Mystery / Suspense

4th of July

Written by: James Patterson with Maxine Paetro

Published By: Little, Brown and Company

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            After reading the third book in the Women’s Murder Clubicon series, I wasn’t sure I wanted to move forward.  I wasn’t expecting such an upheaval in the series and wasn’t sure how I would feel about the rest of the novels.  But seeing as how the series has now made it to the twelfth novel with much success, I figured I might as well check out the fourth novel, 4th of July.  Besides, I do enjoy a good James Pattersonicon every now and then.

            A few months have past since the loss of one of the Women’s Murder Club and Lindsey, Claire and Cindy are making every attempt to move forward, but they still have that fourth glass at the table every time they meet for margaritas and a meal at Susie’s.  Lindsey is at one of those get-togethers when she receives a call from her former partner Jacobi.  He’s got a line on a Mercedes involved in a particularly nasty set of murders in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco.  Lindsey jumps on a chance to track the Mercedes down and things seem to be looking up until their stakeout turns into a car chase.

            A car crash and a dozen gunshots later, Lindsey is facing the fight of her life as she is dragged into court on charges of excessive force.  To make matters worse, her forced “vacation” time is being spent in a town besieged by their own serial killer.  The murders taking place in this small town are almost exactly like one of Lindsey Boxer’s first John Doe murders. 

            Determined to find out whether there really is a link between these new murders and the unsolved John Doe murder all those years ago, Lindsey will ignore the pleas of her friends, her lawyer and the local police chief and put her life on the line to put a stop to these serial killings.  But when it becomes apparent that the murderer may be a member of the town itself, could Lindsey be setting herself up as the next victim?

            The flow of 4th of July is as fast paced as ever - I finished this book in only a couple of days and that’s only because I had to work, eat and sleep, otherwise I would have finished it the day I started reading it.  I enjoyed the fact that, even though the club was missing a member, things really hadn’t changed between Lindsey, Claire and Cindy.  The charisma was still there as were the jabs and teasing between the three women.  The eventual add on to the group is a perfect match and fits in nicely by the end of the novel.

            While the writing was captivating, I did find the storyline to be too predictable.  Patterson and his co-writer, Maxine Paetro, did their best to keep the killers identities a secret, giving them code names and I did enjoy how things from the killers’ perspective were written in third person while Lindsey’s point of view were written in first person.  However, I knew who the killers were - each and every one of them, including one that was supposed to be the shocker-I-never-would-have-guessed-it killer - by the middle of the book.  I had two of the murderers already locked down by then when I remember thinking to myself, “Hmm…what if so-and-so were a member of this serial killer group.  It would be unexpected but it would make a whole lot of sense.”  And it turned out that, although I wouldn’t learn the reasons behind the murders until the end of the book, I was writer about the murderers.

            Quite honestly, although the book was predictable, and I do wonder how it is that Lindsey keeps finding herself in trouble even when she isn’t supposed to be on a case, I found that I just couldn’t put 4th of July down until it was finished.  The characters are simply to likeable to walk away, even when you think you know how things are going to turn out.  I just hope that the mysteries in the rest of the novels in the series don’t turn out to be as predictable as this one.


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