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Hope to Die

Detective Alex Cross is being stalked by a psychotic genius, forced to play the deadliest game of his career. Cross's family—his loving wife Bree, the wise and lively Nana Mama, and his precious children—have been ripped away. Terrified and desperate, Cross must give this mad man what he wants if he has any chance of saving the most important people in his life. The stakes have never been higher: What will Cross sacrifice to save the ones he loves?

Widely praised by the greatest crime and thriller writers of our time, Cross My Heart set a jaw-dropping story in motion. Hope to Die propels Alex Cross's greatest challenge to its astonishing finish, proving why Jeffery Deaver says "nobody does it better" than James Patterson.

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Prologue | TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE EASTER

I TRUDGED AIMLESSLY THROUGH the dark, empty streets of Washington, haunted by the memory of my son Ali telling me that the only way to kill a zombie was to destroy its brain.

It was 3 a.m. Storms punished the city.

I’d been walking like that for hours by then but didn’t feel hungry, or thirsty, or tired in any way. When lightning bolts ripped the sky and thunder clapped right over my head, I barely flinched. Not even the pouring rain could slow me or soothe the agony that burned through every inch of my body because of what had been done to my family. With every step I kept seeing Ali, Bree, Damon, Jannie, and Nana Mama in my mind. With every step the horror of what had happened to them ignited inside me all over again, and loneliness and grief and anger.

Is this what Thierry Mulch wanted? I kept asking myself.

Thierry Mulch had destroyed everything I loved, everything I believed in. He’d gutted me and left a dead, soulless man doomed to endless, meaningless movement.

As I walked, I kept hoping Mulch or some anonymous street predator would appear and blow my head off with a shotgun, or crush it with an axe.

There was nothing I wanted more than that.

Copyright © 2013 by James Patterson

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Read by Michael Boatman & Tom Wopat

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