4TH OF JULY – JAMES PATTERSON – MISSING SOME OF THE CHARACTERS, BUT ENJOYABLE NONETHELESS

4th Of July – Patterson gives most of the characters a holiday in this one

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Pros: Two intriguing stories.

Cons: But it’s supposed to be about four women, not one woman and a dog!

 

4th Of July is the fourth book in James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series.  In this case, Patterson has teamed with Maxine Paetro.  Typically, these books revolve around four professional women in the San Francisco area who put their heads together to solve local murder cases.   But in this book, it’s only Lindsay Boxer, the homicide lieutenant, who gets all the good stuff.  Claire, the medical examiner and Cindy, the reporter barely stop by to say hello in this book.  In fact, the only thing “the club” does in this book, is invite Yuki, Lindsay’s new lawyer, to join them, replacing Jill from the first three books.

While I found it disappointing that this book totally ignored “the club”, the story doesn’t disappoint at all.  In fact, there are two stories, both fascinating.

First we have Lindsay trying to solve a case where two teenagers were electrocuted.  When clues lead her and another officer into a car chase, mayhem ensues.  Lindsay and the other officer are shot.  To defend herself from further attacks, Lindsay shoots.  In the end, a teenage girl is killed, her brother paralyzed for life.  Now Lindsay is facing a huge lawsuit brought by the kids’ parents.  Wrongful death, failure to follow proper procedure, it’s a media party.

Until the trial, Lindsay is forced to take a leave from the force, so she goes to her sister’s house on the shore for a little relaxation.  Except she barely has a chance to breathe before she’s up to her neck in some murders that are taking place in this otherwise peaceful town.  And the mother of all coincidences – the current murder spree bears a striking resemblance to a cold case from Lindsay’s past, one that’s haunted her for 10 years.

OK – so the use of coincidence in these books can be annoying.  But without such things happening – things that would never happen in real life – there wouldn’t be much of a story, so we just have to go with it.

It’s all worth it, because the two stories had me turning pages in record time.  In the first story, we hear both sides of the case, and we’re given a lot to think about.  It’s not as black and white as I originally assumed, there’s a lot of gray area when it comes to out-of-control minors, and police officers doing their duty.  It’s also a great introduction to Yuki, who will be making a showing in the future books.

The second story is just as interesting.  You have several murders which appear to be unrelated, except by the signature of the murderer.  You have the local police force, which at first, doesn’t want any help from an outsider like Lindsay.  And you have a bunch of very colorful local citizens who bring some amount of humor to this story.  And, of course, there’s Martha, Lindsay’s dog.  Martha appears in all of the books, but actually has a bit of a starring role in this book.  More so than the other “club” members, that’s for sure!

The ultimate end of this story is really interesting.  I was left feeling very satisfied, with no thread left dangling.

I liked that Joe, Lindsay’s boyfriend from the previous book, returns in this novel, but only in small doses, and always in a kind, supportive role.  We’re not subjected to endless bedroom romps in this book, and I, for one, am grateful for that.

As stated earlier, this really isn’t a typical “club” book – it’s really a one-woman show.   Well, one-woman and one-dog.  But it’s still a very enjoyable book, with two very intriguing stories.

1st To Die
2nd Chance
3rd Degree
The 5th Horseman
The 6th Target
7th Heaven
The 8th Confession
The 9th Judgment
10th Anniversary
11th Hour
12th of Never
Unlucky 13
14th Deadly Sin

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