The 6th Target – Worst one, so far
Pros:Like most Patterson books, it’s a quick read.
Cons: Three completely forgettable stories.
The 6th Target is the sixth book in Patterson’s The Women’s Murder Club series. Most of the books are written as collaborations. In this case Patterson has worked with Maxine Paetro. For those unfamiliar with the series, it features four intelligent, hard-working women who have various roles to play, in solving murder cases, and catching the bad guys. You’ve got Lindsay the detective, Yuki the assistant district attorney, Claire the medical examiner and Cindy the newspaper reporter. Together the four friends solve crimes in San Francisco. The books’ gimmicky titles contain sequential numbers. It’s a cute naming convention, that also helps if you want to read the books in order.
In this book there are three separate stories. Two are somewhat interesting and the other is completely unnecessary. None of them are “memorable”.
The main story involves a shootout on a ferry. Seemingly unprovoked, a man shoots 6 bullets. Some victims are killed, others wounded, including Claire, the medical examiner. There’s no real mystery about who the shooter is. We, the readers, are told right away. And even though Lindsay is following the clues to figure out who he is, she really doesn’t have to work too hard as he shows up on her doorstep and tells her he’s guilty. The rest of the story follows the court drama that ensues, as the defense tries to prove the man was legally insane. We the readers get to simply “listen in” while one side tries to convince the jury that the man didn’t know right from wrong at the time of the shooting, and the other side tries to convince them the opposite is true.
It’s a reasonably interesting story even if there is no true mystery.
The second story has to do with kids and their nannies who are disappearing. The nannies eventually turn up dead, but the kids are gone forever. All the poor parents have is a letter saying that no harm will come to their kids as long as the parents don’t get the authorities involved. This story was also interesting. And in this one, we have no idea who the guilty party is, so we get to follow the clues along with Lindsay.
The third story was a total bore. It has to do with Cindy’s new apartment building. First, pets are dying. Then people start dying. We, the readers, know right away why these animals and people are attacked. It takes Lindsay a lot longer to figure it out. And once she does, the story is wrapped up in a blink of an eye.
One problem I have with this book is that the three stories are completely unrelated. Other than poor Lindsay going nuts trying to work on all three cases at once, there was nothing holding the stories together. With Patterson’s typical short, choppy chapters, averaging only three pages each, I felt like a pin ball being bounced around all over the place. One minute we’re on one story, the next we’ve switched, then we switch again. It all felt very chaotic.
Part of the problem is that the four members of “The Club” don’t actually collaborate in this book. They’re not working together to solve crimes. Most of them simply “appear” in this book. But only Lindsay and Yuki are actually helping to solve anything.
There was also some subplot dealing with Lindsay’s love life. I didn’t much care for this aspect at all. It seems that when it comes to romance, Lindsay really has no idea what she wants. One minute she wants one thing, the next moment she’s after something else. In fact, she does some really stupid things in this book, in the name of love.
I read this book very quickly, and I will forget it just as quickly. There simply is nothing memorable about any of the three stories. The characters are reasonable, and it’s nice to follow them through all the books in a series, but this book, itself, is just average.