UNLUCKY 13 BY JAMES PATTERSON – LIVES UP TO ITS NAME

Unlucky 13 by James Patterson

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Pros: a bit of excitement here and there

Cons: but definitely not the best of the series

In general, I enjoy James Patterson’s The Women’s Murder Club series. But Unlucky 13 really lives up to its name as it was pretty awful.

Four women who pull their talents together to solve crimes. Lindsay the homicide detective. Yuki the attorney. Claire the medical examiner. And Cindy the reporter. In general, these ladies make a terrific force, working together, and making the streets of San Francisco safer for all. But in this book, the ladies really don’t work together very much. Each sort of has her own story. Except for Claire. She’s basically absent for this one.

So you have Lindsay chasing the “belly bomber” with her partner, Rich. What’s a “belly bomb”? Well, this book would have you believe that it’s a teeny tiny bomb that can be put into someone’s food. They eat it and when it hits the stomach acid – well – kaboom! No meal is worth that! With very little clue to go on except for the victim’s last meal, which happens to have been a popular hamburger chain, Lindsay is on the case to track an evil genius who’s making teeny tiny bombs.

Yuki is finally married and on her honeymoon. All’s well, they’re enjoying their cruise, until modern-day pirates attack.

And Cindy takes off after Mackie Morales – the antagonist from the previous book. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the previous book, this story stands on its own. You just have to know that Mackie is a bad girl, and Cindy’s chasing her all over town, with no backup because her friends are – well – busy, given the belly bomber and the pirates and such.

Three completely disjointed stories. Two were Ok. I was interested in the belly bomber. But when all is finally revealed, I was disappointed in the motive. I was hoping for something more than what I got. The pirates situation on the ship provided a lot of action and excitement. But Cindy’s story was humdrum. Just a basic cat and mouse chase, except in this case the cat is untrained for the situation and makes mistake after mistake.

As far as the personal lives go, Claire doesn’t have one, at least not in this book. Cindy still misses Rich, and hopes things can be repaired. Yuki is thrilled to be married. And then there’s Lindsay. Presumably happily married and now a mother. But I can’t help but wonder how having a newborn fits in with a homicide detective who puts her life on the line every day. It’s a tough situation, one that our finest deal with in real life. But in book form, it comes off as unrealistic. You can almost see Lindsay holding a baby in one hand while shooting bad guys with the other.

Overall, Unlucky 13 was not a great read. Three separate stories, none of which really ‘wowed’ me. And very little character development. I really hope 14 does better.

1st To Die
2nd Chance
3rd Degree
4th Of July
The 5th Horseman
The 6th Target
7th Heaven
The 8th Confession
The 9th Judgment
10th Anniversary
11th Hour
12th of Never
14th Deadly Sin

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