Jack & Jill (novel)

Jack & Jill (novel)

"Jack and Jill" is the third book in a series written by James Patterson which features Washington DC psychiatrist, homicide police detective Alex Cross. The previous two books are "Along Came A Spider" and "Kiss The Girls".

Plot summary

The book begins at night, with a man calling himself Sam Harrison, wearing a disguise and stalking United States Senator Daniel Fitzpatrick. Sam plans on killing the senator, and has been planning this for quite some time. The Senator has just gone into a bar with a young woman. Sam is very sharply dressed, to blend in the bar. After a few minutes he strolls into the bar and waits. Soon he goes upstairs to the Senator's flat. The young woman answers the door. “Jack” she says. “Jill” he replies back.

In another part of Washington DC, another killer was hiding in a “tent” among an area of thick pines. He is also putting on a disguise, but his is like a homeless person. He walks toward a poor neighborhood and blows up a balloon and waits for a kid to show up. A little six year old black girl approaches him. As he goes to give her the balloon he takes out a baseball bat that he was hiding behind his back and starts swinging at her.

Back at the flat in the bar, Jack and Jill tie up the drunk, old Senator with handcuffs. The Senator pleads for his life but Jack shoots him twice on the head.

The book continues where "Kiss the Girls" ended, where John Sampson knocks on the door at 3:30 a.m. waking up Dr. Alex Cross. Cross answers the door and Sampson informs Cross there has been a honey of a murder. It is December and the weather is cold. Sampson tells Cross that a six year old girl was murdered at Sojourner Truth School, where Cross’ little boy, Damon, also goes to school.

Alex and Sampson are at the crime scene. There are a lot of people gathered in the area. Alex and Sampson examine the body. The little girl is naked. Cross also noticed a well dressed black woman standing behind the crowd, next to her a Mercedes-Benz. The woman does not seem to belong in that neighborhood.

At the Senator's apartment, a man enters it and finds the Senator dead, along with a poem signed by Jack and Jill. They promise this was the beginning. The man looks through the apartment, then leaves, walks down a few block and calls the police anonymously.

Sampson and Cross go through the neighborhood to see if anyone had seen anything, but to no success. Sampson and Cross stop at the home of a couple. They mention the police have not caught “Chop it off Chucky”, the nickname of a known pedophile and killer. "Chop it of Chuckey"'s nickname came from the dead kids genitals being cut. Cross had heard of the killer, but lamented the police of the area didn’t have the resources to investigate. Cross is frustrated and sickened by such a brutal murder. Later that night, Cross tried to play the piano to help him relax but couldn't.

Sam Harrison and Sara Rosen (Jack & Jill) play a game to determine the next murder. It will be a woman. The game makes it impossible for the police and the FBI to predict a pattern or motive.

Cross and Sampson meet with a snitch named Alvin. The little murdered girl lived in the same building as his aunt. Alvin also tells them he knows who “Chop it off Chucky” is and offers to take them to where he is. Cross and Sampson follow Alvin to the Northfield projects. "Chop it off Chucky" is a Hispanic man named Emanuel Perez. Cross and Sampson see Perez hanging outside with some children. They approach him but he takes off running. Cross & Sampson race after him. As Perez tries to get away from them, he goes up a building and jumps through the rooftops. On one of them he trips and falls to the ground, dying instantly.

Elsewhere the real killer is still alive and rejoicing that he got away with the killing. He is walking around a Toys r us store inside the Arlington Mall looking for a new victim. The killer tries to take a five year old boy, but instead takes them to his parents when they notice him.

At Cross’ home, Janelle wakes Alex up. Chief Pitman and the Police Commissioner are there to see Alex. FBI Special Agent Kyle Craig requests that Alex be involved in the senator's murder. Alex declines, saying he has other murders to take care of but the Commissioner and the Chief give him no choice. Alex is upset because nobody seems to care about murdered, poor black people.

Later that day, he gives his children boxing lessons (This is the first time it's mentioned in the series, but it is explained that these lessons are held three times a week). After the lesson, Alex and Damon go for a walk. As they approach the school, Alex notices the sophisticated woman again. Damon tells him that it's Mrs. Johnson, the new principal. Alex is overwhelmed by her beauty and elegance, but is hesitant about getting into a relationship after what happened the last times (with Jezzie Flannigan Along Came a Spider and Kate McTiernan Kiss the Girls).

Unknown to Alex, he and Damon are being watched by the killer. Two bits of information are offered: 1. The killer hated his father, and 2. the killer's father had been a cop. The killer knows about Dr. Cross. He is also upset that Jack and Jill are taking away his spotlight.

At a charity gala, Jack moves through the crowd. Diana, Princes of Wales, is there and is supposedly victim number two, but instead Jack is after a female network reporter, Natalie Sheehan. A bit drunk, she leaves with Jack (under the alias of Scott Cookson) to her place. She seduces him and when they get to bed he takes out a pair of handcuffs and ties her to the bed. There is a knock on the door. It's Jill.

Cross is at Sheehan's apartment trying to make sense of the situation. He tries to figure out what the connection is between the reporter and the senator, and between the two killers. Pittman, who is also there, orders Cross to leave and come back when they are done. Pittman pushes Cross and soon the two get into an altercation.

It is revealed that the codename the Secret Service uses for the President of the United States is Jack. The First Lady is Jill. The President, Thomas Byrne, has gotten out of the White House without his protection as he's having an affair. The Secret Service lost him in pursuit of a red Jeep that The President had gotten in.

Kyle Craig calls Cross to inform him they have a break in the case. Jack and Jill have sent a video to the Washington CNN office. Soon, in a small crowded room, the Secret Service, the CIA and the FBI are all gathered to watch the video. Everyone is surprised when in the opening shot, they discover Jack and Jill had been shooting the video outside the Senator's flat when the police were there. Surprise turns to shock when the Senator is shot in the head. Jack and Jill speak, their voices had been filtered. Jack and Jill are upset at the American system. Cross realizes that Jack and Jill are not playing a game, but fighting a war.

The scene switches to another murder. A little boy has been murdered, just like the little girl a few nights earlier. By now it's early December. Like the little girl, half his skull is beaten in. The principal Mrs. Christine Johnson is there and visibly upset. Late the next night, Cross and Sampson meet with two other cops at the school. They are going to work the little kids’ murders on their own time.

Motion Picture actor Michael Robinson is at his hotel suite, awaiting a male escort. The escort arrives - it's Jack, who shoots him in the head.

Cross and the FBI are at Robinsons hotel suite. The killers have phoned the Washington Post about the murder. While examining the body, the Secret Service come in and ask Cross to go with them to the White House.

Dr. Cross is at the White House. Members of the Secret Service, CIA, FBI, Joint Chiefs of Staff are present. They share information with each other. It is revealed that the codename the Secret Service uses for the President of the United States is Jack. The First Lady is Jill. Secret Service Agent Jay Grayer reveals that the killers Jack and Jill have been letting the Secret Service know immediately after the murders take place (Grayer was the person in Fitzpatrick's loft before the police arrived), and that they’re practicing for the "big one".

Sara Rosen and Sam Harrison (Jack and Jill) get a room at the Four Seasons Hotel. They are taking the weekend off. On Monday Sara (Jill) is going back to her “real” job of nine years - she works inside the White House.

At the San Francisco airport, Kevin Hawkins, The Photojournalist, is trying to kill a Japanese businessman. The man has four bodyguards. A smoke bomb explodes near him. The guards move to another corridor where a real bomb explodes, killing them all. After this, The Photojournalist is going to Washington DC.

In DC, Cross is in the West Wing of the White House. He's in the Map Room. Soon an aid comes in and surprises him by telling Cross that President Byrne wishes to see him. Alex is taken by the President and thinks of him as a genuinely good person. Alex gives him his opinion on Jack and Jill.

Alex returns home and Nana is upset Alex isn’t working on the children's case. Alex tells her he's doing both.

Cross meets with another snitch who tells Alex that someone had seen a white homeless man where the first girl was killed. Alex thought it weird as this was a black area. Cross stops at the school and lets Christine know to watch out for a white homeless man.

Sam (Jack) tells Sara (Jill) about the Photojournalist. He was in Washington DC, attending an opera at the Kennedy Center. During intermission, he shot a young woman who was out with a Supreme Court Justice.

Jay Grayer calls Alex to tell him the news. They both go to the Kennedy Center. They wonder if it was a mistake, but Alex doesn’t think so. Soon they discover the girl was the President's mistress.

Dr. Cross drives down to Langley, Virginia to meet with CIA Inspector General, Jeanne Sterling. She tells Cross that they suspect Jack and Jill might be rouge CIA Agents or a corrupt Contract killer used by the CIA.

A few days later, Sterling arranges for Cross to interview a retired CIA agent. Cross is disturbed by how CIA agents are programmed. Sterling also informs Cross that at least three CIA agents have been killed in the last few weeks.

Sampson, who is getting worn by the workload, is still working on the children killer. He goes to Theodore Roosevelt military academy. The school uses Garfield Park (where the little girl was killed) for athletics and military exercises. The killer watches Sampson. It is now shown that the killer is a 13 year old student at the Military Academy and has contempt for authority, and hatred of others. This chapter is written from the killer's Point of View.

At the Tysons Corner Center, Sam Rosen (Jack) arrives at 6am. He parks his car and jogs to the rich neighborhood outside the mall limits. He breaks into the house of one of his best friends, Gen. Aiden Cornwall, former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Upstairs, Gen. Cornwall, gets up and recognizes the intruder. Jack shoots the General twice. The General's nine year old son recognizes Jack, too, so Jack also kills the boy, but feels terrible about it.

Alex is summoned to the White House where Jay Grayer tells Alex about the murders of the General and his son. He also tells Alex that Jill contacted the President directly, which is impossible as all calls to the White House go to a private switchboard. Jill asked the President if he was ready to die.

Alex is taken to Cornwall's home in McLean. Alex can’t figure out the motive or reason. The previous murder victims were liberal but Cornwall was conservative. There appeared to be no angle to the murders. Cross wants the FBI to work on the poems again.

He sees President Byrnes that night and Alex tells him that whoever Jill is, she has access to the White House. Alex also asks the President to give him a list of his enemies. The President names people in the Joint Chiefs, the FBI, the Senate, and the mob. Alex is surprised when the President also names his Vice President. The President refuses to authorize surveillance on the senators and the vice president.

A censor for Prodigy (ISP) watches on a messageboard a message that someone claiming to be the child killer and was giving vivid details. The censor calls the police and reaches John Sampson.

That morning Sampson wakes Cross up. The two drive to an upscale house. Inside are Col. Frank Moore and his wife, having breakfast in the kitchen. Cross asks if they have internet access through Prodigy. The Colonel says the internet is for his 13 year old son, Sumner Moore, who is an honor student at Roosevelt Military Academy. Cross lets them know they think Sumner killed those kids. The Colonel take the police to Sumner's room, but the boy is gone. On his bed a note that said: Nobody is gone. Next to the note are two articles of clothing from the murdered kids.

The killer is running toward Sojourner Truth School, looking for Damon Cross. In the school Christine Johnson approaches him, thinking him to be a student there. The killer leaves when he sees a policeman.

The next day Cross returns to Langley to meet with Sterling. She wants a list of suspects. He names three people. Sterling wants to talk about one that also was on her short list, Kevin Hawkins.

Sterling reveals to Cross that Hawkins is under surveillance. They drive up to Hawkins’ home in Maryland. At Hawkins’ house he steps outside and recognizes Cross. There is a chase with Hawkins finally getting away.

The Truth School Killer hides in his parent's attic until nightfall, then goes into their bedroom and shoots them both. On the wall, he writes in their blood: Nobody was here.

There has been another child murdered and left at Garfield Park. This killing was far more brutal than the others. When Cross arrives to see the body, it is Sumner Moore.

President Byrnes insists on going to New York City, despite the advice of the secret service and Alex.

At Cross’ home, it's revealed that the child killer is a 13 year old boy named Danny Boudreaux. He's intent on proving to the world that he's a better killer than Soneji and Jack & Jill. He makes his way to the back through the porch when he sees John Sampson sitting on a chair with a gun. Danny retreats but vows to come back.

Sam returns to the hotel, where he meets up with Sara. As they make love, he shoots her in the head.

Later that morning, the President leaves his hotel and heads to Madison Square Garden, where he is speaking. Hawkins is there, dressed as a woman and holding a FBI ID card. As the president is greeting people, a bomb explodes. Cross realizes the bomb was not meant to kill Byrnes, but to get him to use the planned escape route. Byrnes and Hawkins are both shot.

Soon Cross and Grayer are at the Peninsula hotel where the NYPD had called them. They found the body of Jill. Sara Rosen had worked at the White House's communications office. That's how the call had gone through Byrnes, when Jill had called to threaten Byrnes.

At DC, Christine and her husband, George, are making dinner. The door bell rings and there is a kid at the door. George answers the door and Danny shoots him twice.

Alex returns to DC that same night. Danny has demanded to see Cross while he is holding Christine hostage. The police discover that he was taking medication for anger, depression and rage cycles since age 7. Alex goes in. Alex and Danny get into a fight and Alex eventually takes him down alive.

Alex feels bad for Christine, but Sampson takes Cross home where he sleeps with his children that night. On the morning he's told President Thomas Byrnes died.

Early the next day Alex goes to Sara's apartment. He is alone and starts going through stuff. He comes to a box of video tapes and notices that one tape doesn’t match the cover. Cross puts the tape in the VCR and sees an unedited tape of the Fitzpatrick murder and sees Jack's real face. He recognizes the face from a picture he had seen.

Jack is retired Colonel Brett Sterling who has been in Desert Storm. Alex recognizes the house Jack was coming out of. Alex and the Secret Service take him down a few miles down. Afterwards they return to his house to take down the real Jill, Jeanne Sterling.

Everything comes full circle. Sara Rosen was a CIA mole planted inside the White House. Byrnes was killed because he was trying to make changes to the CIA. They felt Byrnes was not the right man to be President. Jay Grayer arrests Jeanne for treason, but a flash bomb in the kitchen distracts them. Jeanne takes a gun out and shoots Jay point-blank in the chest. Jill gets in her car and tries to get away. The agents surround the back of the driveway. Jeanne uses her child as a shield. Cross runs to the car, grabs her and pulls her out by the window and punches her, taking her down alive.

The next day Jay Grayer calls Alex. Alex goes to the prison that the Sterlings were held in. They have been murdered. Further examination on Jeanne's body shows that she had tried to fight back but was unsuccessful.

Epilogue: As Damon and Janelle open their present on Christmas Day, Alex receives a call from Gary Soneji. Soneji claims he's the one that left Rosie the cat as a present for him.


* Jack and Jill left little nursery rhymes at all of their murders.
* Jack and Jill was also the Secret Service codename for The President and the First Lady.

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