Friday, April 29, 2011

Patterson is a First (Book #5)

I've recently joined yet another book club; this one being formed by a longtime family friend, Misty.  It's strictly an online forum and a place for, what seems to be, a bunch of mothers to get together and discuss books once a month.  Now, I don't really fit into this category, but I am a book lover and I'm pretty sure that's why Misty invited me to join.  It was decided that the easiest way to determine who chooses books and when would be to make an alphabetical list and go from there.  Needless to say I'm rather far down on the list.  Our first chooser was Betty and she decided on James Patterson's 1st to Die.  I can't recall if I've ever read anything by Patterson, I'm pretty sure I haven't, so this was my first sojourn into the bestseller's world of murder and intrigue.

I picked the book up from the local library and got ready to settle in.  1st to Die is the first novel in the Women's Murder Club series.  These aren't normally what I choose when I select a book to read,  though I have read some John Grisham books and the like, but I am all for broadening my literary horizons.  It's a fast-pace cop thriller with a female narrator; unusual.  The reader enters the novel on the balcony of Detective Lindsay Boxer's San Francisco apartment.  Boxer is having a rather rough day, which I won't spoil,  in the prologue and it sets up a lot of questions:  why is she doing this?  is her life really this bad?  what really happened in the Mandarin Suite at the Hyatt?  We are then taken back to the beginning of the entire ordeal and brought up to speed with short, quick chapters that clip right along.

 The main premise of the novel is the hunt and capture of a trans-continental serial killer who specifically targets newlyweds.  There are a few murders that take place, each with differing methods and locations, that lead the investigators in different directions and constantly bring up new questions.  There are also subplots that weave throughout the novel involving Lindsay.  These range from a change in partner, a medical situation, and her ability to trust.

We eventually meet the other members of the Women's Murder Club:  Cindy, a sassy, daring news reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, Claire, the city's Medical Examiner and Lindsay's best friend, and Jill, the Assistant District Attorney.  All four women bring something different to the table and contribute equally to catching the serial killer that has the nation stunned.

Patterson throws in a couple twists that leave the reader with a gaping mouth, but for the most part it's a fairly predictable novel.  I did enjoy reading it though because, sometimes, you just need a little mindless entertainment to slow your mind down.  Thank you Mr. Patterson.

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