The 10 Best Alex Cross Books by James Patterson

idney Baldwin/Summit Entertainment
Cross, Monica Ashe (Rachel Nichols) and Tommy Kane (Edward Burns) race against the clock to find the sociopathic assassin. Sidney Baldwin/Summit Entertainment

If you are familiar with James Patterson, you know that he is not only one of the world’s bestselling authors, but also one of the most prolific. He has been publishing books since the 1970s, but it was his first book about former FBI agent and Washington, D.C. psychologist Alex Cross,  Along Came a Spider, that catapulted him into the literary spotlight. And he’s stayed there ever since. (Fun fact: he holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers.)

In the 25th book in the series, Criss Cross, Alex Cross and his partner, John Sampson witness an execution in a Virginia penitentiary, followed hours later by a copycat crime that includes a note for Alex: “You messed up big time, Dr. Cross.” Alex and John race to discover the meaning behind it, hoping an innocent man wasn’t just put to death.

Twenty-five is a lot of books in a series! If you’ve always wanted to read James Patterson, his Alex Cross series is a great place to begin. But with so many titles, which ones should you pick up first? Here’s a list of the ten best Alex Cross books according to Goodreads, to help you get started.




Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor, co-host of All the Books, a Book of the Month judge, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon. You can see pictures of her cats and book hauls on Twitter @MissLiberty and Instagram @franzencomesalive.