Written by James Patterson, “The Big Bad Wolf” is the 9th Alex Cross novel, copyright: 2003. Awarded the BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year award for The Big Bad Wolf in 2003. Length and Position in Series: 117 Chapters and 398 pages (in paperback). 9th novel in the Alex Cross series. This is the 19th national bestseller by Patterson.
Features of the book:
The chapters are very short – almost written as scenes instead of chapters. Each chapter deals with a specific incident and characters. Once that scene is complete, the next chapter begins. This is what moves the story along so quickly. You don’t get bored with who was taking to whom or what the buildings look like or what the emotions of the characters are. Each page tells you a part of the story and quickly moves on to another scene and event.
The prologue is short and cleverly written and the many characters portrayed within the story are interesting and unique. In the event the reader is not satisfied with what happens to the protagonist within the story, the epilogue is crafted as if to make the reader say, “Okay, what happens next?” This seems to be the standard format for a number of the Alex Cross crime novels.
Who is Alex Cross?
The lead character in this series of novels is Alex Cross. His is a detective with a long history of solving horrific crimes in all parts of the world. Alex Cross is described as being six foot- three inches tall, weighs 200 pounds, and is athletic. Another words, he is a big guy you really don’t want to mess with.
“The Big Bad Wolf” marks Alex Cross’s entrance into the FBI where he is trying to solve a string of crimes in which beautiful women across the country are being kidnapped and possibly sold into slavery. First introduced in the prologue, the criminal mastermind behind the crimes is an evil crime boss called The Wolf. A well know mafia Godfather is found dead in his maximum security prison cell, just hours after The Wolf meets with him. The manner of death is called “Zamochit” which means “the breaking of bones.” As part of a murder ritual practiced by members of the Russian Red Mafia, The Wolf brings a new element of ruthlessness to organized crime. The horrendous murder of the Italian Godfather in his prison cell is just the beginning of a story that introduces sadistic characters again and again, each one ruthless and officious in nature.
The first chapter of the book begins on page 9 where we meet two kidnappers known as The Couple at an Atlanta shopping mall. They quickly snatch their victim, Elizabeth Connolly; recently purchased by the Wolf for $150,000.00. The next few chapters introduce us to Alex Cross, his children, and his team at the FBI. We quickly learn Alex may be the new guy at the FBI, but he has a long history in law enforcement and becomes the “go-to” guy for many situations that pop up. Though Alex never really completes his FBI orientation training due to these many situations, which make the story move very quickly, his career experiences enable him to decipher who is behind the Russian Mafia crimes, solve the kidnapping crime, and go on to live to solve another crime in the next James Patterson novel, “London Bridges”.