cancel, please L. Rubenstein
The Women's Murder Club used to be about four friends in different, yet related lines of work, who used their unique perspectives to solve challenging police cases. Now, the stories are less about a great plot and more about finding a narrative to fit the number. I'm not even sure they had twenty victims in the The 20th Victim, and worse, I'm not sure I even care any more.
'The 20th Victim' is a lost set of disparate stories hoping to be found and woven into one. Its hope did not come true. There no longer seems to be crime solving, just appearing at crime scenes. Lindsey and Conklin held meetings and opened doors for each other. Joe was presented with a death his best pal convinced him was a crime, which was solved out of thin air. Cindy whined about a fellow journalist she didn't trust, Yuki was conflicted about a case and Claire inexplicably made decisions that included neither her girl gang, nor her husband. Amazingly it was all resolved: a badly wrapped present with a pretty little bow. The 20th Victim has become less crime fiction and more soap opera, with two of the four women married to men who work with a third.
The writing of 'The 20th Victim', at best, is as choppy as a gaggle of school girls playing hopscotch, each on separate set of squares, down the block from each other. One moment Joe and Lindsey were falling asleep after moments of love and the next time Joe appears, the next morning, is four chapters later, when he is waking up in Napa at his friends house after surprise! a "late-night call". Really? Is that the best the authors can do? I think not. In the early partnership between the authors the narrative was so seamless it was impossible to detect there were co-authors. Now it feel as if there are a dozen, none of them talking to any others and certainly not edited.
An often asked question of series books is do they need to be read in order. The answer for The Women's Murder Club used to be no. But, no one can pick up 'The 20th Victim' and understand the dynamics, verve and intelligence that were exemplified in the early books.
Several years ago, I pared down my Patterson must read lists a very few series that I still truly enjoyed. The Women's Murder Club is now teetering on the precipice of never being revisited.
Another sloppy story. Patterson has given up on writing well-plotted, tight stories. No mention as to why the serial killer took up his cause and a very unsatisfying ending. These women are no longer best friends--Cindy holds grudges constantly and is just a media darling who wants the top story--she is no real journalist. She only cares about herself and is not a character I'd root for or want to read more about. Yuki is just a side player. Claire's story was ok, but she didn't contribute to solving anything. I thought this was the women's murder club?? These women used to come together and solve murders but now everyone just goes out on their own and then maybe there's a tie to one of the others. It's a quick read and could have been an interesting story, but the authors didn't bother to flesh it out. Patterson needs to stop writing so quickly and get back to his roots.
5 good plots, fast moving, very enjoyable. In contrast I am also reading the latest Kathy Reichs which is slow, perseverative & tiresome.
Little plot development. Poor proofreading. The cover says that Yuki and Lindsay have "a brutal test of loyalty". It was not Yuki, but Cindy. In one chapter Dave and Joe were interchanged. In another someone named Brenda was in a single sentence. Ending was a let down.
Not sure why the silly assault and then false allegation were mentioned since it did not add anything to the story and was basically a weird side comment.
This book was two disconnected stories about separate serial killers. The only connection is one involves Lindsay and the other has Joe investigating.
I have been a big fan of James Patterson and Maxine Paetro's Women's Murder Club series. THE 20th VICTIM has an interesting story line and a pretty well crafted plot. It was a good read. But, like a number of authors of late, the ending of the book was way too hurried for my taste. Developing an engaging story and then crashing to the end with all the pieces coming together (almost miraculously) in 20 pages isn't very satisfying. I wonder how much of this quick ending stuff is driven by publisher's deadlines.
Held my interest thru out. Weaved the different story lines perfectly
Like all Patterson/Paetro books, this is a very quick read. There isn't as much character development for the members of the Women's Murder Club as in earlier books. This novel has a sub-plot involving the husband of the SFPD detective which I found totally predictable (i.e. not much of a mystery). The main plot could have explored interesting, nuanced reactions some police might have had in response to the villains' motives. None of that was included. Not my favorite book in this series.
I have read all 20 of the women's murder club series. I enjoy following the characters. This particular edition was not my favorite, but I still recommend the series. Kristi & Abby Tabby
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