Parts of this book were ok. It's a mystery, and the mystery part is pretty solid. Women are disappearing from the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina; Alex Cross's niece is one of them. Alex leaves Washington DC to investigate his niece's disappearance. He has absolutely no jurisdiction, but what the hey, the local cops end up inviting him in on their investigation. Because he's that guy that was on the tv, that caught that guy that kidnapped that girl. Also, that one FBI guy vouches for him.
Cross spends I don't know how long down in North Carolina, away from his job, because what the hey, there's probably nothing going on in Washington that requires his attention, right? ( After the case is resolved, the kidnapped girls are found, etc., he spends some more time away from his job, lounging oceanside with his maybe - girlfriend. Maybe I should be a police detective in DC, so I could take a bunch of time off whenever I want.
The main thing I need to say about this book: parts of it are very graphic. The kidnapper is a serial rapist (and murderer, although the murdering is kind of an afterthought); there's a pretty graphic description of him raping one of his victims, and another scene that involves milk, a snake, and a woman's anus. The point Patterson is making, I think, is that this guy feels society's rules and norms don't apply to him. Which could probably have been established without the (sometimes literally) gory details.
Overall, the book was a decent read, an improvement over the first one. Patterson still stumbles when writing from the point of view of a black man, but he does better than previously. I still can't understand how there can be a fully functional piano on the front porch of a house in Washington in the middle of winter, but whatever.