Chapters: 121 (Plus a prologue.)
Book Links: Goodreads
While not on-par with the first in his series, James Patterson, along with his co-author Andrew Gross, have created a thrilling sequel in the Women's Murder Club series. I've seen a lot of reviews that focus on the fact that Mr Patterson uses a lot of co-authors, with some even questioning whether or not he writes any of his books at all, and his name is only used as a marketing ploy, but for this review I'm not really going to focus on that. I'm not interested in who wrote more etc. etc., just the story being told, and in my opinion, it's an awesome, pulse-pounding thrill ride.
We are thrown back into the life of Lindsay Boxer, former Inspector for the SFPD Homicide Department, although now she's become the first woman Lieutenant. After the previous book's revelations and heartbreak, Lindsay is pulled from her time off and back into another whirlwind case. A madman has shot at a bunch of children as they leave a church, lots of shots and mayhem, but surprisingly, only one casualty. When Lindsay reaches the scene she quickly deduces that the victim was a target, with the other shots being a smokescreen. While the rest of the world has chalked it to Hate Crimes, she believes otherwise, tying another murder to the case.
The Women's Murder Club reforms. The girls get back together and throw themselves at the case, even though it seems impossible to explain. With this one coming closer to home than any before, the girls along with the rest of the SFPD have to rush against the clock before more dead arrive at their doorstep.
Reviews for this book went down slightly compared to its predecessor, mainly because it follows a much similar formula to the first book, making it slightly predictable in a way. This barely bothers me, the story and characters work so well that a little foresight isn't a bad thing, it's almost a must-have in crime thrillers today. The authors still manage to shock you, to bring everything you think is right under question, and in the end, have a gasp-inducing conclusion.
The growth of the characters in this instalment is fun and heart-wrenching. We watch them struggle with not only the case, but with shocking personal problems as well. Lindsay Boxer is such a strong-minded and intelligent character to go on this journey with, and the chapters that show keen insight from the killer's perspective are refreshing and, in a good way, frustrating. We know things that Lindsay hasn't deduced yet, and when the crap hits the fan you're almost screaming at her what we find obvious.
The writing is also top notch. What makes it so approachable is the ease with which you can read it. There's a reason James Patterson is able to sell so many books. His tantalising stories are easy to pick up and love, especially with a strong cast of characters and professional writing that people who aren't generally readers can pick up and instantly be enthralled with.
The Women's Murder Club series is one hell of a set of novels, and almost a standard to pick up for crime lovers. I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of the series.
Previous Instalment: 1st to Die
Next Instalment: 3rd Degree
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