9th Judgement, James Patterson (with Maxine Paetro)

| 1 August , 2010 | Reply

Kristy McCormick

This is the ninth book in the impressive Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson. And this latest instalment, 9th Judgement, will not let fans down.

I\’ve read several of the books from this series, but not all, and I am now wondering why I didn\’t bother to check the others out. Perhaps I will. But if you haven\’t read them don\’t despair because Patterson always gives you just enough background to understand the main characters enough to see you through the story.

A woman and her baby are found dead in their vehicle in the parking lot of a shopping mall. Ruthlessly shot dead, there are no witnesses to the crime and the only evidence a cryptic message written in lipstick on the windshield. Detective Lindsay Boxer is called in to work the case – but it seems such a random, senseless killing that she can\’t work it out.

Before Lindsay can really get started though, there\’s another murder. The wife of a famous actor is found shot dead in her bedroom, apparently the victim of a robbery gone wrong. There have been numerous burglaries in recent months – all the victims high profile wealthy citizens. But none has ended like this before, so why now?

More senseless murders, always sickeningly involving mothers and their children, follow and Lindsay and her team are desperate to find the person responsible before more innocent lives are lost.

In true Womens Murder Club style, Lindsay turns to her best friends for support and advice. Of course they all have a vested interest in both cases. Claire Washburn is the forensic pathologist assigned the gruesome task of conducting autopsies on the bodies – looking for clues that might lead them to the killer. Cindy Thomas is crime reporter extraordinaire – always hanging out for the next big story, she too wants to nail this guy (or guys). And Yuki Castellano, a lawyer working for the DA\’s office believes in justice – especially when it\’s a law school friend who\’s been murdered.

And so these women meet over beers and nachos, discuss the cases and gradually get a feel for what\’s going on. But it\’s Lindsay who will suffer the most in this one. As they start to close in on the killer (with still no sign of the cat burglar) the case starts to get personal. And with Lindsay\’s own life on the line, will they find him before it\’s too late?

This book is classic James Patterson – the plot develops quickly and the suspense keeps building right until the end. He has managed to successfully weave two separate cases (well almost separate – you\’ll understand when you read it!) into this one though – they are both equally riveting, but the ending and the way these characters wind up being connected is unanticipated to say the least.

The women in this story are tough and work in situations that would have most of our stomachs turning. But they are believable characters for all of that – they have relationships and families to consider as well. I liked this book a lot – although being a fan of James Patterson and the Womens Murder Club series definitely helped. But if it\’s an action packed murder mystery with plenty of twists thrown in then this is one for you!

Available now: Random House RRP$32.95


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