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London Bridges

Alex Cross is back in his tenth and most explosive adventure yet.

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.

And so is the Wolf
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. The Wolf is the deadliest nemesis Cross has ever faced, and the fact that he is still at large is agonizing for him and his new bosses at the FBI.

And so is the Weasel
Major cities around the globe, including London, Paris, and New York, are threatened with total destruction. The Wolf has proven he can do it - the only question is who can stop him in time. Surveillance film of the blast reveals the presence of another of Alex Cross's most dangerous enemies, the ruthless assassin known as the Weasel. The thought of these two dark geniuses joining forces makes Alex's blood run cold.

Now are you scared?

World leaders have just four days to prevent an unimaginable cataclysm. In a matter of hours, Cross is catapulted into an international chase of astonishing danger. 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.

Part One: THE UNTHINKABLE

Chapter 4

THE JOB - the operation, the mission - was to wipe out an entire American town. In broad daylight.

It was some eerie, psycho gig. Dawn of the Dead, either version, would be mild compared to this. Sunrise Valley, Nevada; population, 315 brave souls. Soon to be population, 0. Who was going to believe it? Well, hell, everybody would in less than about three minutes.

None of the men on board the small plane knew why the town was being targeted for extinction, or anything else about the strange mission, except that it paid extremely well, and all the money had been delivered to them up front. Hell, they didn't even know one another's names. All they had been told was their individual tasks for the mission. Just their little piece of the puzzle. That's what it was called - their piece.

Michael Costa from Los Angeles was the munitions expert on board and he'd been instructed to make a "bootleg fuel-air bomb with some real firepower." Okay, he could do that easily enough.

His working model was the BLU-96, often called a Daisy Cutter, which graphically described the end result. Costa knew that the bomb had originally been designed to clear away mine fields, as well as jungles and forests for military landing zones. Then some really crazy, sick dude had figured out that the Daisy Cutter could wipe out people as easily as it could trees and boulders.

So now here he was inside an old, beat-to-hell cargo plane flying over the Tuscarora Mountain range toward Sunrise Valley, Nevada, and they were very close to T, for target.

He and his new best friends were assembling the bomb right there on the plane. They even had a diagram showing how to do it, as if they were idiots. Assembling Fuel-Air Bombs for Dummies.

The actual BLU-96 was a tightly controlled military weapon and relatively hard to obtain, Costa knew. Unfortunately for everybody who lived, loved, ate, slept, and shit in Sunrise Valley, Daisy Cutters could also be assembled at home out of readily obtainable ingredients. Costa had purchased a thousand-gallon supplemental fuel bladder, then filled it with high-octane gas, fitted a dispersing device, and inserted dynamite sticks as an initiator. Next, he made a motion brake and trigger assembly using a parachutist's altitude-deployment device for parts. Simple stuff like that. Then, as he'd told the others on board the cargo plane, "You fly over the target. You push the bomb out the payload door. You run like your pants are on fire and there's an ocean up ahead. Trust me, the Daisy Cutter will leave nothing but scorched earth below. Sunrise Valley will be a burn mark in the desert. A memory. Just you watch."

Copyright © 2004 by James Patterson

Read by Peter J. Fernandez and Denis O'Hare
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