially at the end when it is clear that this man really has no soul.
The Butcher is scary and his crime scenes are gruesome; Definitely one of the craziest villains so far.
There was no slowing down once this book took off. It was a very addicting read.
It was interesting seeing Alex quit his long-time career and focus solely on conducting therapy sessions. It was so much different than the rest of the books, but as the saying goes “old habits die hard,” and we see that Alex can never really escape his past.
Memorable Quote: “Because you’re Dr. Cross, and I’m the murderer.”