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1st To Die Book Review

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Title: 1st To Die
Author: James Patterson
Published: 2001, Warner Books
No. of Pages: 424
Cover Price: $13.95 US


Lindsay Boxer, lead homicide inspector for the San Francisco Police Department is called to a grisly murder scene of a bride and groom in the first installment of the Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson , 1st To Die. Although she has never gotten used to murder scenes in her six years in the department, this one upsets and sickens her more than usual, and she is determined to find the killer. Shortly thereafter, Lindsay is called to consult at a similar murder scene in Napa Valley, and then to another in Cleveland. Because the first groom was the son of a Wall-Street big shot, and the bride the daughter of affluent parents who are well-known in the community, Lindsay’s boss, Roth, and the Chief of Police Mercer, consider the murders high priority, and assign Lindsay a new partner, Chris Raleigh, who is from another department at city hall and specializes in “managing potentially sensitive cases.” Lindsay’s usual partner, Warren Jacobi, is reassigned, and Lindsay feels like she has been setup for political failure.

Lindsay is so upset about the murders, as well as some bad news regarding her health, she calls her best friend, Clair Washburn, a medical examiner who did the autopsies on the bodies, to talk and they set up a meeting over drinks. Lindsay meets Cindy Thomas, a reporter for the Chronicle, at the first murder scene, and recognizes that she is not only gutsy (she cleverly slips by security and sneaks in to the actual murder scene), but also someone who could be a friend, and invites her to the meeting. While talking about the “bride & groom murders,” over margaritas, they decide it would be in everyone’s best interest to meet periodically to brainstorm about clues, evidence, etc. Thus, the Women’s Murder Club is formed. Jill Bernhardt, assistant district attorney, who is assigned to the case, is later invited in to the club. Together they work to solve the murders.

During the course of the novel, the reader knows who the murderer is, and is privy to his thoughts as he commits the murders. However, it is a little confusing (by design, of course), because the murderer who is familiar to the reader is not the one Lindsay and Raleigh are pursuing. They are finding it difficult to link the three murders, and it is finally with the help of the Women’s Murder Club that the information comes forth which will tie the suspect to all three. At the same time, Lindsay is dealing with her serious medical condition and an unexpected romance with Chris Raleigh, even though both are trying their best stay professional.

1st To Die introduces the characters who will be in the subsequent books in the series; it also has a plot with a surprise ending. Although the reader knows who the murderer is throughout the novel, it isn’t as it seems. The book is a fast read, and is classic James Patterson. Although James Patterson is one of the top-selling suspense/thriller writers, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the writing is top quality; however, 1st To Die is a fun thriller and doesn’t leave any dangling threads. The ending is so different than expected, and actually quite ingenious; after the shock and suspense of danger to Lindsay and some of the other characters is resolved, and after the reader learns the truth, it’s nice to know that the opportunity is there to read the next installment of the Women’s Murder Club, which is co-authored by Andrew Gross. The characters are interesting and likeable, so it’s only natural to want to find out what happens next in their lives.

This book was purchased with personal funds and no promotion of the book was solicited by the author or publisher.

This book may be purchased at Amazon: 1st to Die (Women's Murder Club)

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