6 Times Alex Cross Met His Match

By: Sam Fletcher, August 30th, 2023 10:08 am.

A hero is only as good as his nemesis, and this is most definitely the case for former FBI agent Alex Cross from James Patterson. Often working against the clock, he’s notable for his compassion and empathy, making his enemies all the more menacing by comparison. Still, while he faces off against a series of increasingly nefarious and deadly characters, Cross has proven himself up to the task time and time again.

But just who were those baddies who had him sweating? Here are six of the best that we feel gave him a run for his money.

It’s also often the case that the villain reveals themselves late in the game. So yeah, definitely big spoilers ahead.

Gary Murphy/Soneji – First seen: Along Came a Spider (1993)

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Kicking the Alex Cross series off with a bang, this introduces him as a forensic psychologist working on a homicide case. Pulled off the investigation he’s sent to deal with Gary Soneji, who he learns is going by the name of Murphy.

A split personality with two identities, Soneji is a twisted manipulative sociopath, while Murphy is a genial family man. Two completely different sides of the same coin.

Putting Cross through the paces, he later escapes from prison in ‘Jack and Jill’ (1996), before stepping up for his final showdown in ‘Cat and Mouse’ (1997). Proving to be a real challenge for Cross in the early novels, this deadly actor with a tortured past properly dragged him through it. Alex was never going to be the same again.

Theodore Vance – First seen: I, Alex Cross (2009)

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Many tend to overlook Vance as a villain. He may not have been ongoing like some of the others, but he was particularly sleazy, sliming his way up through the political establishment.

Husband to President Margaret Vance, he reveals himself to be the shadowy masked figure ‘Zeus.’ Maintaining a clean public image, he engages in all manner of depravity behind closed doors. It’s a book not for the faint-hearted, as he takes to running a brothel, and tormenting the escorts working there.

Uncovering the truth, we saw Cross caught in an intricate web of corruption and lies, as Vance makes for the perfect foil.

Kyle Craig aka The Mastermind – First seen: Along Came a Spider (1993)

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This guy was in it for the long haul. As an ongoing nemesis for Cross, it would be flat-out wrong not to include him here. Featured from the very beginning, he began as a fellow Special Agent in the FBI and as a close friend to Alex. His later betrayal then is all the more galling, as he’s revealed to be none other than ‘The Mastermind’ in ‘Roses are Red’ (2000).

Over the series, he engages in various cat-and-mouse chases with Cross until finally meeting his maker during an explosion. But he was particularly evil, so never say never…

Ron Guidice – First seen: Alex Cross, Run (2013)

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A smaller villain who’s somewhat underrated, he’s still no less threatening. Scheming and deadly, his actions weigh on Cross heavily. Running the website ‘The Real Deal,’ Guidice stalks Alex, frames him for drugging his daughter Ava, and almost costs him his FBI career. Then events come to a head after a brutal murder, and Guidice is now enemy number one for Cross.

It’s not so much that he’s a major character. He’s not even the central antagonist of the novel itself. But it’s more to do with the pettiness and sheer maliciousness of his actions that make him so reprehensible. He’s a particularly nasty individual and a serious thorn in Alex’s side.

Geoffrey Shafer aka The Weasel – First seen: Pop Goes the Weasel (1999)

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One of Cross’s most notorious enemies, Shafer lives up to his moniker of ‘The Weasel.’ A British diplomat with immunity, he’s killed countless people in a progressively brutal fashion. Calling upon other high-ranking officials known as the ‘Four Horsemen,’ he embarks on a game where he’s Death. And he’s out of control.

Returning five books later in London Bridges (2004), The Weasel appears as a secondary antagonist to an even more terrifying villain. A killer and Alex Cross’s first real super-villain who we soon come to know as…

The Wolf – First seen: The Big Bad Wolf (2003)

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Save the worst till last. And this is easily the worst. A puppeteer of serial killers, he manipulates others into doing his bidding. Running a trafficking ring, The Wolf is a nefarious individual with one highly messed up agenda. Taking on governments, his identity remains a secret until the final moments.

Kidnapping individuals, he returns for ‘London Bridges,’ using The Weasel against Cross. He’s of the most dangerous enemies the series has seen so far, and it could be a while before we see his like again. But there’s still lots of opportunity for further evil yet.

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9 months ago

Great list

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