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


Brownley Harris was a stocky five-eight, but with a surprisingly well-toned body at age fifty-one, considering all the beer he drank. He had hooded brown eyes with thick, bushy eyebrows, almost a unibrow. His hair was still black but flecked with gray now, and he wore it in a military-style buzz cut, though not a "high and tight."

Warren "the Kid" Griffin was the youngest of the group, and still the most impulsive. He looked up to both of the other men, especially Starkey. Griffin was six-two, lanky, and reminded people, especially older women, of the folkrock singer James Taylor. His strawberry blond hair was long on the sides but thinning on top.

"I kind of like old Hannibal the Cannibal," Griffin said as they entered the den. "Especially now that Hollywood decided he's the good guy. Only kills people who don't have nice manners, or taste in fine art. Hey, what's wrong with that?"

"Works for me," said Harris.

Starkey locked the door to the den, then slid a plain, black-box videotape into the machine. He loved the den, with its leather seating arrangement, thirty-six-inch Phillips TV, an armoire filled with tapes that were categorized chronologically. "Showtime," said Starkey. "Dim the houselights."

The first image was a shaky view by a handheld camera of someone approaching a small, ordinary-looking redbrick house. Then a second man came into view. The camera operator moved closer and closer until the shot was through a grimy, bug-speckled picture window into a living room. There were three women in the room, laughing and chatting up a storm, totally unaware that they were being watched by three strangers, and also being filmed.

"Take note that the opening scene is one long camera shot without a cut," said Harris. "Cinematographer is a genius, if I don't say so myself."

"Yeah, you're an artist all right," said Griffin. "Probably some latent fagola in you."

The women, who looked to be in their mid-thirties, were now clearly visible through the window. They were drinking white wine, laughing it up on their "ladies' night." They wore shorts and had good legs that deserved to be shown off. Barbara Green stretched out a leg and touched her toes, almost as if she were preening for the movie.

The shaky camera shot continued around the brick house to the back door at the kitchen. There was sound with the picture now. One of the three intruders began to bang on the aluminum screen door.

Then a voice came from inside. "Coming! Who is it? Oohh, I hope it's Russell Crowe. I just saw Beautiful Mind. Now that man is beautiful."

"It's not Russell Crowe, lady," said Brownley Harris, who was obviously the camera operator.

Tanya Jackson opened the kitchen door and looked terribly confused for a split second, before Thomas Starkey cut her throat with the survival knife. The woman moaned and dropped to her knees, then she fell onto her face. Tanya was dead before she hit the black and olive-green checkerboard linoleum of the kitchen floor.

"Somebody's very good with a survival knife. You haven't lost your touch over the years," Harris said to Starkey as he drank beer and watched the movie.

The handheld camera shot continued, moving quickly through the kitchen. Right over the bleeding, twitching body of Tanya Jackson. Then into the living room of the house. A jumpy song by Destiny's Child was playing on the radio and now became part of the movie soundtrack.

"What's going on?" Barbara Green screamed from the couch, and curled herself into a protective ball. "Who are you men? Where's Tanya?"

Starkey was on her in an instant with the knife. He even mugged for the camera, leering eerily. Then he chased Maureen Bruno back into the kitchen, where he drove the RTAK into the center of her back. She threw both arms into the air as if she were surrendering.

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: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...
  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...

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 Arsonist
by Sue Miller

Published Jun. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  119Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson
  2.  171The City:
    Dean Koontz

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.