Best James Patterson Books

If readers have already read James Patterson previously, they’ll recognize his fast-paced writing style and short chapters. If not, it’s something to keep in mind because it might not appeal to everyone who isn’t into rapid progress.

James Patterson once said, “Don’t think about the sentences, think about the story. Write the story down.”

James Patterson is one of the most prolific contemporary American writers working today, with a large number of best sellers ranging from children’s and YA books to thrillers, mysteries, and even romance. It’s difficult to know where to begin with his vast collection of audiobooks. One of the best-selling authors of all time is James Patterson.

He’s sold over 300 million books globally, with 84 million in the last ten years alone. According to Forbes, this has put him at the top of the list of wealthiest authors.

To help readers pick where to begin or what to read next, here is a selection of some of his most well-known novels:

1: Deadly Cross (Alex Cross Book 28)

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Quick information:

  • Author: James Patterson
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication Date: November 23, 2020
  • Pages: 481

Book Description:

Alex Cross’s bloodiest case since Along Came a Spider is the death of a gorgeous DC elite. Kay Willingham was a beautiful Georgetown socialite, philanthropist, and the ex-wife of the vice president, and her life was as glossy as it was public.

Book Author:

James Patterson is one of the world’s most well-known and best-selling authors. His works have sold over 375 million copies around the world. James is a big believer in encouraging kids to read. With his wife and children, he resides in Florida.

Our Opinion:

Keeps you on your toes for sure. One of his best works to date. I didn’t want it to stop, and I was taken aback when it did. Now I want to go back and reread it.

2: 1st to Die (Women’s Murder Club)

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  • Author: James Patterson
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication Date: March 5, 2001
  • Pages: 488

Book Description:

In James Patterson’s gripping series, the Women’s Murder Club novel, four crime-solving friends square battle against a killer in San Francisco. As they investigate a serial killer whose killings have shocked the entire city, the four ladies form close bonds.

They work together to track down the most terrifying and unexpected killer they’ve ever encountered, culminating in a surprising ending in which everything they thought they knew turns out to be disastrously wrong.

Our Opinion:

A fantastic novel. It’s a quick read, perhaps because the chapters are so short. But this was one I didn’t want to come to an end with.

3: Cross My Heart (Alex Cross, 19)

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Quick information:

  • Author: James Patterson
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication Date: November 25, 2013
  • Pages: 448

Book Description:

Detective Alex Cross is a family man at heart, who values his children, grandmother, and wife Bree above everything else. His love for his family is his rock, and it gives him the courage to face evil in his profession.

One man is well aware of this, and in James Patterson’s most unnerving and unexpected novel, he uses Alex’s strength against him. When the people Cross cares about are in danger, he will go to great lengths to protect them. They will die if he does anything to defend them.

Our Opinion:

One of my guilty reading pleasures, I believe, is the Alex Cross series. It’s one of those series that you can’t help but enjoy, and you’re always looking forward to the next installment.

4: Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross Book 1)

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  • Author: James Patterson
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication Date: February 15, 2001
  • Pages: 528

Book Description:

The first book in the Alex Cross series is titled Along Came a Spider. A dangerous psychopath is planning the most heinous crime in history. He’s finally in the perfect position to strike after years of planning and patience.

Discover the classic thriller that spawned one of PBS’s “100 Great American Reads” and launched the #1 detective series of the past twenty-five years.

Our Opinion:

“Along Came a Spider,” James Patterson’s best-selling novel, is a fascinating read for me. It’s not often that I come across a psychological puzzle that is as intriguing as this one.

5: The First Lady

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  • Author: James Patterson
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication Date: March 12, 2019
  • Pages: 369

Book Description:

Sally Grissom is the head of the Presidential Protection unit for the Secret Service. When she is summoned to a private meeting with the President and his Chief of Staff without any witnesses.

she realizes something is wrong. She couldn’t have imagined, however, that she’d be obliged to take on an inquiry into the First Lady’s inexplicable absence while under strong orders to keep it a secret.

The First Lady’s departure follows the president’s scandalous, public affair, which evolves into a twisted case when the White House receives a ransom message along with the First Lady’s finger.

Our Opinion:

For me, this was a quick read because the plot moved smoothly and interestingly from beginning to end. I was completely engrossed in the novel’s events and eagerly anticipated the conclusion.

6: Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross)

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  • Author: James Patterson
  • Publisher: Warner Books
  • Publication Date: December 1, 1995
  • Pages: 496

Book Description:

A reporter in Los Angeles is assassinated while investigating a string of killings. A lovely medical intern mysteriously vanishes in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Alex Cross, of Washington, D.C., returns in the sequel to Along Came a Spider to investigate the most perplexing and horrifying murder case ever. Two astute pattern killers are coordinating, cooperating, and competing across the country.

Our Opinion:

The plot is absolutely amazing, and I thoroughly liked each chapter. All the way through, it kept you guessing. Much better than the first installment of the series.

7: Murder in Paradise

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  • Author: James Patterson
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication Date: June 26, 2918
  • Pages: 448

Book Description:

In this compilation of three suspenseful thrillers, a lawyer survives an assassination attempt, a medical examiner uncovers deaths in Napa Valley, and a lady uses her drone to track down a killer.

Murder in Paradise is a collection of three short stories about unsolved killings. Brian Lord, a defense lawyer, survives a vehicle explosion that kills his fiancée in The Lawyer Lifeguard. He accepts a job as a lifeguard, unaware that a storm is approaching.

Our Opinion:

This novel was quite enjoyable, though I would have preferred a single storyline. The second story was excellent, with a twist at the conclusion.

8: Roses Are Red (Alex Cross, 6)

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  • Author: James Patterson
  • Publisher: Vision
  • Publication Date: October 1, 2001
  • Pages: 416

Book Description:

Bank robbers have begun spelling out precise demands when they enter the facility in a series of frightening crimes, and then killing bank employees and their families if those requests are not followed to the letter.

Detective Alex Cross takes on the case, confident that this isn’t your average bank robber at work; the obsessive demand for control and perfection is too strong. Cross is dealing with a personal issue at home, but the investigation takes over when he discovers that the Mastermind is planning one final, perfect crime.

Our Opinion:

The novel is well-written, fast-paced, and action-packed. Excellent suspense novel. Up until the last page, there were plenty of surprises.

9: Pop Goes the Weasel (Alex Cross, 5)

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Quick information:

  • Author: James Patterson
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication Date: October 1, 2000
  • Pages: 480

Book Description:

Alex Cross is content, but his contentment is endangered by a series of frightening murders that follow a bizarre pattern that has investigators baffled. A suspect emerges as a result of Cross’s creative pursuit of the killer: a British ambassador named Geoffrey Shafer.

However, proving that Shafer is the murderer becomes a dangerous task. Alex and his fiancée become hopelessly entwined with the most memorable foe Alex Cross has ever encountered as the ambassador engages in a clever sequence of surprise countermoves in and out of the courtroom.

Our Opinion:

Because Patterson’s works are interconnected, I recommend reading them in order. Normally by past characters that reappear from time to time, but this was a fun read.

10: The Injustice

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Quick information:

  • Author: James Patterson
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication Date: October 23, 2017
  • Pages: 337

Book Description: 

Theo Foster used to have an incognito Twitter account until someone shared a revealing photo that got him kicked off. There will be no final grade. There is no future. It’s not even close to being equitable. When a miracle occurs, Sasha Ellis speaks to Theo, he is resigned to a life of suffering working at the local mini-mart.

Sasha Ellis recognizes him. She was also expelled for a crime she didn’t commit, and now he knows how to gain her attention: figure out who set them up.

Theo must get close to the suspects, including the hacker, the quarterback, the cruel girl, the vice principal, and his own closest friend, in order to learn the truth. What are the secrets they’re keeping hidden? And how is Theo going to record their confessions?

Our Opinion:

James Patterson is always terrific reading material, so I sent it to my son in jail. There were no issues with delivery.

11: I, Alex Cross

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Quick information:

  • Author: James Patterson
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication Date: November 16, 2009
  • Pages: 482

Book Description:

Detective Alex Cross is called away from a family gathering to learn that a cherished niece has been brutally killed. Alex vows to find the killer, and she soon discovers that she was caught up in one of Washington, D. C.’s most heinous crimes. And she wasn’t the only one who fell prey to this serial killer.

Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, are on the quest for the murderer, and they wind up at Washington’s most famed club a place where any fantasy is conceivable if you have the right credentials. One of their supporters, a member of Washington’s elite who will go to any length to keep their secrets hidden, may be the assassin.

Our Opinion:

This book has a lot of unexpected twists and turns that I enjoyed. You think you know what’s coming next, then Patterson tosses another curve ball, and you’re stuck turning pages until your eyes burn.

12: The House Next Door

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Quick information:

  • Author: James Patterson
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication Date: January 8, 2019
  • Pages: 449

Book Description:

Three unique stories were included in the book. The House Next Door (with Susan DiLallo): Laura Sherman, a married mother of three, was overjoyed when her new neighbor invited her to run some errands with her. (With Max DiLallo) The Killer’s Wife: Four young women have vanished.

The only way to find them, Detective McGrath knows, is to become close to the suspect’s wife. We Aren’t on Our Own. (In collaboration with Tim Arnold): The first message from space will alter the course of history.

Our Opinion:

The first and third stories were my favorites. The first one blew me away, and the last one did as well.

13: Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas

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Quick information:

  • Author: James Patterson
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication Date: July 16, 2001
  • Pages: 304

Book Description:

Katie Wilkinson has finally found the man of her dreams. But one day, he vanishes from her life without explanation, leaving just a diary for her to peruse. Suzanne, a new mother, wrote a love letter to her baby boy, Nicholas, in this diary. She pours her heart out in it.

As Katie reads this heartfelt letter, it becomes evident that her ex-boyfriend is the husband and father of this young family. She continues to read, terrified and hopeful, as she tries to make sense of what has happened. A heartfelt tale about love, sorrow, hope, and family.

Our Opinion:

I rarely read romantic novels unless they contain a murder. But I read this one years ago when it originally came out. This was a fantastic story for me.

14: Home Sweet Murder (ID True Crime, 2)

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Quick information:

  • Author: James Patterson
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication Date: January 14, 2020
  • Pages: 256

Book Description:

These two true-crime thrillers, based on the Discovery ID TV series Murder is forever, follow a lawyer attempting to stop a killer and a detective attempting to investigate a double homicide. This is essentially two “books” in one. Murder on the Run (with Andrew Bourelle) and Home Sweet Murder (with Andrew Bourelle) (with Scott Slaven).

Our Opinion:

True murder mysteries are one of my favorite genres. I’d like to see more of this author’s work. I’m not a big fan of fiction. This was a fantastic read. I couldn’t put it down.

GUIDE:

Readers who have read James Patterson before will be familiar with his fast-paced writing style and short chapters. If not, keep in mind that it may not appeal to everyone who isn’t interested in speedy advancement.
James Patterson, in his book, Along Came a Spider writes:

“Maybe you’ll learn something about life beyond Batman.”

The most suggested book, Along Came a Spider is the first installment in Patterson’s most popular series, Alex Cross, in which each installment is utterly enthralling.

This is a classic thriller, gripping and complex, and a great place to start with his work. The kidnappings of a prominent actress’s daughter and a politician’s son set the stage for the plot.

which pits a brilliant forensic psychologist against a dangerous serial killer that the FBI and Secret Service can’t outsmart even when he’s in custody.

Despite his reputation for crime thrillers, James Patterson has had success in a variety of genres. Fast-paced plots, exciting rhythms, brief chapters, and simple descriptions of every part of the story are all hallmarks of his writing.

FAQs:

Which of James Patterson’s books is the most popular?

Along Came a Spider. Alex Cross is James Patterson’s most well-known and popular character, and the novel that introduced him is still considered the best Patterson book of all time.

What is James Patterson’s net worth?

His net worth was estimated at $800 million last year, making him America’s richest novelist.

What is the title of James Patterson’s recent novel?

The #1 bestselling coauthors of Walk in My Combat Boots, James Patterson and Matt Eversmann, powerfully illustrate the medical frontline heroes who struggle to save human lives every day.

What is the total number of James Patterson novels that have been publicized?

Patterson has written over 200 novels since 1976. He has a total of 114 New York Times bestsellers to his credit. He also owns the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers, with 67.

Is it necessary to read James Patterson’s books in order?

Even while most of the books may be read individually, it is suggested that readers study them in sequence, notably if they don’t want to be spoiled by the prior books.

What is the real name of James Patterson?

James Brendan Patterson, Jr., is the full name of James Patterson.

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