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ODU Football Scores a Mention in James Patterson’s New ‘Alex Cross’ Book

James Patterson's latest bestselling "Alex Cross" book is obviously set in the future, but it gives five words of worldwide literary publicity to the Old Dominion University football team.

In chapter 88 of the thriller "Merry Christmas, Alex Cross," two U.S. Marshals deputies carry a suspect into an interrogation room. In a line in the book, currently on the New York Times Bestseller List, Patterson writes the marshals had "been defensive linemen at Old Dominion."

That means the book is futuristic in setting, since the first class of ODU football players won't graduate until next May, and thus couldn't yet be working as U.S. Marshals deputies. But the unexpected publicity from the pen of the world-famous author is another tangible example of the growth of the university's football program in four short seasons.

The series protagonist Alex Cross is an African American detective and psychologist living and working in the southeast quadrant of Washington, D.C.

The 19th book in Patterson's popular series, "Merry Christmas, Alex Cross" sees the book's hero assigned to a horrific hostage situation spiraling out of control on Christmas Eve.