The Alex Cross Books – A Case of Mistaken Identity?
James Patterson is one of the most prolific authors of our time, with over 300 million copies of his books sold worldwide. He’s best known for his series featuring psychologist and criminal profiler Alex Cross, which have been turned into a number of successful movies starring Morgan Freeman and Tyler Perry. But did you know that the first three Alex Cross books were actually written by another author?
The first Alex Cross book, Along Came a Spider, was published in 1993. The second and third books in the series, Kiss the Girls and Jack & Jill, were published in 1995 and 1996 respectively. And while all three books were credited to James Patterson, it was later revealed that the first three Alex Cross books were actually ghostwritten by novelist and screenwriter Peter de Jonge. So why did Patterson take credit for the books?
According to de Jonge, it was part of a deal he made with Patterson in order to secure a two-book contract of his own with Little, Brown and Company, Patterson’s publishers. de Jonge had originally approached Patterson about writing a book together, but Patterson declined.
Undeterred, de Jonge decided to write the book on his own and then approach Patterson about taking credit for it in order to get published. Patterson agreed, on the condition that de Jonge write two more Alex Cross books. And so de Jonge went on to ghostwrite Kiss the Girls and Jack & Jill while also penning his own novels Shark Dialogues and Broken Windows, Broken Business.
It’s always fascinating to learn about the behind-the-scenes machinations of the publishing world, and this case is no exception. While it’s sad that Peter de Jonge never got the credit he deserved for his work on the first three Alex Cross books, at least we now know the true story behind them. Have you read any of the Alex Cross books? Are you a fan of James Patterson’s work? Let us know in the comments!