In broad desert daylight, a mysterious platoon of soldiers evacuates the entire population of Sunrise Valley, Nevada. Minutes later, a huge bomb detonates a hundred feet above the ground and lays waste to homes, cars, and playgrounds: a town annihilated in an instant.
Alex Cross is on vacation in San Francisco with his girlfriend, Jamilla Hughes, when he gets the call. The Russian supercriminal known as the Wolf claims responsibility for the blast.
Major cities around the globe are threatened with total destruction. The Wolf has proven he can do it; the only question is, can anyone stop him in time? Surveillance film of the blast reveals the presence of another of Alex Cross' most dangerous enemies, the ruthless assassin known as the Weasel.
World leaders have just four days to prevent an unimaginable cataclysm. Joining forces with Scotland Yard and Interpol, Alex fights his way through a torrent of false leads, impersonators, and foreign agents before he gets close to the heart of the crimes. Racing down the hairpin turns of the Riviera in the most unforgettable finale James Patterson has ever written, Alex Cross confronts the truth of the Wolf's identity, a revelation that even Cross himself may be unable to survive.
COLONEL GEOFFREY SHAFER loved his new life in Salvador, Brazil's
third-largest city and some would say its most intriguing. It was
definitely the most fun.
He had rented a plush six-bedroom villa directly across from
Guarajuba Beach, where he spent his days drinking sweet caipirinhas
and ice-cold Brahma beers, or sometimes playing tennis at the club.
At night, Colonel Shafer-the psychopathic killer better known as the
Weasel-was up to his old tricks, hunting on the dark, narrow,
winding streets of the Old City. He had lost count of his kills in
Brazil, and nobody in Salvador seemed to care, or even keep count.
There hadn't been a single newspaper story about the disappearance
of young prostitutes. Not one. Maybe it was true what they said of
the people here-when they weren't actually partying, they were
already rehearsing for the next one.
At a few ticks past two in the morning, Shafer returned to the villa
with a young and beautiful streetwalker who called herself Maria.
What a gorgeous face the girl had, and a stunning brown body,
especially for someone so young. Maria said she was only thirteen.
The Weasel picked a fat banana from one of several plants in his
yard. At this time of year he had his choice of coconut, guava,
mango, and pinha, which was sugar apple. As he plucked the fresh
fruit he had the thought that there was always something ripe for
the taking in Salvador. It was paradise. Or maybe it's hell and I'm
the Devil, Shafer thought, and chuckled to himself.
"For you, Maria," he said, handing her the banana. "We'll put it to
The girl smiled knowingly, and the Weasel noticed her eyes-what
perfect brown eyes. And all mine now-eyes, lips, breasts.
Just then, he spotted a small Brazilian monkey called a mico trying
to work its way through a window screen and into his house. "Get out
of here, you thieving little bastard!" he yelled. "G'wan! Beat it!"
There came a quick movement from out of the bushes, then three men
jumped him. The police, he was certain, probably Americans. Alex
The cops were all over him, powerful arms and legs everywhere. He
was struck down by a bat, or a lead pipe, yanked back up by his full
head of hair, then beaten unconscious.
"We caught him. We caught the Weasel, first try. That wasn't very
hard," said one of the men. "Bring him inside."
Then he looked at the beautiful young girl, who was clearly afraid,
rightly so. "You did a good job, Maria. You brought him to us." He
turned to one of his men. "Kill her."
A single gunshot ruptured the silence in the front yard. No one
seemed to notice or care in Salvador.
Excerpted from "London Bridges" by James Patterson. Copyright © 2004 by James Patterson. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.