Jack and Jill (Alex Cross #3) – James Patterson

Jack & Jill by James Patterson
Also by this author: 1st to Die, 2nd Chance, 3rd Degree, The Horsewoman, 4th of July, The 5th Horseman, The 6th Target, 7th Heaven, The 8th Confession, The 9th Judgment
Series: Alex Cross #3
on September 28, 1996
Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
Buy on Amazon

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.

Even though the first two Alex Cross books were the ones turned into movies starring Morgan Freeman, it’s the third Alex Cross novel—Jack and Jill—that’s most deserving. Two killers (you can surmise what they call themselves) are out for revenge on the rich and famous. Meanwhile, DC detective Alex Cross is investigating a murder of a young girl in his own community. Patterson uses the dichotomy—the murder of a rich and powerful white Senator and the murder of a poor, Black girl—to highlight the disparities of power and wealth in DC. Alex Cross is pulled into the drama, getting called off the case and required to find the Senator’s killer.

This was the book that hooked me on the Alex Cross series and remains one of my favorite James Patterson books. Patterson’s track record in engaging with social and political issues is spotty at best. Here, he handles the tension well, using it to go deeper into Alex’s family life. Patterson also gives readers some scenes from the perspective of the killers, showing us both extremes in their psyches and encouraging us to resonate with their message while being horrified at their actions. With a thrilling pair of killers and an intense plot, James Patterson hits his stride and delivers a classic.