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Mary, Mary

Alex Cross travels to Hollywood to hunt for a brutal killer in his most terrifying case yet.

FBI Agent Alex Cross is on vacation with his family in Disneyland when he gets a call from the Director. A well-known actress was shot outside her home in Beverly Hills. Shortly afterward, an editor for the Los Angeles Times receives an e-mail describing the murder in vivid details. Alex quickly learns that this is not an isolated incident. The killer, known as Mary Smith, has done this before and plans to kill again.

Right from the beginning, this case is like nothing Alex has ever been confronted with before. Is this the plan of an obsessed fan or a spurned actor, or is it part of something much more frightening? Now members of Hollywood's A-list fear they're next on Mary's list, and the case grows by blockbuster proportions as the LAPD and FBI scramble to find a pattern before Mary can send one more chilling update.

Filled with the ruthless and shocking twists that make his fans hunger for more, Mary, Mary is James Patterson's most sophisticated thriller yet.

Chapter 7

WE ALL TRIED TO FORGET about James Truscott and his photographer for a while after that. Did pretty good, too. After umpteen different rides, a live show starring Mickey Mouse, two snacks, and countless carnival games, I dared to suggest that we head back to the hotel.

"For the pool?" Damon asked, grinning. We had glimpsed the five-thousand-square-foot Never Land Pool on our way to breakfast early that morning.

When I got to the front desk, there was a message waiting, one that I was expecting. Inspector Jamilla Hughes of the San Francisco Police Department was in town and needed a meeting with me. ASAP, if not sooner, said the note. That means move it, buster.

I gave my smiling regrets to the pool sharks and took my leave of them. After all, I was on vacation, too.

"Go get 'em, Daddy," Jannie ribbed me. "It's Jamilla, right?" Damon gave a thumbs-up and a smile from behind the fogged lens of a snorkel mask.

I crossed the grounds from the Disneyland Hotel to the Grand Californian, where I had booked another room. This place was an entirely American Arts and Crafts affair, much more sedate than our own hotel.

I passed through stained-glass doors into a soaring lobby. Redwood beams rose six floors overhead, and Tiffany lamps dotted the lower level, which centered on an enormous fieldstone fireplace.

I barely noticed any of it, though. I was already thinking about Inspector Hughes up in room 456. Amazing - I was on vacation.

Copyright © 2005 by James Patterson

Read by Peter J. Fernandez, Melissa Leo, & Michael Louis Wells
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