Alex Cross’s Washington, D.C.

James Patterson‘s detective series featuring Alex Cross is set in the hub of government and intrigue — Washington, D.C.  I’ve lived in the area for nearly 10 years, and the most anyone ever sees of the city is The National Mall and the Smithsonian museums.

Alex Cross sees the underbelly of city as a cop, but he also enjoys his community near his home on 5th St. SE.  His kids have attended the Sojourner Truth School, and he volunteers at St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen, which I believe is mirrored on a number of soup kitchens in the area.

When multiple homicides occur, Cross often is briefed at the Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in the Henry J. Daly Building, which was named after Sgt. Henry “Hank” Daly. He also often runs into the FBI at Quantico and elsewhere.  Cross has crisscrossed the United States a number of times, but now he’s even traversed the ocean.

In Cross Country, Cross leaves his home base to catch a serial killer in Lagos, Nigeria the hub of corruption and crime.  Information is traded for American dollars or other currency in market stalls.  Meanwhile, a corridor exists between Nigeria and Sierra Leone where diamonds are traded for oil and gas — at least in Cross’s world.  Check out the Getty Image below of Lagos.

After reading a number of these novels, I think Washington, D.C., is an excellent location to have as a home base.  The city has a high crime rate and is the home of espionage and more, but in Cross Country, Cross experiences a few African nations that are even more horrifying and lawless.

I’m going to leave you with a little interview from James Patterson, and you can look forward to my review of Cross Country tomorrow.  Also, check out the other bloggers for Detectives Around the World Week.

Don’t forget about the next stops on the National Poetry Month Blog tour at
KCBooks and Author Amok.


  1. Interesting post Serena. I’ve read a few of the Alex Cross novels- actually I used to listen to them but I wavered off somewhere along the line. The latest one sounds really good though. I’ve never been to Washington and I doubt I ever will be other than to visit in books. lol.
    .-= Darlene´s last blog ..Guest Post with Sheila Roberts, author of Small Change & GIVEAWAY =-.

  2. Serena, this is such a nice look at the DC that Cross experiences. Like you said, most people only see the “touristy” area. But Cross doesn’t reside there, not most of the time anyway. And who better to guide us through it than a DC native!

    Thanks so much for all your work this week. I’ll be back for your next review!
    .-= Jen Forbus´s last blog ..ROLLING THUNDER – Chris Grabenstein =-.

  3. I must confess I never read any of the Alex Cross books, even though I love the movies. Must put them on my tbr list
    .-= Sullivan McPig´s last blog ..Character Connection =-.

  4. I’ve read the Alex Cross mysteries from way back. I do enjoy the Washington setting as I have loved each trip I have taken to our nation’s capitol. I can’t always follow exactly where he is, but I get the general gist of things. I really liked Cross Country and look forward to your review of it. Thanks for sharing about this author and series!
    .-= Kay´s last blog ..The Broken Circle by Shirley Wells =-.

  5. I like the Cross series and a city like D.C. offers up lots of possibilities for side threads. Thanks for the pics! Most interesting, especially the view of Lagos.

  6. Washington, D.C is the perfect place for Alex Cross to live!

  7. I read the first Alex Cross and liked it but for some reason never returned. I’ll will some day!
    .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Review: The Postmistress by Sarah Blake =-.

  8. I’m not a huge fan of James Patterson, but I do enjoy his Alex Cross novels. Some are better than others, but I think it is a solid, admirable protagonist, and I always enjoy reading about his adventures about town!
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..This World We Live In – Susan Beth Pfeffer =-.

    • Sandy: I like Alex Cross best because he evolves throughout the series, unlike some of Patterson’s other characters. I agree that some Cross novels are better than others.

  9. I’ve lived in the D.C. area for about as long as you, as you know, and I hate going into the city unless I’m showing family and friends around. If I have to go to the zoo or one of the museums one more time, I think I’m going to scream! Seriously, though, I’m in the city every day technically but don’t see much more than public transit. It is a great setting for a detective series, though.
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday — April 12 =-.

    • I think its fantastic for a detective series and I love that it shows you the gritty side of the city, though I’m wondering when Cross will see some police shootings that are unjustified.