Saturday, 27 February 2016

15th Affair by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro (Women's Murder Club, #15) - Book Review

4/5 Stars

Sometimes secrets can be deadly...


Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 351
Chapters: 103
Publisher: Century

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


Lindsay, Claire, Cindy and Yuki, the crime busters of the Women's Murder Club series, return and bring with them a story of spies, secrets and salacious escapades. 

Patterson and Maxine Paetro don't hold back in entry number fifteen, with massive tragedies bombarding our characters on both professional and personal fronts. The suspense clicks with the story's secrecy like two parts of a whole, and the mystery proves to be one worth reading.

To overuse a phrase I'm forever spewing: It's Patterson's standard fare. In saying that, it's a pro and con. You know what you're getting, but there are no real surprises, which is sad when the book's subject matter, spies, is taken into consideration.

Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)

Four murders in a lavish hotel has SFPD Detective Lindsay Boxer in a spin.
The killings are connected, there's no doubt, but how?
Pulled into a conspiracy of epic proportions, Lindsay turns to her husband for support.
Only, her husband is suddenly missing.
As stakes rise hard and fast, lies and secrets are revealed, coalescing into an atrocity that rocks the very foundations of the city.
An atrocity that could lead to the end of the Women's Murder Club...

Plot - 4/5 Stars

15th Affair's plot is fast and fun. We delve into a spy game that, while can be cheesy, it's entirely enjoyable, especially when the dots start to connect. There are huge events that raise the dangerous elements within the story, and the action and adrenaline are, as always, on point.

There can be an emotional disconnect with the events inside the novel. Things happen at a breakneck pace, and this negatively affects the emotion, which we don't have time to build.

I did expect with the subject matter, namely spies and conspiracies, that there'd be more twists and turns, but we get a plot which is very A to B. This isn't a bad thing; there are some nice surprises that make the reader feel giddy with thrills.

We end on a high note, closing loose ends for the overall plot which gives us a nice jolt. There are also some personal aspects that are infuriatingly left in the air, but this only works wonders in making sure readers avidly await the next instalment.

And future entries are a given; we're far from over.

Pace - 4/5 Stars

Normally Patterson's use of short chapters speed up the novel and give the immediacy a solid surge, and, overall, 15th Affair follows this pattern well. But, there are a few instances where this formula introduces some ragged shifts in this entry. Some events happen far too quickly, sacrificing gravity for a quick impact, before moving on.

Characters - 4/5 Stars

The cast of the Women's Murder Club series has always been strong. It's not always perfect, and can sometimes lose character development in return for a more streamlined story, but if you're a fan of the series and still going, all our favourites are here.

I do feel this entry focuses more on a streamlined story, but with one big exception.

Lindsay and her marriage to Joe is the other main thread of this novel aside from the spy story. It introduces some exciting new dynamics that alleviate the incessant intelligence game. It can seem a bit sudden, but the authors do a great job of showing the progression to be natural.

Sadly, I'm still waiting for the authors to return to the roots of the series' name: Women's Murder Club. Consisting of Lindsay (the tough cop), Claire (the medical examiner), Cindy (the insatiable reporter) and Yuki (the unrelenting lawyer), the club seems to be taking more and more of a backseat. They still convene, but the glory of the women in a man's world mentality that the earlier entries convey so well is becoming lost. Lindsay is always front and centre, which is fine because she's a fitting protagonist, but the other members of the group are stuck on a conveyor belt, awaiting their time in the spotlight.

I need the group to be more balanced and involved, rather than continue to fade slowly away.

Writing - 4.5/5 Stars

Patterson and Paetro work to keep 15th Affair moving ferociously forward. Aside from the jarring of some shifting scenes, the momentum rarely stutters. The novel is quick and concise, detailing things only to the extent needed. 

Overall - 4/5 Stars

It's been too long, and I have to thank the authors for bringing another riotous entry of the Women's Murder Club into my life.

Previous Instalment: 14th Deadly Sin
Next Instalment: The Trial

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