12th of Never by James Patterson
Pros: lots of intriguing stories
Cons: a couple things didn’t ring true
The twelfth book in James Patterson’s The Women’s Murder Club series, 12th Of Never, is a real hodgepodge. Some really good stuff, and some bad stuff.
First the good – all four women get their time. This is a good return to how these books used to be – where all Lindsay, Clair, Cindy, and Yuki all get to participate, rather than having some of them sit on the back burner. As far as stories go, there are so many of them, it’s hard to keep straight. Lindsay’s got two current investigations, as well as an old one that’s rearing its head again. Claire’s job as the medical examiner is in danger after a body goes missing. Yuki is prosecuting a “sure thing” that goes off the rails. And Cindy is having an identity crisis that ultimately affects her relationship status.
As far as the stories go, it’s hard to pick a favorite as they were all pretty good. There’s the murder of a football player’s girlfriend. But Lindsay can’t do a whole lot of solve the case, since this the body that “walked out” of Claire’s morgue. Then there’s a bizarre story of a man who dreams about murders that take place a few days later. Is the man clairvoyant or is something else far more sinister going on? Then there’s an old case of Lindsay’s that comes back to life after a killer wakes from a two year coma and wants to talk. And Yuki’s trial which starts out so clearly black and white but devolves into pools of gray right before her eyes. And, to add some drama, Cindy and Rich hit a snag in their relationship, and Lindsay’s baby is sick.
Phew! That’s a lot of action for a 400-page book! But Patterson (with Maxine Paetro) manages to bring it all together, even including one major twist that I never saw coming. My interest was certainly held throughout.
But all is not perfect – there are some things that didn’t sit well with me. Like Lindsay going back to work so soon after having the baby, then not being able to do her job because she’s so distracted by thoughts of the baby. Then the baby gets sick (and I don’t just mean she has the sniffles) and Lindsay is manipulated into leaving the baby at the hospital and coming back to work. Nope, I just don’t really see that happening.
Also, Claire being so badly punished for something that was not her doing. I didn’t think that was fair or realistic. Seems to me there would have been an internal investigation before anyone decided everything was all her fault and she should take the blame. I could see if she were suspended, with pay, for a little while, until things were sorted out. But instead they punished her before having a clue what really happened.
Still, 12th Of Never held my interest and I’m looking forward to #13.