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The 9th Judgment    by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro order for
9th Judgment
by James Patterson
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The 9th Judgment follows The 8th Confession in the ever popular Women's Murder Club series, co-authored by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro.

A famous actress (who went to law school with Yuki) is murdered during a robbery in her home by a daring jewel thief (dubbed Hello Kitty by the media) who targets the wealthy during their dinner parties. Sergeant Lindsay Boxer and Rich Conklin are assigned this political hot potato of a case - and there's something off-kilter about it.

At the same time, they're desperately trying to track down a clean-cut, all-American serial killer who shoots young mothers - and their infants. He leaves as his signature, different variations of the letters W, C and F. Heartbroken Medical Examiner Claire Washburn advises women to carry guns, a statement that does not endear her to city authorities.

On the personal front, Lindsay is second guessing her feelings for her fiancÚ, Joe Molinari, and struggling with jealousy over her close friend Cindy Thomas's hot and heavy romance with Rich. Yuki Castellano's losing streak is finally broken by a trial win and she also meets a very congenial bartender.

Of course, Lindsay closes both cases (with the usual help from her Women's Murder Club buddies), finding they are linked in the most surprising ways. And as always, the episode ends on a big question mark, with possibly unwelcome changes looming in Lindsay's professional life. Fans will take in The 9th Judgment in one long gulp.

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