FBI detective, Alex Cross is called upon to investigate a series of Hollywood murders in the mist of a much needed family vacation. A list Hollywood actors, directors and writers are being targeted by a brutal serial killer known as Mary Smith. Mary is targeting mothers with young children. Police are convinced that the murderer is a woman; however, Alex isn’t so sure. Shortly after each murder a Los Angeles columnist receives e-mails describing each murder to the smallest detail, seemingly written before the murders actually happened! It is a fast paced, heart pounding race to try and discover who Mary Smith really is before she/he strikes again. In the midst of all the chaos caused by the Mary Smith case, Alex must also find a way to manage his family life and his love life. On top of all that he now finds himself in the middle of a brutal custody battle over his youngest son. With his relationship failing, his family feeling his absence and his character being assaulted by his ex wife’s lawyer, he must somehow find a way to manage his family life and his career. Talk about a plateful. The Mary Smith case has the whole of California in an uproar, Hollywood celebrities are afraid for their lives and when a young woman is mistaken for Mary Smith she is tragically killed.
There appears finally to be a break in the case when the police come across a cleaning woman who fits the description and is even named Mary Smith! She is an overstretched working mother who loves her children and tries to provide them the best way she can. Is she the killer or do the FBI have the wrong person in custody? That is up to Alex Cross to discover, a multiple murder that occurred over twenty years prior will be the key. I found this book to be completely engaging from beginning to end. It is told in the perspective of three distinct voices: the murderer, Mary Smith and Alex Cross. I found myself on the edge of my seat page after page completely unable to put it down. This is a book I would very highly recommend to everyone who enjoys a page turner!