Excerpt from The Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

The Big Bad Wolf

An Alex Cross Thriller

by James Patterson

The Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson X
The Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Nov 2003, 400 pages
    Oct 2004, 432 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

I was walking Jannie and Damon to the Sojourner Truth School that morning. Little Alex was merrily toddling along at my side. "Puppy," I called him.

The skies over D.C. were partly cloudy, but now and then the sun peeked through the clouds and warmed our heads and the backs of our necks. I'd already played the piano - Gershwin - for forty-five minutes. And eaten breakfast with Nana Mama. I had to be at Quantico by nine that morning for my orientation classes, but it left time for the walk to school at around seven-thirty. And that was what I'd been in search of lately, or so I believed. Time to be with my kids.

Time to read a poet I'd discovered recently, Billy Collins. First I'd read his Nine Horses, and now it was Sailing Alone Around the Room. Billy Collins made the impossible seem so effortless, and so possible.

Time to talk to Jamilla Hughes every day, often for hours at a time. And when I couldn't, to correspond by e-mail and, occasionally, by long flowing letters. She was still working homicide in San Francisco, but I felt the distance between us was shrinking. I wanted it to and hoped she did too.

Meanwhile, the kids were changing faster than I could keep up with them, especially Little Alex, who was morphing before my eyes. I needed to be around him more and now I could be. That was my deal. It was why I had joined the FBI, at least that was part of it.

Little Alex was already over thirty-five inches and thirty pounds. That morning he had on pinstriped overalls and an Orioles cap. He moved along the street as if a leeward wind were propelling him. His ever-present stuffed animal, a cow named Moo, created ballast so that he listed slightly to the left at all times.

Damon was lurching ahead to a different drummer, a faster, more insistent beat. Man, I really loved this boy.

Except for his fashion sense. That morning he was wearing long jean shorts, Uptowns, a gray T with an Alan Iverson "The Answer" jersey over it. His lean legs were sprouting peach fuzz, and it looked as if his whole body were developing from the feet up. Large feet, long legs, a youthful torso. I was noticing everything that morning. I had time to do it.

Jannie was typically put together in a gray T with "Aero Athletics 1987" printed in bright red letters, sweatpant capris with a red stripe down each leg, and white Adidas sneakers with red stripes.

As for me, I was feeling good. Every now and again someone would still stop me and say I looked like the young Muhammad Ali. I knew how to shake off the compliment, but I liked to hear it more than I let on.

"You're awfully quiet this morning, Poppa," Jannie laced her arms around my free arm and said. "You having trouble at school? Your orientation? Do you like being an FBI agent so far?"

"I like it fine," I said. "There's a probationary period for the next two years. Orientation is good, but a lot of it is repetitive for me, especially what they call 'practicals.' Firing range, gun cleaning, exercises in apprehending criminals. That's why I get to go in late some days."

"So you're the teacher's pet already," she said, and winked. I laughed. "I don't think the teachers are too impressed with me, or any other street cops. How're you and Damon doing so far this year? Aren't you about due for a report card or something?"

Damon shrugged. "We're acing everything. Why do you want to change the subject all the time when it's on you?" I nodded. "You're right. Well, my schooling is going fine. Eighty is considered a failing grade at Quantico. I expect to ace most of my tests."

"Most?" Jannie arched an eyebrow and gave me one of Nana Mama's "perturbed" looks. "What's this most stuff? We expect you to ace all your tests." "I've been out of school for a while." "No excuses."

From Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson. Copyright © 2003 by James Patterson. All rights reserved. No part of this book maybe reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Women & Power
    Women & Power
    by Mary Beard
    The treatise Women & Power: A Manifesto discusses a scene in Homer's Odyssey in which Odysseus&...
  • Book Jacket: Speak No Evil
    Speak No Evil
    by Uzodinma Iweala
    Young Nigerian American writer Uzodinma Iweala is fast becoming known as a powerful chronicler of ...
  • Book Jacket: Winter
    by Ali Smith
    "God was dead; to begin with." This first sentence of Winter perfectly sets up the dreamy journey ...
  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Anatomy of a Miracle
    by Jonathan Miles

    A stunning novel that offers an exploration of faith, science and the meaning of life.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.