James Patterson’s Alex Cross Books: A Look At His Complete Novel Series In Order

The American author and philanthropist James Patterson is one of the most revered and best-selling writers of all time. Since the inception of his career, he has released several books, and so far, James Patterson’s books have sold over 375 million. Among his most popular books are the Alex Cross Series, Private Series, Women’s Murder Club, Detective Benneth, and NYPD Red, among others. Although his works are mostly detective, mystery, and crime fiction thrillers, James has written many other stand-alone non-fiction and romance novels. James currently lives in Florida with his wife, Susan, and son, Jack Patterson.

Among James Patterson’s books, the Alex Cross series endeared the writer to a wider audience. As a result, the books have received extremely critical acclaim, with most topping New York Times best-sellers list. With Little, Brown, and Company holding publication rights in the US, the Alex Cross series has been running since the early 1990s and is still ongoing. The first book in the series titled Along Came a Spider was released to critical acclaim in 1993. However, it has spawned over 27 sequels and still counting.

More so, three books in the Alex Cross series, including Kiss the Girls (1997), Along Came a Spider (2001), and Alex Cross (2012), have been adapted into movies. If you are a detective, mystery, and crime fiction lover, then James Patterson’s books will quench your thirst, thus keeping you thrilled and captivated all the way. Below are the complete James Patterson’s Alex Cross books in the order of their publication.

Complete James Patterson’s Alex Cross Books Series In Order

James Patterson’s books in the Alex Cross series have a long list, and the best way to read the series is reading them in order, as they are all connected. Though you can read from the later publication, you wouldn’t want to miss out on any details. Therefore, we suggest you read them in their order publication to maximize the thrill.

1. Along Came A Spider

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 448 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: February 1, 1993
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN: 0446692638 (ISBN13: 9780446692632)

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This is the first classic thriller that launched the James Patterson’s Alex Cross series. It introduces Alex, the novel’s main character, as a homicide detective and a father of two, with a Ph.D. in Psychology. A tough guy, Cross lives in the ghetto of D.C. and is always seen on Harris Tweed jackets. He wants to have an affair with Jezzie Flanagan, supervisor of the Secret Service in Washington. However, the affair is coming at the wrong time as Gary Soneji wants to commit a heinous crime. Soneji has cleverly defeated the Secret Service and FBI, but who will be his next victim? Alex must try so hard to stop this street psychopath.

2. Kiss The Girls

  • Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Psychological Fiction
  • Paperback Volume: 496 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: December 1, 1995
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN: 0446677388 (ISBN13: 9780446677387)

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A sequel to Along Came a Spider, this second book in the Alex Cross series entails Alex’s most horrifying murder case. Two smart killers are in partnership, competing, and collaborating in murdering their victims in the same pattern. While a murder investigating reporter was killed in Los Angeles, reports about beautiful girls and a medical intern missing in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, also surfaces. Alex Cross must try his possible best to uncover the horrifying murder case. This novel was first published in 19995 but was later adapted into a movie of the same name in 1997.

3. Jack & Jill

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 480 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: September 28, 1996
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN: 0446692654 (ISBN13: 9780446692656)

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The third book in the James Patterson’s Alex Cross series, Jack & Jill, is a sequel to Kiss The Girls. In this novel, Alex Cross continues in his mission to uncover two terrifying murders, involving a controversial US Senator who was murdered in his home in Georgetown and another case of a little girl savagely beaten and dumped in front of an elementary school. However, the police discover only one clue – a note written “Jack & Jill,” promising it’s just the beginning and will stop at nothing until they finish killing the rich and famous. Although Alex has the skills and wit to uncover the case, will he find these murderers in time?

4. Cat & Mouse

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 416 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 5, 1997
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-13: 9780316693295

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Cat & Mouse is one of James Patterson’s books in the Alex Cross series. In this piece, Alex Cross continues with his ordeal with Gary Soneji. While Soneji is out of prison, where he contracted AIDS, he wows to get revenge on Cross before he dies. However, Alex is attacked in his home and left in a near-death situation. Two new characters join the game in a twist- Thomas Augustine Pierce, who has a reputation for catching killers, and his rival Mr. Smith, another demon with an insane action towards his victim. Pierce tries to uncover Soneji’s involvement in the attack against Cross when he found a postcard from Mr. Smith inviting him for another killing. With so much suspense on both ends, who’s the cat and who’s his mouse bait? Where is the final trap, and who would survive? Find out!

5. Pop Goes The Weasel

  • Genres: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
  • Paperback Volume: 480 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: October 19, 1999
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-13: 9780446608817

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The fifth Thomas Patterson’s book in the Alex Cross series, the novel revolves around the detective Alex Cross and his love life. The detective and his fiance find themselves in a complex murder investigation that threatens public safety and the shot at happiness. During his investigation, Cross discovers a suspect, Geoffrey Shafer, a British diplomat. As Cross tries to prove Shafer is the killer, the diplomat ploys a countermove, which leaves the detective and his wife with the most unforgettable nemesis ever. This piece is packed with suspense, with a chilling villain that readers would hardly forget.

6. Roses Are Red

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 416 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 20, 2000
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  •  ISBN-13: 9780446605489

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In this Alex Cross series, the detective continues his quest to solve a series of crimes that stuns Washington, D.C., including murders and bank robberies. Although he is still trying to deal with his personal issues at home, Alex Cross takes on the bank robbery case after learning that the Mastermind is plotting yet another huge robbery. Filled with suspense and intrigue, Alex Cross might be fighting his most brilliant enemy yet.

7. Violets Are Blue

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 400 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 19, 2001
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  •  ISBN-13: 9780316693233

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Violets Are Blue is the 7th book in the Alex Cross series, and it entails how Detective Cross confronts one of his most horrifying nemesis ever. With the murder of two joggers in San Francisco, the police and FBI are terrified that they are more like work of savages than human. Alex Cross takes on the case with trails of bodies taking him to Las Vegas, New Orleans, and the Savannah. While trying to uncover the case, the Mastermind taunts him and threatens everything he holds dear.

8. Four Blind Mice

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 416 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 18, 2002
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  •  ISBN-13: 9780446613262

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In this Alex Cross series, the detective was about to resign from Washington D.C. police department when his partner Sampson shows up with a case involving his old-time friend- a Vietnam veteran who has been arrested for murder. Sampson believes his friend has been framed. However, Alex Cross opens an investigation that uncovers a piece of evidence that has been overlooked or concealed by the military authorities. The deeper Cross and his partner go into the investigation, the more they uncover even the most challenging mystery. Published in 2002, this crime thriller,  like other books in James Patterson’s Alex Cross Series, became a New York Times bestseller.

9. The Big Bad Wolf

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 432 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 17, 2003
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-13: 9780446610223

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Published in November 2003, Big Bad Wolf became the 7th highest-selling novel in 2004. It follows Detective Cross as he battles a potent and ruthless killer ever known as the Wolf, a criminal mastermind who buys and sells young men and women. His victims and kidnapped in broad daylight, and the kidnappers don’t ask for ransom. As a result, Cross tries to apprehend Wolf singlehandedly to rescue some of the victims while they are still alive. On the flip side, his ex-fiancee Christine makes her way back into his life for no known reason.

10. London Bridges

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 416 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 8, 2004
  • Publisher: Hachette Book Group
  • ISBN-13: 9780446613354

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London Bridges is one of James Patterson’s books in the Alex Cross series. In this mystery thriller, the fate of the world rests on brave Detective Cross, the former Washington, D.C. homicide detective, and forensic psychiatrist and current FBI agent, as he battles the most fierce and dangerous criminals and assassins. While on vacation with his girlfriend in San Francisco, he gets a call. Mysterious soldiers left Sunrise Valley, Nevada, and moments later, a bomb detonates a hundred feet above the ground. However, Wolf claims responsibility, and world leaders have just four days to save the world from a huge catastrophe. Will Alex Cross be able to survive this?

11. Mary, Mary

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 448 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 14, 2005
  • Publisher: Hachette Book Group
  • ISBN-13: 9780446619035

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Mary, Mary is the 11th book in the Alex Cross series. Filled with suspense, it follows FBI agent Alex Cross as he tries to uncover murder mysteries involving Hollywood A-list. Though on vacation in Disneyland with his family, Alex’s vacation was cut short as he got a call about the killing of a renowned actress. All the Hollywood A-list members are terrified of whose turn it will be next. Following his investigation, Alex Cross discovers Mary Smith is the killer and must fight to stop her before she sends another heartbreaking update.

12. Cross

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 432 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 13, 2006
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-13: 9781455523535

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This novel revolves around Alex Cross as he faces the most cunning, psychotic killer of his career. While he was still rising through the ranks in Washington D.C. Police Department, Alex Cross’s wife was killed in front of him. His passion for vengeance was placed on hold as he faces the toughest challenge of raising his children without their mom. Now he leaves the FBI and starts working as a psychologist once again, and everything in his life seems to be working normally before his former partner Sampson calls for a favor. This thriller novel inspired the movie Alex Cross, released in 2012.

13. Double Cross

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 400 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 13, 2007
  • Publisher: Hachette Book Group
  •  ISBN-13: 9780446198981

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Double Cross is the 13th book in James Patterson’s Alex Cross series. It follows Alex Cross and his new girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, as they face two crazed killers. The more these two try to understand the killer’s pattern, the more complex it gets. However, Alex knows that the killer is a genius and is after fame and would stop at nothing to become the most terrific nightmare in Washington D.C. Soon after its release, this novel became New York Times bestseller.

14. Cross Country

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 400 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 17, 2008
  • Publisher: Hachette Book Group
  • ISBN-13: 9780446536301

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This electrifying, speed-charged thriller from James Patterson follows Alex Cross as he faces a new kind of killer alone. However, when the crimes happen close to his home, Cross must destroy the source before it finds him first. The detective and his girlfriend got entangled in the deadly Nigerian underworld of Washington D.C., where they discovered an organized gang of lethal teenagers led by Tiger, a powerful diabolic African warlord. When they are close to solving the murder mystery, Tiger vanishes into thin air. Tracing him to Africa, Cross knows he must go after him.

15. Alex Cross’s Trial

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 416 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: August 24, 2009
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-13: 9780446561808

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This novel revolves around the titular character, Alex Cross’s ancestors. Written in Alex Cross’s voice, this book is a total deviation from the main Alex Cross series. The detective passes the story of his great uncle Abraham, who lived in the Klux Klan, and his struggles for survival in his era to his children through a novel he has written entitled Trial. The story follows a turn-of-the-century Washington D.C. where a Lawyer named Ben Corbett is known for his resilience in taking up the toughest cases. President Roosevelt asks him to return to his hometown to investigate rumors of a resurgence in the Klux Klan. Upon arrival, Ben meets Abraham Cross and his granddaughter, Moody, who helped show him the hidden side of the Southern town. Ben aims to stop the reign of terror, but the truth about who is behind it could leave him heartbroken.

16. I, Alex Cross

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 400 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 16, 2009
  • Publisher: Hachette Book Group
  • ISBN-13: 9780446561969

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This is one of James Patterson’s books and the 16th in the Alex Cross series. Detective Cross is back to hunt down the killer of his beloved relative. However, trying to solve the case leads Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna, to Washington’s most notorious club, where everything is possible only if you have the pass. There, they discover the killer could be a Washington elite who will do anything to keep their secrets buried, a discovery that could rock the entire world. This novel tends to unleash electrifying revelations and plot twists that will keep readers on their seat edge.

17. Cross Fire

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 416 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 15, 2010
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-13: 9780316036177

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Filled with action and suspense, Cross Fire entails Alex Cross’s ordeal while planning his wedding with Brianna. He puts the planning on hold after getting a call from the scene of a perfectly executed assassination of two corrupt Washington Congressmen. While Cross was on the case, the FBI assigns Max Siegel to carry out the investigation. As they battle for jurisdiction, they discover that the killer could be an insider as he has detailed knowledge of his victims, which only an insider could possess. As Alex battles his wedding, Siegel and a sniper, he gets a call from Kyle Craig, the face behind the crimes in D.C. Now, Cross must strive to protect his family from Craig, who is hellbent on eliminating every member of his family.

18. Kill Alex Cross

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 400 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 14, 2011
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-13: 9781455510207

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Filled with fast and furious action, Kill Alex Cross follows Detective Cross as he makes desperate decisions that may alter the country’s fate. The President’s son and daughter were kidnapped, and Cross is the first to arrive at the scene. However, while trying to hunt down the kidnapper, he discovers that someone powerful is doing everything possible to take him off the case. So as the nation’s water supply becomes contaminated, Alex learns that someone may be about to launch a devastating attack on the United States. Will he find the kidnapper? Find out!

19. Merry Christmas, Alex Cross

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 448 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 12, 2012
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-13: 9780316210690

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Merry Christmas, Alex Cross is one of James Patterson’s books and the 19th installment in the Alex Cross series. Although it has a little deviation from the main series, this book is purely a holiday classic thriller worth reading. While Alex Cross’s family wants to spend Christmas with him, he was called away on Christmas Eve to save another family in a hostage situation that is quickly spiraling out of control. The detective must do everything he can to keep the situation under control and save the victims.

20. Alex Cross, Run

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 432 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: February 18, 2013
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-13: 9780316097512

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The whole of Washington D.C. is in panic as the crime rate increases. While Alex arrests plastic surgeon Elijah Creem for sleeping with teenage girls. However, his life is on the line as Creem comes out of jail, wearing a new face so that no one would recognize him. Now, Alex is focused on solving a series of crimes that leads nowhere without knowing that someone’s watching. Rumors about three serial killers fill the air. They would stop at nothing until they get their revenge on  Cross. The detective must run for his dear life if he wants to stay alive. If he stops, he dies.

21. Cross My Heart

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 448 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 25, 2013
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-13: 9780316210911

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Despite being a fierce detective, Alex Cross is also a family man at heart. He holds his family, including his grandmother, wife, and children, close to his heart. However, in Cross My Heart, someone who knows Alex’s strength lies in his family dares to hurt his family. So while the stakes are high, with his family in danger, Alex confronts his toughest enemy yet and will do anything he can to protect his family, even with his own life.

22. Hope To Die

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 400 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 24, 2014
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-13: 9780316210966

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Hope to Die is the 22nd book in James Patterson’s Alex Cross series. In this piece, Detective Cross is being stalked by a psychotic genius who takes his family into captivity. He must give the psychotic genius whatever he wants to stand a chance of seeing his loved ones again. But what will he sacrifice to be able to save his loved ones? This novel has an intriguing yet astonishing finish.

23. Cross Justice

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 448 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 23, 2015
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-13: 0316407046

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In this thriller, Alex Cross is trying to solve the most personal mystery of his life. Upon his family’s return to their hometown of North Carolina, Cross ventures to help his cousin, accused of killing a 13-year-old boy. However, memories of how he grew up in the poor town came flooding back. While trying to solve the case and prove his cousin’s innocence, he uncovers a family secret that forces him to question everything he has ever been told. Going to Florida to learn more about what happened to his dead father, he discovers there are many murderers there. Cross must help the local police amid solving his personal mystery.

24. Cross The Line

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 400 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 3, 2016
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-13: 9781784752026

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The 24th book in the Alex Cross series, Cross The Line entails how Detective Cross teams up with his wife, Brianna, to outsmart a D.C. Criminal who has made himself a judge, jury, and executioner. A prominent police officer was gunned down, thus leaving D.C. Police department scrambling for answers. While tension is on the rise, Alex steps into the leadership vacuum to investigate cases of the incessant killing. He must take on the merciless murderer to keep everything under control before the city he has sworn to protect drowns in chaos, but not without the help of his wife.

25. The People Vs. Alex Cross

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 432 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 20, 2017
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-13: 9780316273909

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Alex Cross races against the tide as he sits on the wrong side of the law. After being suspended for killing Gary Soneji’s followers in cold blood, Cross is now seen as a trigger-happy cop, and he must do everything possible to clear his name. Although he knows it was self-defense, will the jury set him free? To make himself useful, he established a counseling office in his basement, where his old partner Sampson shows up requesting his help to solve a case of young, blonde women that suddenly went missing. Even with his life on the line, Alex will do anything to stop a dangerous criminal. While on the case, they discover the darkest part of the internet, where people are being killed via webcams as a form of entertainment.

26. Target: Alex Cross

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 414 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 19, 2018
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-13: 9780316273947

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In this James Patterson’s book, a sniper bullet strikes a Senator in D.C., and Alex’s wife, Bree, must solve the case or lose her new position as chief of detectives. The president calls Alex Cross to lead an investigation to bring the killer to justice. Alex teams up with the FBI and the Secret Service but discovers they are battling six elite assassins who are out to kill prominent government officials, with no exception of Alex Cross. However, the sniper’s attack could be the beginning of a bigger attack that will threaten the peace in the country.

27. Criss Cross

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 400 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 25, 2019
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-13: 9781538715406

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Criss Cross is one of James Patterson’s books and the 27th in the Alex Cross series. In this piece, a dangerous killer with the skills of a master detective makes Detective Cross the subject of his investigation. After witnessing the death of a killer they helped to convict, Alex and his partner Sampson were called to a crime scene. There, they found a note signed with “M” resting on the corpse with the write-up, “You messed up big time, Dr. Cross.” However, Alex realizes he may have a bigger question to answer after the killer lures him out of the capital to scenes of multiple homicides, with the same familiar details linking Alex’s family secrets and decades-old cases.

28. Deadly Cross

  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Paperback Volume: 416 pages
  • Original Publishing Date: November 23, 2020
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-13: 9780316420259

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The latest among James Patterson’s books and the 28th in the Alex Cross series, Deadly Cross follows the killing of Kay Willingham, a Georgetown socialite and the ex-wife of the vice president. Also, Alex Cross’s patient, Kay, was murdered in the middle of the night behind a D.C. private school, where she was in a Bentley with the school owner. The shocking homicide rocks the internet, TV, and Newspaper headlines. Detective Cross takes on the case with FBI Special Agent Ned Mahoney, and they travel to Alabama to investigate Kay’s early life. However, they discover a series of corruption, secrets, and troubles, which are not open to outsiders like Cross and Ned. Now, Cross must employ his diverse skills as a detective, doctor, and family man to solve this case.

James Patterson’s Alex Cross Books Adapted Into Movies

As we aforementioned, the highest-grossing James Patterson’s Alex Cross books have been adapted into three movies, including Kiss the Girls (1997), Along Came a Spider (2001), and Alex Cross (2012).

1. Kiss the Girls (1997)

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Directed by Gary Felder and starring Morgan Freeman, the first movie, Kiss the Girls, was released in 1997. With a production budget of $27 million, the movie grossed $60.5 million at the global Box Office. However, the movie received negative reviews as the plot deviated so much from the novel. It was also rated 29% on Rotten Tomatoes and 46% on Metacritic.

2. Along Came a Spider (2001)

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The second highly successful novel, Along Came a Spider, which is the first book in the series, was adapted into a movie released in 2001. Directed by Lee Tamahori and starring Morgan Freeman, the thriller film was released in 2001. Like the first movie, Along Came a Spider also got several negative reviews, as the original plot from the novel was changed. However, from a budget of $60 million, the film grossed $105 million at the global Box Office. It garnered a 31% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 42.

3. Alex Cross (2012)

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Released in 2012, the book was based on the 12th book in the James Patterson’s Alex Cross books, Cross. Directed by Rob Cohen, the movie stars Tyler Perry as the main character Alex Cross, alongside Edward Burns and Matthew Fox as his partners. Although the movie got mixed and negative reviews upon release, Perry and Fox were applauded for their outstanding performance. However, the film was minor at the box office as it grossed $34 million from its initial budget of $23 million. It was further 12% on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic score of 30.

Will There Be More Alex Cross Books from James Patterson?

Although 2020 wasn’t a great year for many following the Coronavirus pandemic, James Patterson never relented in keeping his readers thrilled with the release of Deadly Cross in November 2020. However, in 2021, the writer will surely continue with the same energy. Lovers of Alex Cross series will be expecting the 29th book in the series entitled “Fear No Evil.”

According to the trailer, readers will anticipate finding their favorite character Detective Cross as he battles a relentless killer who has stalked his family for several years. The novel is expected to drop on November 22, 2021. Aside from the 28 books listed above in the Alex Cross main series, James Patterson also released two backshots, including Cross Kill (2016) and Detective Cross (2017).

Iyke Legend
Ikenna is an avid reader, writer, and editor. He has been providing quality content for top websites for over 5 years. Besides writing, his other interests include reading, research, music, and sports.

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