Four Blind Mice
by James Patterson
Book Review by Amy Coffin
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Alex Cross is about to retire his badge, but pauses to help his partner with a case. John Sampson has a friend sitting on death row for a triple murder he didn't commit. He wants his Alex to find the real killer before it's too late.

What Alex Cross finds is shocking: three military wives were brutally murdered in North Carolina. Evidence suggests there was more than one killer. Cross and Sampson run into a gray wall of silence with the uncooperative United States Army. They find cover-ups, ties to Vietnam, and truth more shocking than anyone could have imagined. Their discovery is the fuel that drives Four Blind Mice.

Jamilla Hughes was introduced in Violets are Blue. She's back with a bigger role in this James Patterson installment. Also more prevalent is the Cross family. Alex's Nana Mama has a health scare that will concern loyal readers of the series.

Patterson identifies the killers up front (the mice in the title). The investigation of their cold, calculated crimes is one of Patterson's best offerings to date. Alex Cross stands in the crossfire several times in this tale. Readers will wonder if this case is the detective's last.

The personal lives of the cast are explored further in Four Blind Mice than in past series installments. Alex and Jamilla maintain a long distance relationship, while Sampson finds love in an unlikely place. New readers will have no trouble following the story. However, reading the Alex Cross novels in order will provide bookworms a full illustration of the legendary detective.

Several novels published in 2002 have drawn on the Vietnam War for their plots. Perhaps it's a trend, but Patterson's tale hooks readers with a unique revelation of events. The author's trademark short and stunning chapters make
Four Blind Mice impossible to put down.