Excerpt from Four Blind Mice by James Patterson, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Four Blind Mice

An Alex Cross Thriller

By James Patterson

Four Blind Mice
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Nov 2002,
    400 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 2003,
    416 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


They did all the things they couldn't do at home, played music from the sixties — the Doors, Cream, Hendrix, Blind Faith, the Airplane — loud. They drank way too much beer and bourbon while they grilled thick porterhouse steaks that they ate with fresh corn, Vidalia onions, tomatoes, and baked potatoes slathered with butter and sour cream. They smoked expensive Cuban cigars. They had a hell of a lot of fun in what they did.

"What was the line in that old beer commercial? You know the one I'm talking about," Harris asked as they sat out on the front porch after dinner.

"It doesn't get any better than this," Starkey said as he flicked the thick ash from his cigar onto the wide-planked floor. "I think it was a shit beer, though. Can't even remember the name. Course, I'm a little drunk and a lot stoned." Neither of the others believed that. Thomas Starkey was never completely out of control, and especially not when he committed murder, or ordered it done.

"We've paid our dues, gentlemen. We've earned this," Starkey said, and extended his mug to clink with his friends. "What's happening now is well deserved."

"Bet your ass we earned it. Couple or three foreign wars. Our other exploits over the past few years," said Harris. "Families. Eleven kids between us. Plus we did pretty good out in the big, bad civilian world too. I sure never figured I'd be knocking down a hundred and a half a year."

They clinked the heavy beer glasses again. "We did good, boys. And believe it or not, it can only get better," said Starkey.

As they always did, they retold old war stories — Grenada, Mogadishu, the Gulf War, but mostly Vietnam.

Starkey recounted the time they had made a Vietnamese woman "ride the submarine." The woman — a VC sympathizer, of course — had been stripped naked, then tied to a wooden plank, face upward. Harris had tied a towel around her face. Water from a barrel was slowly sprinkled onto the towel. As the towel eventually became soaked, the woman was forced to inhale water to breathe. Her lungs and stomach soon swelled with the water. Then Harris pounded on her chest to expel the water. The woman talked, but of course she didn't tell them anything they didn't already know. So they dragged her out to a kaki tree, which produced a sweet fruit and was always covered with large yellow ants. They tied the mama-san to the tree, lit up marijuana cigars, and watched as her body swelled beyond recognition. When it was close to bursting, they "wired" her with a field telephone and electrocuted her. Starkey always said that was about the most creative kill ever. "And the VC terrorist bitch deserved it."

Brownley Harris started to talk about "mad minutes" in Vietnam. If there were answering shots from a village, even one, they would have a "mad minute." All hell would break loose because the answering shots proved that the whole village was VC. After the "mad minute," the village, or what remained of it, would be burned to the ground.

"Let's go into the den, boys," Starkey said. "I'm in the mood for a movie. And I know just the one."

"Any good?" Brownley Harris asked, and grinned. "Scary as hell, I'll tell you that. Makes Hannibal look like a popcorn fart. Scary as any movie you ever saw."


CHAPTER 8

THE THREE OF them headed for the den, their favorite place in the cabin. A long time ago in Vietnam, the trio had been given the code name Three Blind Mice. They had been elite military assassins — did what they were told, never asked embarrassing questions, executed their orders. It was still pretty much that way. And they were the best at what they did.

Starkey was the leader, just as he had been in Vietnam. He was the smartest and the toughest. Starkey hadn't changed much physically over the years. He was six-one, had a thirty-three-inch waist and a tan, weathered face, appropriate for his fifty-five years. His blond hair was now peppered with gray. He didn't laugh easily, but when he did, everybody usually laughed with him.

Copyright © 2002 by James Patterson

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...
  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Night Film
    by Marisha Pessl
    One of the central tenets of Hinduism states that the world as we know it is just an illusion –...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The City
by Dean Koontz

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  90Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.