The Big Bad Wolf (Alex Cross)
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Alex Cross battles the most ruthless and powerful killer he has ever encountered - a predator known only as "the Wolf. "Alex Cross's first case since joining the FBI has his new colleagues stymied. Across the country, men and women are being kidnapped in broad daylight and then disappearing completely. These people are not being taken for ransom, Alex realizes. They are being bought and sold. And it looks as if a shadowy figure called the Wolf - a master criminal who has brought a new reign of terror to organize crime - is behind this business in which ordinary men and women are sold as slaves. Even as he admires the FBI's vast resources, Alex grows impatient with the Bureau's clumsiness and caution when it is time to move. A lone wolf himself, he has to go out on his own in order to track the Wolf and try to rescue some of the victims while they are still alive. As the case boils over, Alex is in hot water at home too. His ex-fiancee, Christine Johnson, comes back into his life - and not for the reasons Alex might have hoped.
other side of me. She introduced her7 self as Monnie Donnelley and told me she was the Violent 8 Crimes analyst attached to the case. She talked extraordinar9 ily fast, lots of energy, almost too much. 0 “Guess we’ll be working together,” she said, and shook 1 my hand. “I’ve already heard good things about you. I know 2 your résumé. I attended Hopkins for grad school too. How 3 about that?” 4 “Monnie’s our best and our brightest,” Mahoney inter5 jected. “And that’s a gross understatement.” 6
me. Senior Agent Ned Mahoney, the head of HRT, arrived when the room was already ﬁlled. He walked to the front, turned, and faced us. His intense gray blue eyes went from row to row, and he seemed more pumped up than usual. “I have an announcement. Good news for a change,” Mahoney said. “There’s been a signiﬁcant break. Word just came down from Washington.” Mahoney paused, then he continued. “Since Monday, agents from our ofﬁce in Newark have been monitoring a suspect named Rafe Farley. The
did. But he hadn’t believed that. Money always bought things, and it always bought people — especially if they had been passed over for promotions and raises; this was as true in America as it had been in Russia. If anything, it was more true here, where cynicism and bitterness were becoming the national pastimes. “So is anybody talking about me up on the ﬁfth ﬂoor of the Hoover?” he asked. “I don’t want to meet like this. Next time, you run an ad in the Washington Times. ” 187
leather bodysuit — well, he couldn’t be real either. No way. “I’m very angry at you! I’m good and pissed!” Mr. Potter yelled right in Francis’s face. “Why did you leave me?” he screeched. “Why? Tell me why. You must never leave me again! I get very scared without you and you know that. You know how I am. That was thoughtless of you, Ronald!” Francis had already tried reasoning with the madman — Potter, he called himself, and no, not Harry. Mr. Potter. But reasoning didn’t work. He’d told the
BigBadWolf_HCtextF1.ps 8/29/03 3:37 PM Page 359 THE BIG BAD WOLF The director needed to see me in his ofﬁce one morning during my week off. It wasn’t too much of a problem. I stopped in after I had dropped the kids off at school. Tony Woods, Burns’s assistant, seemed particularly glad to see me. “You’re something of a hero for the moment. Enjoy it,” he said, sounding, as always, like an Ivy League prof. “Won’t last long.” “Always the optimist, Tony,” I said. “That’s my job description, young