Mary, Mary Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Mary, Mary

Alex Cross, an FBI agent, is on vacation with his family in Disneyland. His new love interest meets them there as well. So he is not too happy to be called back to work. But when he hears what has happened - a famous actress has been shot dead outside her home in Beverley Hills - he hurries back. Adding mystery to the tragedy is the fact that the killer seems to be a woman. Shortly after the murder, a Los Angelos Times editor receives an email describing the murder, and signed, Mary Smith. More killings are threatened, and sure enough, they happen, with similar emails sent to the same editor.
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Meanwhile, we read about a woman called Mary Smith, a harried working mother. Her story sounds similar to many families; she gets angry at her children sometimes, but loves them and is trying her best to give them what they need.
The killings continue, and the clues certainly lead to a woman called Mary Smith. But Alex Cross suspects there is more to the story. Now two men are killed - the killer has broken the pattern of murdering successful young women with children.
A cold case of 20 years before and some brilliant detective work by Cross leads him to the real killer.
The review of this Book prepared by Tena van''t Foort

A Disneyland family vacation is interrupted when Alex Cross,working for the FBI, is called into a California murder case done by a woman named Mary Smith. All of her victims are women and mothers; and, as well as disfiguring her victims, the killer also leaves puzzling clues at the murder scenes.The "A-List" people of Hollywood are her targets, and all the "golden" people are terrified wondering who's next. Also, she has been relaying details of her gruesome murders via email to a columnist at the LA Times.

In the midst of this horror, Alex is hit with problems in his personal life and a custody battle over his youngest son. He is also stalked by a reporter who doggedly trails him and his family. Alex becomes suspicious of the reporter whose presence is evident throughout the investigation.

When the description of a vehicle leaving a murder scene is released to the press, the city panics. Mary Smith further baffles police when she kills two MEN and sends an email with details of a murder BEFORE it happens. Finally, an arrest is made, but Alex is not convinced the police have the true killer. In New England, he digs into a 20 year-old murder and has to fight for his own life when "Mary Smith" puts him on her death list.
The review of this Book prepared by Marianna

Chapter Analysis of Mary, Mary

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 45%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Challenging Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   80%    -   90% Murder of certain profession?    -   actors/producers/directors Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   killer purposefully leaves puzzle clues Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American    -   hard boiled/private eye Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book The crook is....    -   stalking/killing innocents Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Is MAIN CHARACTER an EVIL criminal?    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   private investigator    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   Black


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   California    -   Mid-Atlantic states

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths    -   very gorey descriptions deaths/dead bodies Unusual forms of death    -   perforation--swords/knives Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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