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A Note on Book Reviews
I will always keep my reviews spoiler free and will focus more on my opinion and other aspects.
James Patterson is a prolific writer with Alex Cross being his most well-known protagonist. He reality he has dozens of series, appears on Castle and also writes Children's Books. He also does a lot of collaborations with other authors. I decided to try Patterson when a lady from work was excitedly talking about one of his books. I thought the Women's murder club series might make a nice change. 1st to die was written in 2001.
In this first book we meet Lindsay Boxer a police officer who has been called to a scene where a married couple have been mercilessly killed - soon other couples are found this then becomes known as the honeymoon murders. We also meet a reporter Cindy who has snuck onto the crime scene to get ahead with her paper and annoy the boys working crime. There is soon a connection formed between the women and they agree to work together to solve the murders, add in Claire the pathologist and Jill the prosecutor and soon we have the Women's murder club. They share facts throughout the process to find the killer. Add that to Lindsay's illness, her new partner and a famous author who knows what could happen?
First of all I love the fact that a woman is the one heading the investigation and that it is other women she is turning to, to help solve the crime. This story (and subsequent books in the series) is really fast paced and there are split second changes making you wonder, 'wait. What happened?'. Just when you think it is wrapped up something new is brought to the table. What is probably one of my favourite things about this book is that the identity of the killer makes sense. So often in crime books the murderer is someone totally unrelated - or who has previously only taken up two sentences. This felt much more real and established. I might be thinking about the other series soon!
Format: Kindle (of course)
Goodreads Rating: 3.98 (I gave this four)
This book was my introduction to James Patterson. I was a little dubious about the "women's murder club" however right from the first chapter I was absolutely hooked. The book introduces and follows the lives of four professional and intelligent women who bond through a common cause of hideous murders within San Francisco. The book should come with a health warning for the more sensitive readers as right from the first page it is graphic. The book commences with a newlywed couple spending their wedding night in the honeymoon suite of the hotel where the wedding took place. They don't even have the chance to get out of their wedding clothes before they are brutally murdered by a mystery man delivering a bottle of expensive champagne. Patterson writes in a way that makes you feel you are in the room with the victims and the main characters. I don't know why it took me so long to discover this fantastic writer. I couldn't put the book down. The way the chapters are written just makes you need to keep reading to find out what happens next. You are constantly willing Lindsay to find the killer and feel you are going on the journey with her. The women's murder club series is a great way to discover James Patterson.
I got introduced to the work of James Patterson through reading the Alex Cross books which I have always found to be an easy read with interesting characters so I was intrigued to see how he would develop storylines with a Women detective.
Lindsay Boxer is a murder detective in San Francisco and the first case that we read of her investigating is that of the honeymoon murders. Through her investigating this case, we are introduced to the group that will become the Women's Murder Club which includes Claire who is a coroner, Cindy - the journalist that antagonises Lindsay initially, however, they eventually end up becoming friends and Jill, an attorney. Each of the ladies characters are explored, although, not in huge depth which I expect is key to starting a new series.
James Patterson is a great writer who keeps the reader on the edge of the seats which I think is added to by the short chapters that all James Patterson novels have..you simply want to keep reading and with this book/storyline, I found that I had finished it in two days, eager to start the next book in the series.
David and Melanie have just got married, and are planning to 'finish' their wedding night in their honeymoon suite of the Grand Hyatt hotel. They are about to show how much they love one another when there's a knock on the door - a bottle of expensive champagne is thrust into David's face, and a knife in his chest. Melanie comes out of the honeymoon room's bathroom suite to see David dead by the door, and a madman standing in front of her with a knife covered in her newlywed's blood. She's next. But the killer doesn't just want to kill her, he wants to kill her and then humiliate her in a way that will shock the city.
Lindsay Boxer, a homicide inspector, is called onto the murder case. Just when she thinks things can't get worse, another newlywed couple are killed miles and miles away. They have a serial killer on their hands, who's travelling the country and seems to have a personal vendetta against the brides and grooms.
As Lindsay's trying to solve multiple murders with the same M.O. And no DNA evidence, her life is thrown into shatters. She has a rare blood disorder than could prove to be fatal. This doesn't stop Lindsay though, and with the help of a newspaper reporter, a district attorney and a chief medical examiner, she is determined to find the killer, before her own luck runs out.
This book had me gripped from beginning to end, and had me feeling emotions that I never knew I could have for characters of a book. The sympathy I have for Lindsay was as if she was a real person trying to hide her own personal demons to bring a criminal to justice. Patterson has a very well-written, exciting and gripping style to his writing that made me stream through the book at a 100mphs to see if everything is OK in the end. But I'm not going to tell you if it is or not!
Another plus to Patterson's books are the short chapters. This book is no different. Even though there are 127 chapters, the book is still not too long, and instead of finishing a night of reading on a chapter, I'm more inclined to read the next one as I keep telling myself "it's only 3 pages until the end of the next chapter". Problem with this is that I can never read just one more chapter! The book is just too gripping for me to do it! Thats why it only took me 2 days to finish the whole book! However, if you like to take your time with books, but hate finishing in the middle of a chapter, then Patterson should be on your 'next author to try' list.
I had an inkling that I knew who the real killer might be by the time I got about halfway through, but something throws this into serious doubt a bit later on. Then just as I've realised I was wrong about who the killer was, the book turns again. This means that until very close to the end of the book, I was still none the wiser! I say 'real' killer because at the start of the story we read that the killer is Phillip Campbell, but he's not real, is he?
A great short read, that keeps your mind ticking, and your emotions running. Definitely one I would recommend to other people who love crime and thriller books.
James Patterson is an American Thriller Author who was born on 22nd March 1947. Patterson has written many a fantastic thriller story throughout his life and 1st to die is just another masterpiece to add to his collection.
In 2003, 1st to die was made into a movie, which is based on the book and stars Megan Gallagher, Tracy Pollan, Carly Pope and Gil Bellows among others.
1st to die is the first book in a series from the Women's Murder Club and is a crime novel written by James Patterson that was published by Grand Central Publishing in December 2001. The book consists of 462 pages, is in English and available in hardback and paperback. 1st to die is followed by the 2nd novel in the Women's Murder Club season, 2nd chance, also written by James Patterson.
Women's Murder Club is about four friends who team up together to use their skills to solve vicious murders. The women's murder club consists of Lindsay Boxer (Homicide Inspector), Jill Bernhartd (Assistant D.A), Clare Washburn (Medical Examiner) and Cindy Thomas (Reporter for the San Fransisco Chronicle).
1st to die begins with a newly married couple in a hotel room following their wedding, there is a knock on the door and the bride and groom are murdered and the bride mutilated.
Lindsay Boxer is put onto the case, however she unfortunately is struggling with some health problems of her own having been diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, she is also extremely depressed and suicidal following the result of an old case.
Throughout the story, the Women's Murder Club is established with Lindsay Boxer meeting her soon to be three new partners. Lindsay Boxer also has another interest in her life, but can he be trusted?
Following another two murders the Women's Murder Club are on the case and are determined to find who is responsible.
As usual the standard of this book is fantastic, very graphic and most certainly worth a read.
Hard hitting an immediately gripping, this novel evokes every emotion i knew and more. The opening is graphic and the way Patterson write, he managed to make you feel like you are right there, like a fly on the wall. Unfortunately, the opening of this book and some scenes throughout are not the type of scene where you would want to be the fly on the wall. they are graphic to say the least and would go without hesitation to rating 18 if books were rated like films. However, this can be expected of a james Patterson book, especially in the 'Women's MURDER club' series. I enjoyed this book immensely and felt that he got the characters just right and there were surprises throughout which shocked and engaged me. Patterson writes in an enviably flowing style which gives the book the readability factor, you just cant put it down.
the story is about a woman called lindsay boxer who is a homicide detective set on the case of a man who has killed bride and grooms throughout san francisco. This mass murderer is then chased by boxer in a gripping novel which is both enjoyable and emotionally draining.
I would recommend this read to anyone and everyone, but only with a stomach for a bit of violence.
Once again, patterson does not disappoint
One of the most notable traits of James Patterson as an author is the fact that the words flow effortlessly. His books are immensely easy to read, and that is what makes his novels so popular. In 2001, the first of his series of books featuring homicide detective Lindsay Boxer was published, entitled 1st To Die. It shot straight to the top of the bestsellers list in many countries, and was a welcome break from Patterson's favoured hero, Alex Cross.
Lindsay Boxer is the only female homicide detective in San Francisco, and thus has a lot of pressure heaped on her. A determined woman, she has support in the form of her best friend and the county coroner, Claire. When the honeymoon murders start, she can only turn to her friends. A madman is going around killing newlyweds, and there are little or no clues. Desperate for help, she turns to Claire and forges a friendship with reporter Cindy and lawyer Jill. Together, the four of them combine their professional and personal talents and set about finding the killer before it's too late. They call themselves the Women's Murder Club.
Patterson's writing style keeps the suspense running all the way. The plots are often simple, but the skill of his writing is in keeping us blind to some of the key details. This made me want to finish the book even quicker, and with uncomplicated sentence construction and easy to follow dialogue, the author aided me on my quest to finish the book in one sitting!
As it turns out, it took me a couple of days to finish the book, but I was impressed with what I had read and eager to start the second in the Women's Murder Club. The reading was effortless and well explained, and although there is nothing magnificent about the plot, no carefully unfolded plot with a great deal of gasping, it is a solid thriller with a decent plot twist at the end. The book is available from amazon.co.uk for £5.18, but you can probably pick it up a lot cheaper at a second hand book store or on other websites. Definitely worth a read.
This is my favourite in the Woman's Murder Club series, and, I think, the only one that James Patterson writes alone. I hate the name of the series, though, I have to say. It just seems a little Nancy Drewish sounding, and anyone that reads the books will know this isn't the case. They are just as brutal and unrelenting as the Alex Cross books, and it is good to get a bit of a break from James Patterson's most used character from time to time. This is a good introductory novel to the characters and works very well in the respect that it doesn't do the Harry Potter style route and concentrate on these new people to the detriment of the story. It manages to deliver a fast paced story with James Patterson's trademark punchy and short chapters (designed specifically to make readers think, "Oh I'll just read one more chapter... Okay another... and another). James Patterson fans will not be disappointed - in fact crime thriller fans in general will love it.
1st to Die by James Patterson introduces us readers to the 'women's murder club' for the first time. Despite the corny sound name, it's actually a group of intelligent female professionals who share their expertise in order to solve murder enquiries.
At the heart of it all is Lindsay Boxer, a hard faced cop who bounces ideas off her friends in the club to try to solve a difficult murder enquiry. I think she's a brilliant character and a refreshing change from James Patterson's usual detective Alex Cross. If they ever made this book into a film - Lindsay Boxer would be played by Sandra Bullock, no doubt about it.
Although the book focuses on Lindsay Boxer trying to solve the murder case at hand, there are other interesting sub-storylines going on throughout the book. As James Patterson often does, we read quite a few chapters written from the killer's point of view. Then there are loads of little bits and pieces going on with the other women in the 'women's murder club' too. I think it makes this a really interesting story actually. With a lot of crime thrillers, it's all about rushing through a series of twists and turns trying to solve the crime. But with this book, it's more about enjoying the ride and getting involved with what all the characters are up to.
Although this might sound a bit chick lit to some, I think this is appealing to both sexes. In fact women who might have previously felt distanced by Alex Cross and his male dominated team might find it easier to relate to what's going on with so many women taking the lead in this book. I don't think it distances the large male fan base either though as these women are clearly portrayed as capable professionals - not some silly gimmick as I've noticed other crime writers have tried to do.
I'm a big fan of this one and recommend it to all.
Available online or in stores for around £5.99
Headline Book Publishing
***THE AUTHOR*** James Patterson is one of the top-selling novelists of the present day. His work includes the likes of Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls, Jack and Gill, Cat and Mouse and Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas to name but a few. He's also had much success from film adaptations of Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls and Miracle on the 17th Green (co-written with Peter de Jonge). Previously he served as chairman of J Walter Thompson, North America from 1990 to 1996; he began his advertising career as a junior copywriter with the company in 1971. He went on to become the youngest executive creative director and youngest chief executive officer in the company's history. Having grown up in New York, he now lives in Palm Beach County, Florida, with his wife and their son. ***THE STORY*** The story is a tale of one womans fight to find a serial killer loose on the streets of San Fransisco, whilst struggling with the devastating news that she has a rare, life threatening blood disorder. The Honeymoon Murders, is the name that's been given to the sickening wave of homicides in the area. David Brandt, feeling like the luckiest man in the world is overcome with joy at finally marrying his stunning wife Melanie. Spending their wedding night in the luxurious surroundings of the Mandarin Suite at the Grand Hyatt hotel, they were subjected to a vicious attack which resulted in death, and a deplorable sex act. "What is the worst thing anyone has ever done?" Was this it? Had he just done it? "No, not quite yet.." Philip Campbell said as he lifted the brides beautiful wedding dress... Having performed his first killing, Philip Campbell sets off in search of his next victim. Lindsay Boxer, the tough homicide inspector, usually manages to distance herself from the victims, emotionally, but with her illness to think of too, she can't help but be affected m
ore than usual - for all their dreams and hopes of a wonderful future have been stolen on that most precious of nights. But as her illness takes hold, and wanting to prove to her male superiors that she can indeed take the pressure, she forges an alliance with three of her friends, both new and old, to assist in the quest to hunt down the killer. The Women's Murder Club is born. ***THE CHARACTERS*** Lindsay Boxer As her name suggests, she's confident and full of character - she is the only woman homicide inspector in San Fran after all! Her world is blown apart with the news of her illness, but she just can't find the time to concentrate on getting better - the case is too big for that. Still, off she goes for her regular blood transfusions in the vain hope that it'll make a difference and everything will be okay. Jacobi At forty seven years of age he's Lindsays partner, for the moment. She's worked with him for two and a half years. Even though she was senior inspector/sergeant, he had seven years on her in the department, and he reported to her. Jacobi likes to make a joke of everything; he's always got a wisecrack on standby. Maybe he does it to mask the sheer horror they're faced with. Philip Campbell The killer. For obvious reasons I won't go into too much detail about this character. Just to say that he is out to shock; he wants to do the most horrible things imaginable, just to see what it feels like. Just to witness the look in the victims eyes as their very last breath departs their body. To see whether or not he has the guts to do it. "Am I capable of doing it? Do I have what it takes?" Cindy Thomas Small time reporter with attitude. She's sick of being the coffee-maker and wants a piece of the action. So when she sees a way to gain access to the crime scene of the first murder, she takes her chance. An stormy encounter wit
h Lin dsay Boxer has a lasting impression and she eventually becomes a member of the Womens Murder Club. Chris Raleigh How can you fancy the pants off a fictitious character?! He is the tall, dark handsome, divorced inspector sent by the Mayor's office to partner Lindsay in the case of the honeymoon murderer, in place of Jacobi. Initially greeted with a cold shoulder, Lindsay soon learns to trust him. Claire Washburn Lindsays best friend and confidante. For six years she has been the Chief Medical Examiner for the San Fransisco area. Ballsy but with a heart of gold, Claire will tell it how it is, and is a tower of strength to Lindsay in her battle to overcome her illness. Soon to be member of the Womens Murder Club. Jill Bernhardt The tough-talking Assistant District Attorney. She fought her way to the top of the career ladder in style. She now has to decide whether or not to put her well-earned job on the line by bringing in the killer, as well as joining the Womens Murder Club. There is one other main character that appears towards the middle of the book but you'll have to read it to find out just who that is. ***CONCLUSION*** This book was probably the best book I've ever read - certainly for a long time anyway. There are enough twists and turns in the plot to make even Blackpools 'Big One' look tame. It had me on the edge of my sun-lounger right through to the end, whilst I lived every emotion Lindsay felt too. Pattersons writing style is superb. I'm a bit of a nightmare when it comes to books - I get bored easily. If the story doesn't grab me right from the start and keeps my heart racing, it will take me weeks to finish. Someone recommended James Pattersons books to me a while back, and in the run-up to my holiday, I decided to hunt down one of his novels to take with me. I'm really glad I did. There are 127 short, sharp chapt
ers to the book - all moving at lightning speed, and some of them being only two pages long. This is what makes it really special. The story never slows down. It doesn't leap backwards and forwards, following different parts of the story, only to meet up in the middle somewhere. There are no unnecessary flashbacks like what she ate for breakfast three years ago; each chapter flows gracefully on to the next part. And because you don't have to remember what happened fifty pages earlier, it's very easy to read. This is what will make me hunt out every single book that James Patterson has written, with great urgency. I urge you to do the same. Thanks for reading :o) *I purchased this book (paperback) from ASDA for £3.69 *Published by Headline Book Publishing *2nd Chance is the next book in this series and is out now
This book to me was James Patterons usual thrill a minute suspence thriller which I could not put down (I read it all on a Bank Holiday Monday!) As a lover of thillers I have read a few of them (exellent, good and bad) and when I found out Patterson was bringing out a Lindsay Boxer series I couldn't wait for it to be released and I was not dissapointed, his twist and turns once again kept me hooked on every page. Lindsay Boxer, a San Franisco homicide inspector, has to investigate a series of murders on newlywed couples and she is determined to bring the maniac responsible to justice. So determined is she that the Murder Club is created, a group of four professional women who all in one way or the other have something to give to the investigation 'informally' to help them catch the killer. At first I was a bit unsure of it but as the book went on and I got to know the characters I started to feel like I knew these woman especially Lindsay boxer who is not only invetigating these horrific murders but is also having a very personal trauma of her own, and at times I was sobbing away for her. I never got bored during this book and certain twists took me by complete surprise. It was the first thriller that I have read where I cried at the love story, this bit usually bores me. Whenever I am reading a good book that I can not put it down it goes everywhere with me which is why I think the main advantages to this book are: - It is one of those books when you are hooked from the first page, I hate it when it takes me a while to get into a book. The style of writing, which I found made it easy to read, it is the sort of book that you can put down (though I think you will find it hard to do this) and pick up where you left of without a problem. If you have not read James Patterson before I would recommend you start now with this one, as it is the first of a series (I read the Dr Alex Cross series in th
e wrong order). The disadvantage to me was: - It is too short, when I had finished I wanted more!!
I have to admit that I was already an avid fan of James Patterson having read all - yes I mean ALL his previous books. I loved the Dr Alex Cross series (and the film adaptations were not too bad). This book is the best I have read (of this genre. He has written a very emotional book that had me sobbing!). The main character is a fantastic woman who has to cope with so much in the first book. She has the most supportive friends (who we meet more of in the next book) and you can't help but get involved in her life. Yes I read the whole thing in one go (much to my boyfriends dismay). I was not the most sociable person that weekend. As with most books he writes the plot is brilliant. He has some "hide behind the sofa scenes". I usually manage to work out mystery plots before any of my friends but not with JP books. I guess all I can say is that I eagerly await more of these books and will be buying them in hardback cos I can't wait for the paperback!
As the only woman homicide inspector in San Francisco, Lindsay Boxer has to be tough. But nothing she has seen prepares her for the horror of the honeymoon murders, when a brutal maniac begins viciously slaughtering newlywed couples on their wedding nights. Lindsay is sickened by the deaths, but her determination to bring the murderer to justice is threatened by her own personal tragedy.