Crocodile Tears (novel)
Crocodile Tears
Release date

June 7, 2010 (UK); November 16, 2010 (North America)


432 (UK); 400 (North America)

Publication order
Preceded by
Followed by
Scorpia Rising

Alex Rider - in the jaws of death

—Crocodile Tears tagline

Crocodile Tears (originally to be entitled Endurance Point) is the eighth book in the Alex Rider series by British author Anthony Horowitz.


Walker Books

Alex Rider's eighth adventure and the most action-packed yet...

Targeted by a hitman and under threat of his past being exposed by the media. Alex turns to MI6 for help but their help doesn't come cheap: they need Alex to spy on the activities at a GM crop plant. There he spots Desmond McCain, a high profile charity organizer, who realizes that Alex is on to him and the real plans for the money he's raising. Kidnapped and flown off to Africa, Alex learns the full horror of McCain's plot: to create an epic disaster that will kill millions. Forced to ask MI6 for protection, Alex finds himself being manipulated in a deadly game that could lead to the destruction of an entire East African country, but Alex manages to kill Desmond McCain in the end.


A nuclear technician in India places a bomb on a pump in a nuclear power station in Jowada but is killed by the blast as his paymasters didn't want to leave any witnesses. As a result, a cloud of nuclear steam slowly travels towards Jowada, and a charity called First Aid quickly reacts to the disaster.

Meanwhile Alex Rider is spending New Year's with Sabina Pleasure and her family in Scotland. He attends a New Year's Eve party hosted by the rich black businessman Desmond McCain, founder of the fictitious charity First Aid. As Alex, Sabina, and her father drive home, a sniper shoots the tire of their car, causing them to lose control and crash into a loch. Alex, Sabina, and her father barely escape from the vehicle. Their escape is helped by an Indian man who is unidentified and unknown to them at the time.

Alex is later approached by a journalist named Harry Bulman who wants to publish Alex's MI6 activities. Alex is forced to cooperate with MI6 on one last mission in exchange for their help in getting Bulman off of his back. He is tasked with finding more information about a genetically modified foods research facility named Greenfields. He enters the facility while on a school trip and plugs in a USB drive to copy the contents of director Leonard Straik's computer. Straik (who is accompanied by McCain) discovers that the computer has been compromised and orders a massive manhunt to find the person responsible. Alex barely escapes the facility alive. McCain recognizes Alex, however, and contacts Bulman to learn more about him. After Bulman discloses all that he knows he wants more money since he found out that McCain really needed this information, so McCain murders him to keep him silent, shooting him 3 times in the chest.

McCain kidnaps Alex and flies him into Kenya.And McCain tells him in Ukrainain "Я вб'ю тебе мій хоробрий воїн, мій дорогий Веніамін". McCain reveals that he created his charity, First Aid, to steal money from the general public, responding to disasters that he creates himself. Preparing his charity for these engineered disasters, First Aid arrives on the scene first and collects a large sum of money. McCain also explains that he asked Greenfields to engineer a poison called ricin for crops that would kill half the population of Africa. McCain says he will make hundreds of millions of pounds during the first few months of the plague and intends to steal the money before running away and assuming a new identity in South America (Switzerland in the American version). The Wheat would start producing the poison when given the biological trigger of a mold Alex found at Greenfields.

McCain takes Alex to a nearby river and makes him hang from a pole above a river infested with hungry crocodiles, as they try to eat him. He is saved by the same Indian from the loch, and escapes into the forest. The Indian reveals his name as Rahim and states that he works for the Research and Analysis Wing, an Indian Secret Operations Service, which sent him to kill McCain. While Rahim tries to find a ride out of Africa, Alex makes a journey to the dam that is holding the water from the valley, all the while being pursued by McCain's men. Alex blows up the dam with a bomb, killing everybody except himself. He is rescued by Rahim in a plane. All the crops that were carrying the poison were destroyed in the flood.

They touch down at a nearby airport to refuel, but McCain arrives and shoots Rahim, killing him. Alex jumps out of the plane, but injures his ankle in the process. Just when Alex is about to be killed, he rolls a barrel of fuel over to McCain and blows it up with an explosive gel pen Smithers gave him. Alex watches as McCain burns to death in a pillar of flame.

A few weeks later Alex is back in London healing from his wounds. Jack comes in and sits with him, reminding him that his fifteenth birthday is coming soon. She also assures him that this was his last mission and that MI6 will leave him alone. Alex briefly smiles and rests for the day.


  • Contrary to popular belief, MI6 did not let Alex live a normal life after this story, since they were forced to contact him yet again during the next novel.
  • The book's name is a reference to tears shed out of false, insincere display of sadness.
  • The way that McCain dies is very similar to how James Bond kills Franz Sanchez in License to Kill.

Useful Links


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Crocodile Tears Characters
Main Characters
Alex RiderAlan BluntTulip JonesJack StarbrightDesmond McCainSabina PleasureLeonard Straik
Other Key Characters
Edward PleasureSmithersLiz PleasureJohn CrawleyRavi ChandraHarry BulmanMyra BeckettRahim

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