Book Order by Series

James Patterson Alex Cross Series in Order

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The Alex Cross series by James Paterson is a popular collection of novels that follows the adventures of its titular character, Alex Cross, a skilled detective and psychologist. With a total of 34 books in the series, readers can dive into Cross’s world of crime-solving and suspense in chronological order. Each book offers a unique blend of mystery, thriller, and police procedural elements, making it a compelling choice for those who enjoy gripping stories filled with intriguing characters and unexpected twists. 

Additionally, there is a spin-off series focusing on Alex Cross’s son, Ali Cross, who follows in his father’s footsteps as a detective. This extension of the Cross family’s adventures provides a new perspective on the world crafted by James Paterson.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of both the Alex Cross series and the Ali Cross series, presenting the books in order of their release.

James Patterson Alex Cross Series in Order

  1. Along Came a Spider (1993)
  2. Kiss the Girls (1995)
  3. Jack & Jill (1996)
  4. Cat & Mouse (1997)
  5. Pop Goes the Weasel (1999)
  6. Roses Are Red (2000)
  7. Violets Are Blue (2001)
  8. Four Blind Mice (2002)
  9. The Big Bad Wolf (2003)
  10. London Bridges (2004)
  11. Mary, Mary (2005)
  12. Cross (2006)
  13. Double Cross (2007)
  14. Cross Country (2008)
  15. Alex Cross’s Trial (2009)
  16. I, Alex Cross (2009)
  17. Cross Fire (2010)
  18. Kill Alex Cross (2011)
  19. Merry Christmas, Alex Cross (2011)
  20. Alex Cross, Run (2013)
  21. Cross My Heart (2013)
  22. Hope to Die (2014)
  23. Cross Justice (2015)
  24. Cross the Line (2016)
  25. Cross Kill (2016)
  26. Detective Cross (2017)
  27. The People vs. Alex Cross (2017)
  28. Target: Alex Cross (2018)
  29. Criss Cross (2019)
  30. Deadly Cross (2020)
  31. Fear No Evil (2021)
  32. Triple Cross (2022)
  33. Cross Down (2023)
  34. Alex Cross Must Die: A Thriller (2023)

Ali Cross Series

  1. Ali Cross (2019)
  2. Like Father, Like Son (2021)
  3. The Secret Detective (2022)

Similar Authors

  • “The Reversal” by Michael Connelly: Defense attorney Mickey Haller takes on the case of a high-profile child molestation suspect, while his half-brother, Detective Harry Bosch, works to uncover the truth. See Harry Bosch Books in Order.
  • “The Bone Collector” by Jeffrey Deaver: Quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhyme and his partner, Amelia Sachs, must solve a series of gruesome murders by deciphering clues left by a cunning serial killer.
  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson: Investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the enigmatic hacker Lisbeth Salander join forces to uncover long-buried secrets involving a wealthy family and a mysterious disappearance.

See also: James Patterson’s Standalone Books in Order.

Most Recommended Books

  1. Cross Down (4.44 Goodreads score)
  2. Triple Cross (4.40 Goodreads score)
  3. Alex Cross Must Die (4.34 Goodreads score)
  4. Fear No Evil (4.29 Goodreads score)
  5. Deadly Cross (4.28 Goodreads score)
  6. Cross Justice (4.25 Goodreads score)
  7. Criss Cross (4.25 Goodreads score)
  8. The People vs. Alex Cross (4.23 Goodreads score)
  9. Hope to Die (4.20 Goodreads score)
  10. Along Came a Spider (4.13 Goodreads score)


James Patterson received the Literarian Award in 2015 and 2022, the National Humanities Medal in 2019, and has earned various other accolades, including the Edgar Award, BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year, International Thriller of the Year, and the Children’s Choice Book Award for Author of the Year.

Upcoming Releases

“Cross Out” will be available on November 20, 2023, followed by “What Really Happens in Vegas” on December 4, 2023. Moving into 2024, readers can look forward to “Holmes, Miss Marple, and Poe Investigations” and “Middle School: Million Dollar Mess” both coming out on January 8, followed by “Tiger, Tiger” on February 12, 2024.

Book Summaries

Along Came a Spider

In "Along Came a Spider" Detective Alex Cross is assigned the task of finding two kidnapped children from a prestigious school in Washington DC. The kidnapper is revealed to be one of the teachers, making the capture even more difficult. As Cross delves further into the kidnapper's twisted world, he realizes that the culprit is much more dangerous than expected.

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Kiss the Girls

In "Kiss the Girls" Cross is worried that a missing person case may be connected to a series of terrifying abductions and murders happening in the US. Two killers, who are in different parts of the country, are working together and trying to outdo each other with their gruesome crimes. Cross must find these ruthless criminals in order to save his niece and prevent more innocent lives from being in danger.

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Jack & Jill

Detective Alex Cross is faced with a challenging situation as two killers wreak havoc in Washington, DC. A senator is found murdered, while a young girl is brutally killed in another part of town. With the pressure to solve both cases, Cross is pushed to his limits. As the killers continue their rampage, Cross must uncover the truth before they target their next victim.

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Cat & Mouse

In "Cat & Mouse" Alex Cross, who has been struggling with depression since his wife's death, is called to Union Station train terminal. A dangerous psychopath named Gary Soneji is on the loose, shooting at innocent people. Soneji wants Cross to be there for his final act of violence. Will this be the ultimate confrontation?

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Pop Goes the Weasel

"Pop Goes the Weasel" follows the story of Geoffrey Shafter, a man who always wins and is willing to play the most important game of his life. Meanwhile, Alex Cross, a seasoned detective in Washington, DC, is determined to uncover the identity of the elusive killer known as "the weasel," despite being forbidden to do so.

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Roses Are Red

Detective Alex Cross is faced with a series of carefully planned bank robberies that turn deadly. Despite the dangers involved, Cross is determined to catch the sadistic mastermind behind the crimes. This bestseller takes readers on a thrilling journey into the mind of a psychopath and showcases the brilliance of detective Alex Cross. With mind games and high stakes, Cross must navigate a dangerous path where even the smallest error could result in death.

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Violets Are Blue

Detective Alex Cross is being pursued by a dangerous criminal known as the Mastermind. The Mastermind's menacing threats have left Alex worried for his family's safety. As the bodies of joggers are discovered in San Francisco and other locations, Alex and the FBI are left puzzled. They must determine if these murders are the work of a cult, role players, or even vampires. To solve the case, Alex teams up with detective Jamilla Hughes and FBI agent Kyle Craig. However, Alex finds himself in grave danger and must face a deadly confrontation to uncover the shocking secret of the Mastermind.

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Four Blind Mice

Alex Cross is ready to leave his job at the Washington Police Force. With the Mastermind behind bars and a new love interest, he's looking forward to the future. However, his plans are interrupted when his friend John Sampson seeks his help. Three military wives have been brutally murdered, and Sampson's friend is the prime suspect. As they dig deeper, they uncover suspicious convictions and a hidden world within the military. But what secrets is the army hiding? And could the strange symbols found at the crime scene indicate a darker conspiracy?

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The Big Bad Wolf

In his first case with the FBI, Alex is faced with a perplexing situation. People are being kidnapped in broad daylight and disappearing without a trace. Alex soon realizes that these individuals are not being taken for ransom, but rather they are being bought and sold. The mastermind behind this terrible trade is known as The Wolf, who is bringing a new wave of terror to organized crime. Despite admiring the FBI's resources, Alex becomes frustrated with their cautious approach. As a lone wolf himself, he takes it upon himself to track down The Wolf and rescue the victims before it's too late. However, as the case intensifies, Alex also finds himself facing personal challenges when his ex-fiancée, Christine Johnson, reenters his life for reasons he didn't expect.

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London Bridges

In "London Bridges" Alex Cross is enjoying his vacation when he receives a distressing call. A town in Nevada has been completely destroyed and the notorious Russian criminal, the Wolf, is taking credit for it. Now, major cities all over the world are under threat of total destruction. Alex is thrust into a thrilling and dangerous international chase to stop the Wolf.

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Mary, Mary

A famous actress is shot outside her home in Beverly Hills, and soon after, the Los Angeles Times receives an email describing the murder in detail, signed by Mary Smith. As more Hollywood celebrities are killed and receive similar emails, the FBI agent Alex Cross and the LAPD race against time to uncover the truth behind these horrifying crimes. Will they be able to stop Mary before she strikes again?

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Alex Cross, formerly with the DC Police, had his life shattered when his wife, Maria, was murdered. Now practicing psychology, his former partner enlists his aid in tracking a dangerous offender in Georgetown. As they investigate, Alex discovers unsettling links to Maria's unsolved murder, forcing him to confront his past and the possibility of finding her killer.

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Double Cross

Alex Cross finds himself pulled back into the world of crime when he must confront the Audience Killer. This terrifying genius stages his murders as public spectacles in Washington, DC and streams them online. Meanwhile, in Colorado, another criminal mastermind named Kyle Craig is planning his escape from prison and seeking revenge on Alex Cross. If teaming up with the Audience Killer helps him get to Cross, Craig is willing to work together.

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Cross Country

Detective Alex Cross is faced with a heartbreaking murder case in Washington DC. To seek justice, he embarks on a dangerous journey to Africa, specifically the Niger Delta, where he confronts a psychopathic killer known as the Tiger. As Alex delves deeper into this treacherous world of corruption and secrets, his own life becomes increasingly at risk.

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Alex Cross’s Trial

Detective Alex Cross delves into a family story of a courageous fight for freedom. The story takes place in 1900s Washington, DC, where lawyer Ben Corbett is asked by President Theodore Roosevelt to investigate the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in his hometown. Ben travels to Mississippi and meets Abraham Cross and his granddaughter, Moody, who reveal the hidden side of the town where the Black community lives in constant fear. Together, they must confront the deep-rooted hatred and make sacrifices to break the reign of terror.

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I, Alex Cross

In "I, Alex Cross" Detective Alex Cross is faced with a devastating tragedy when his niece is brutally murdered. Determined to seek justice, Cross embarks on a mission to track down the killer. Along the way, he uncovers a dark underworld in Washington where anything is possible for those with the right connections. As Cross delves deeper into the investigation, he finds himself up against powerful and dangerous individuals who will stop at nothing to protect their secrets. As the story unfolds, Cross uncovers shocking evidence that could have far-reaching consequences for the world.

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Cross Fire

Detective Alex Cross is faced with a dangerous situation when a skilled sniper starts targeting corrupt politicians in Washington. As the media frenzy grows, the public is unsure whether to see the sniper as a villain or a hero. Cross must investigate the case while also dealing with his deadliest adversary, who is determined to harm Cross and his family.

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Kill Alex Cross

Detective Alex Cross is on a mission to find the President's kidnapped children. However, someone influential is trying to stop him from solving the case. As if that wasn't enough, a dangerous virus in the DC water supply puts the entire nation at risk. Cross realizes that the situation is more serious than he initially thought - America is under attack. To save the missing children and prevent a catastrophic event, Cross must make a difficult choice that goes against his principles.

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Merry Christmas, Alex Cross

In "Merry Christmas, Alex Cross" Detective Alex Cross is enjoying a festive evening with his family when he receives a distressing phone call. A man, fueled by drugs and armed, has taken his own family hostage. The situation is tense and dangerous, with everyone's lives at stake. Meanwhile, a larger threat looms as a massive terrorist attack is set to unfold in Washington, DC, catching everyone off guard.

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Alex Cross, Run

Detective Alex Cross is faced with the challenge of hunting down three killers while also trying to escape from another. With multiple investigations pulling him in different directions, Cross is under immense pressure. On top of that, he is dealing with a crisis at home that could potentially tear his family apart. As Cross focuses on tracking the killers, he remains unaware that someone is secretly tracking him.

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Cross My Heart

Alex Cross finds himself being hunted by a dangerous predator. As he tries to protect his loved ones, he realizes that his enemies have targeted his family. With everyone he cares about being taken away from him, Alex must act quickly before he loses everyone he holds dear.

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Hope to Die

Hope to Die follows Alex Cross who has lost everything and everyone he cares about. His enemy, Thierry Mulch, has taken his family hostage and is threatening to kill them. Alex Cross is determined to find his family and defeat Mulch, no matter the cost. It's a race against time to save his loved ones and bring justice to his enemy.

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Cross Justice

Detective Alex Cross is faced with a shocking accusation against his cousin. Determined to prove his cousin's innocence, Cross returns to his hometown in North Carolina after many years. However, he soon discovers a family secret that shakes his beliefs to the core. As he delves into the past, Cross becomes entangled in a murder investigation, pursuing a ruthless killer whose secrets could have deadly consequences.

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Cross the Line

Alex Cross is faced with a dangerous situation in Washington DC. A killer is targeting criminals and taking justice into their own hands. As the crime wave escalates, Alex must step up to stop the chaos and bring the murderer to justice.

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Cross Kill

Alex Cross witnesses the death of a man by the hands of an old enemy. However, this enemy is back from the grave seeking revenge. Despite believing that the killer, Gary Soneji, had died over ten years ago, Cross sees him murder his partner. Now, Cross is left questioning if Soneji is truly alive, a ghost, or something even more sinister.

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Detective Cross

Dr. Cross finds himself in a dangerous situation when one of his patients becomes the prime suspect in a bomb threat in Washington, DC. As Alex Cross and his wife, Bree Stone, investigate, they realize that time is running out to stop a potential disaster.

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The People vs. Alex Cross

In "The People vs. Alex Cross" Alex Cross finds himself on the wrong side of the law for the first time. Accused of a cold-blooded murder, Cross is now seen as a trigger-happy cop. The evidence against him is shocking, and even his loved ones start to question his innocence. With everything at stake, Cross must prove his self-defense claim to his family and the jury if he wants to save his life and career.

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Target: Alex Cross

Alex Cross and his family are among the many people mourning the sudden death of the president in Washington, DC. As the country reels from this tragedy, a prominent senator is assassinated, further shaking the nation's capital. Cross is tasked with leading the FBI investigation to capture America's most wanted criminal. This high-stakes case will push Cross to his limits and have far-reaching consequences for the country.

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Criss Cross

Alex Cross finds himself in a troubling situation. Shortly after witnessing the execution of a criminal he helped put away, he is called to investigate a similar murder. A note left on the victim's body suggests that Cross made a mistake. As the family of the executed man turns against him, Cross's skills as a detective are questioned. The mysterious 'M' leads Cross to various crime scenes, each with eerie similarities to past cases and secrets from Cross's own family. It becomes evident that 'M' intends to not only ruin Cross's reputation but also much more.

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Deadly Cross

In "Deadly Cross" a scandalous double murder takes center stage as Detective Alex Cross delves into the psychological aspects of the case. The victims, a socialite and a high school principal, capture the attention of the media with their shocking deaths. Alex, who had a personal connection with one of the victims, embarks on a journey to uncover the truth about their pasts. As he digs deeper, he realizes that there are numerous individuals who had motives to harm the victims. However, the more Alex and his former partner investigate, the more obstacles they encounter. Alex is faced with a difficult decision that could jeopardize his relationships and his own moral compass.

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Fear No Evil

In this book, Alex Cross finds himself in the wild Montana wilderness, facing danger as he becomes the target of two rival groups of assassins. These assassins are controlled by a mastermind who has been haunting Alex and his family for a long time. As darkness descends and the river becomes treacherous, Alex must navigate through the forest while being pursued by his enemies. With no backup and seemingly no escape, Alex must confront his fears and fight against evil.

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Triple Cross

In "Triple Cross" Detective Alex Cross is faced with his most challenging case yet. A mysterious killer is targeting families in Washington, DC, leaving no trace behind. As Cross investigates, he discovers that a true-crime author has also taken an interest in the case. Together, they must determine if the author's theories are accurate before another family becomes a victim.

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Cross Down

The country is in chaos and corruption is rampant. Detective John Sampson is called to investigate a series of military-style attacks that are happening across the United States. The attacks are difficult to trace and seem to have no clear pattern. As Sampson tries to find a connection between the attacks, his partner Alex Cross is sidelined in a brutal manner, making Sampson realize that he can't trust anyone. With soldiers going on secret missions and others disappearing mysteriously, Sampson must confront his own military past in order to save the future of his country.

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Alex Cross Must Die: A Thriller

Detective Alex Cross is being hunted by a serial killer known as the Dead Hours Killer. When an airport killer starts targeting pilots, Cross is called to investigate a jet crash that was actually caused by a stolen Vietnam War-era machine gun. With time running out, Cross must find the expert behind the weapon before another deadly attack occurs.

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Ali Cross

Ali Cross is a young boy who idolizes his father, a former detective and FBI agent. When Ali's best friend goes missing and a series of burglaries occur in his neighborhood, Ali takes it upon himself to find his friend and solve the crimes. However, with his father on trial for a crime he didn't commit, Ali must navigate the challenges of being a kid detective while also obeying his father's warning to stay out of trouble. As Ali follows the clues, he discovers that things may not be as they appear. Will his detective work lead to finding his friend or create more problems for his family?

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Like Father, Like Son

In "Like Father, Like Son" Ali Cross, the son of Alex Cross, has just solved his first case. However, Alex knows that it won't be long before Ali gets involved in more trouble. Unexpectedly, Ali and his friends become witnesses to a crime while hanging out in Anacostia Park. Despite Alex's wishes for Ali to stay away from the investigation, Ali refuses to leave when his new friend Zoe is in trouble. Now, Ali must uncover why Zoe is lying to the police and who she is protecting. This proves to be Ali's most challenging case yet, but if he follows his instincts, he just might solve it.

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The Secret Detective

After assisting in solving two major cases, Ali believes he has the skills to become a detective like his father. Alongside his friends, Ali listens in on police calls and visits crime scenes to observe the detectives in action, hoping to solve cases on their own. However, when Ali witnesses something horrifying, he is faced with difficult questions about the responsibilities of being a detective and the risks it entails. Will Ali be able to follow in his father's footsteps, or will he find himself in grave danger?

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