Monday, 9 March 2015

14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro (Women's Murder Club, #14) - Book Review

4/5 Stars

Could this be one case too many for the Women's Murder Club...?

Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 349
Chapters: 104
Publisher: Century

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


I have been heavily anticipating this book's release, because as you'll see from all my other reviews of the series, I love it. Steered by four strong, independent women, the Women's Murder Club with its fantastical stories and quick, chopped-up writing is always my go to place whenever I feel like a thriller that I can just sit down and read. There's no need to over-analyse everything or second guess every character's motives; we just get a thrilling and unputdownable read. And for that I'm always thankful. In those regards, 14th Deadly Sin ticks all the right boxes, and I hope that there are many, many more of this series to come by Patterson and his co-authors.

SPOILER ALERT - I'm thinking they're only slight, but to be on the safe side.

Robberies are taking place.
It's nothing out of the ordinary, or it usually wouldn't be, but those who are surviving the attacks swear it was the work of rogue cops.
At the same time a woman is butchered in broad daylight, in front of hundreds of people, and the killer gets away without anyone IDing him.
Lindsay Boxer has her work cut out for her, but she's toeing the line: An unspoken rule among her fellow police officers she might have to cross to catch killers.
But is she ready for the consequences...

What I love about these books is the way they dive right into the intrigue and suspense. There's no infuriating build-up to the murder, we're just thrown in, ready to get on with it. Quick-fire style. Couple that with how well the authors make you feel immune to the monstrosity within, only to sneak up behind you and surprise you all over again, and it's always refreshing.

The courtroom drama part of the story is pulse-pounding, and I cannot praise it enough. I always love seeing Yuki in action.

14th Deadly Sin without a doubt follows a similar formula to its predecessors, but the saying holds: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

We touch a lot more firmly on police corruption in this entry. We've glanced at it before in the series, but here it feels more like a living force. Supposed officers robbing money, others, or the same officers stealing drugs, and Yuki is on a case that could end with two cops' actions being negligent to the point where a man has died for their mistakes. It adds a nice layer to the background while everyone is off focusing on more specific events. Bigger things are working their ways outside of our direct sight, and it does a good job of making the world feel more whole.

I'm also still completely in love with our first-person protagonist, Lindsay Boxer. As ever she's our tough, but compassionate hero-cop, but ever since she's had her baby, she feels a lot more grounded, and that's a good thing. Throughout the Women's Murder Club Lindsay has had some pretty awful things happen to her, but she's always brushed them off far too quickly, nothing really holds her back, but now that she has a child, she's slightly more hesitant. It's a nice move forward for her development, and it's equally good to see more emotions from her rather than her usual horror-determination-pause-win routine.

There's also a sharp focus on Yuki in 14th Deadly Sin, and of how she's dealing with her near-death experience. She's always been kind, but when she switches sides to fight for the underdogs, we have a new respect for her. It's a brave and ballsy move, especially because she could lose each and every one of the people close to her for it.

I wish I had more to say about our other two illustrious members of the club, Claire and Cindy, but there isn't really much use for them within this story. Cindy releases a book about the events of 12th of Never and Unlucky 13, but that's about it.

One drawback for me, is the unremarkable answers for the main story. Its resolution really doesn't phase me. It isn't shocking, or a twist, or even action-packed, and sadly, even though I really hate to say it, it's extremely lacklustre.

There are still some strong parts of the novel that redeem this though.

Especially the cliffhanger-like ending that does take you by surprise.

Previous Instalment: Unlucky 13
Next Instalment: 15th Affair

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