Double Cross (novel) - Plot

Plot

Four years ago, Kyle Craig is sent to prison after his crimes in Roses Are Red and Violets Are Blue and swears revenge upon the person who caught him - Detective Alex Cross. Now, four years later, Alex Cross is on a date with police officer, Brianna 'Bree' Stone, when they are interrupted by the news of crime-writer author, Tess Olsen's death. Upon arriving in Washington, Alex decides to help in the investigation, even though he is no longer a detective. They find a Hallmark greeting card, and find a tape featuring the killer, whom threw Olsen from a balcony in her apartment. In the video, he turns toward the camera, and says "In your honor". Alex, Bree, and Alex's bestfriend/co-worker, John Sampson discover the footage of the murder was used twice. After this puzzling news, the murderer goes to a play and kills Matthew Jay Walker, a male actor, later posting videos of his murders on the internet. Alex realizes that the murderer wants an audience, and therefore is nicknamed 'DCAK' (The Washington DC Audience Killer). Alex then goes to work and talks to Sandy Quinlan, a sex-crazed woman seeking therapy from Alex and later meets another patient, Anthony Demao, who is a war-veteran that killed his partner, Matthew under Matthew's orders and pleas, since 'Mat' was dying anyway.

As the murders get more serious, Alex decides to once again work with the DC police department while also being a psychologist for therapy. It is then apparent that DCAK is doing a role-play as every time he kills someone, he has a different alter-ego. The killer sets up so many websites featuring footage, pictures, and messages from him or his victims. Meanwhile, in Florence, Italy, Kyle Craig is in prison when he receives a visit from his lawyer, Mason Wainwright, who is a big fan of Kyle. Wainwright puts on a human-like mask of Kyle's face and gives one with his face to Kyle, allowing Kyle to escape and Mason to stay in his place - only to die shortly afterward. Alex learns of Craig's escape and goes to Florence where he reviews footage of Olsen speaking to Kyle during an interview for her latest book; back in DC, FBI agent, Brian Kitzmiller 'Kitz' is assigned to Sampson, Bree, and Alex. An impostor of DCAK, wearing a Richard Nixon mask, kidnaps a teen couple, and kills the boy while the girl is run over. Meanwhile, Kyle visits his mother, who had, according to Craig, let his father bet Kyle when he was a kid, resulting in Kyle stealing money from his mother, then shooting and killing his mother.

In Iowa, Kyle murders a woman after pretending to wish to sleep with her, he then flees. Alex goes to the office and witnesses Sandy give Anthony a hand job. He demands to speak with Sandy while Anthony waits outside, though Anthony runs off. Later that day, the two meet at a coffee shop where they kiss and then 'tongue' each other, as Sandy shouts at all in the restaurant "it's ok, he's my brother". Anthony then sits he received a message from Kyle announcing he wishes to see DCAK - implying they are DCAK. Alex, Sampson, and Bree go to a press conference in Baltimore, where Alex finds a message saying he is missing the "show" from DCAK. He learns the person who originally had this message is a female, and he is able to track her, but she escapes in her car. Alex, in pursuit of the woman, eventually looses them and goes to Washington where in National Air and Space Museum, where a married/pregnant woman named Abby Courlevais. Upon returning home, Alex learns from his kids, Alex 'Ali' Jr. and Jannie, and his grandmother, Nana, that his oldest son, Damon, has run away. Sampson is able to find Damon, who is playing basketball. Alex immediately scolds Damon, then apologizing, for missing a Crushing - a prep school in Massachusetts - meeting that would allow Damon to attend the school. Trying to find peace for a moment - Alex and Bree go to a hotel and make love.

Eventually, they receive a message from DCAK who announces he has caught the impostor and uses a helicopter to throw the body of the impostor on the roof of a nearby roof. Alex and Bree use a ladder to get to the roof where they find Kitz' dead body; Bree gets back on the street where she is asked for a interview from Neil Stepehns, a 'reporter' who then punches Bree in the face, revealing himself to be DCAK, he leaves. Alex later suspects that Tyler Bell, the brother of Michael Bell - a murderer that Alex had killed - is DCAK. Kyle Craig then kills another girl, a maid, in his hotel in Paris. Kyle arrives in Washington and murders Judge Nina Wolff, who sentenced him to prison. Meanwhile, Sandy says she will be leaving to Michigan and gives Alex a kiss before leaving. Tracking down Bell's former house - a cabin in the woods, where Alex and Bree learn that Bell purchased milk many days before he was last seen, causing Alex to get suspicious. Alex then discovers DCAK has kidnapped Sampson; when returning to Washington, Alex finds a phone attached to his car. He is given directions to DCAK's hideout, where he is chased by a woman.

After arriving at the designated destination, Alex and Bree are tied to chairs while DCAK reveals he has also pretended to be Anthony and Stephens; the woman is his sister, who has acted as Sandy. After angering DCAK, who reveals he is not Bell - since he killed Bell himself. Bree manages to escape her bounds, and shoot and kill Sandy. DCAK escapes with Alex in pursuit, this leads to a chase through a Mexican-food restaurant where Alex stabs DCAK, defeating - but not killing - him. However, Kyle Craig appears, revealing he is a so-called fan of DCAK and that Anthony, Sandy, and Mason are fans of Craig. Alex is nearly killed by Kyle when Bree shows up and shoots him, killing him. He then gets up and runs away, after attempting to shoot Bree, but purposely misses. At the hospital, Alex realizes DCAK and his sister are really Aaron and Sarah Dennison, Aaron then curses at Alex, vowing revenge, which Alex dissmisses. The book ends with Alex taking Damon to Massachusetts to go to Crushing, when Alex receives a message stating there has been a murder in Georgetown, setting up the events for Cross Country.

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