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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

16th Seduction by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro (Women's Murder Club, #16) - Book Review

3/5 Stars

Fifteen months ago, Detective Lindsay Boxer's life was perfect...

Now, a deadly conspiracy is working against her,

and soon she could be on trial...


Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Chapters: 97 (Plus a prologue with three parts.)
Publisher: Century

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

Anyone wanna take a guess as to what happens when you promise to set aside time for reading after a big lull?

In my case, it all went to crap.

So many weeks without a book under my belt...

Maybe that's why on my return to San Francisco in 16th Seduction, my eager brain raised my expectations too high. The novel's solid, with fast and ferocious fun that'll please Patterson fans with its comfortable formula, but, for me, something's missing. I remember being absolutely enamoured by the Women's Murder Club series, but chalk it up to such a long series being released over a long time and my rose-tinted glasses are slipping.

Readers are still in store for a crime-thriller novel that thinks big, with terrorism, secrets, and fear leading the charge in terms of themes, but part of me can't help but think there's far too much attempted style over meaningful substance (which pains me to say, so maybe I'm just crazy).

Synopsis

FIFTEEN MONTHS AGO, DETECTIVE LINDSAY BOXER'S LIFE WAS PERFECT...

With her beautiful baby daughter and doting husband, Joe, she felt nothing could go wrong.

But Joe isn't everything that Lindsay thought he was, and she's still reeling from his betrayal as a wave of mysterious heart attacks strikes seemingly unrelated victims across San Francisco.

And at the trial of a bomber Lindsay and Joe worked together to capture, the defence raises damning questions about Lindsay and Joe's investigation.

A deadly conspiracy is working against Lindsay, and soon she could be the one on trial.

Plot - 3/5 Stars

16th Seduction starts off with a bang and continues with several clever concussive blows. Aptly mirroring real-world events, namely terrorism, Patterson and Paetro do a solid job of portraying an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. Sadly, that's as far as my emotional connection to the novel goes. Subplots, mostly romantic in nature, take up a huge amount of time and cast thoughts. Given the extraordinary circumstances I can understand the need to ponder your nearest and dearest, but I couldn't find the energy to care.

While the story builds its wobbly foundations, with plot threads appearing only to vanish within a chapter until 200 pages later, the mixing of police procedural and criminal court proceedings that is a Women's Murder Club standard really brings the novel up a notch. The balance is iffy, but there are some shining moments of suspense that scintillate the senses.

Events become more psychological as the plot progresses, and despite my Debbie-Downer attitude (seriously, I don't know what's up with my increasingly cynical brain; where did my fun go?), 16th Seduction is an enjoyable thriller that'll only take a few hours of your day.

Pace - 3/5 Stars

With the standard short chapters in tow, Patterson and Paetro race forwards with the flow. It's a pro and con, ensuring that the reader never stalls in their experience only to fall victim to a broken balance between plots.

Too much go go go, and not enough contemplation.

Characters - 3/5 Stars

I know I've said this before but: Isn't this series about a club of wise women who solve crimes?

Where the hell is this Women's Murder Club!?

For almost three quarters of the book the 'club' is barely a focus, and it frustrates me to no end. Are the members used? Yes. Are their inclusions all significant? Nowhere near it. 

Individual personalities are concrete, led by good-hearted cop Lindsay Boxer, but, I asked myself whether or not, aside from their personal lives, has anything really changed over the course of sixteen books? Development's always been nonexistent, and as the series ages, it gets more frustrating.

The authors nail their respective roles, though, and I still enjoy my time with them.

Writing - 3/5 Stars

Events are clear and grave, bolstered by their stone-cold realism.

Overall - 3/5 Stars

16th Seduction isn't a hit or a miss for me, just an average entry to a series I'm fast becoming far too comfortable with. There aren't enough surprises or shocks to really shake the story's world, and that's quite a frustrating realisation considering the scale of the criminal plots that take place.

But, I digress, there are decent sparks of suspense throughout that make 16th Seduction a fun foray if you have the time for it.

Now, I need to go and try to find where my lackadaisical fun went and why I'm suddenly so dismal.


Previous Instalment: The Trial


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