James Patterson & Andrew Gross
Warner, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
hen I pick up a new book by James Patterson, I don't expect the great American novel, but I can always expect to be entertained. His protagonists are essentially nice people. Identifying with them allows a reader to share the shocks and adrenalin rushes that the author sends their way. This second in the
Women's Murder Club
series, written with Andrew Gross, pits Lindsay Boxer (recently promoted to Homicide Lieutenant) and associates against a sharpshooter of a serial killer who appears to be picking his victims at random.
he first targets are children leaving a church choir practice. After the barrage is over, eleven-year-old Tasha is dead, the apparent victim of a hate crime. As the tabloids and Mayor's office press for a quick solution, and the FBI hover, Lindsay consults her three best friends and
associates - Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas, assistant D.A. Jill Bernhardt and medical examiner Claire Washburn. They pool their resources once again, and begin to see a murky method in the killer's madness. Early victims are all black and related to police officers.
he debut novel of this series did not reveal a great deal about these four women, though Claire did seem to be set up as the mother figure of the group. They are coming into a little more focus this time around. Jill reveals her strong desire for a child, at odds with her workaholic habits, and Cindy falls strongly for someone involved in the case. Lindsay's deadbeat father comes back to haunt her ... and to save her life. Events, as usual in a Patterson novel, quickly escalate,
members become targets of a killer who calls himself
, and Lindsay wonders how much her father's past history has to do with present events.
t's an entertaining read, even better than the first of the series. I'm looking forward to the TV mini-series (I envisage a cross between
Along Came A Spider
and the original
) and of course to the sequel. I hope that Lindsay gets a new romantic interest in it, and that she catches up on all the paperwork neglected while she was out chasing serial killers.
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