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4th of July - James Patterson

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5 Reviews

Author: James Patterson / Genre: Crime / Thriller

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    5 Reviews
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      21.02.2010 19:30
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      I quite liked this book

      This book was given to me in a big pile and has been waiting patiently to be read for a few months.
      I decided to start reading this when I heard on a quiz show that James Patterson is the most loaned author in the U.K.
      Right then I thought if thats the case he must be good.

      The story is about San Francisco detective Lindsey Boxer who finds herself in a sticky situation when she kills a teenage girl who is driving a car that has been seen at the scene of a murder.
      The girls younger brother is also in the car and is also shot but survives.
      Boxer and her partner are shot by the children both surviving but face a court case.
      Boxer is given leave before her trial and stays at her sisters house while the dust settles.

      While staying at her sisters she soon discovers a serial killer is at large in the lovely Half moon bay.

      This was a great and easy book to read.
      I liked the way the chapters were short and to the point, the book is also split into five parts.
      The author wasted no time giving me meaningless details and the book moves along at a fast pace.
      I can see why James Patterson is an international best seller although I reserve judgement as these type of authors tend to be very samey.
      I will definatly read him again, not too hard on the old brain cells.
      344 pages of great detective work.
      Available for £5.99 from Play.com or possibly in your local charity shop.

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        14.01.2010 11:30
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        Mediocrity personified

        What do a police lieutenant, an ace newspaper reporter, a pathologist and a lawyer have in common? Could it be that they're all female or that they share a love of margaritas or even that they like chatting about their top secret super classified cases in the wine bar sharing pieces of super classified highly secretive information whilst drinking margaritas and calling themselves The Women's Murder Club and solving cases that no ordinary police officer could possibly solve without the help of their friends. It all makes perfect sense. The Official Secrets Act is clearly over rated.

        This is the fourth novel by James Patterson featuring the Women's Murder Club but the first to be co-authored by Maxine Paetro. I was reading it with a vague sense of de ja vu. Odd bits made me think I'd read this particular book before but it wasn't anything special enough to have stuck and although by the time I was two thirds of the way through I couldn't remember what had happened at the end, re reading it this is because the ending is truly pathetic.

        I had great expectations of James Patterson having read some of his phenomenal early novels featuring Alex Cross but sadly his recent novels have become tediously formulaic and this is no exception.

        Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer is off duty sipping margaritas with her girl friends when she gets a call to say theres a lead on a hot case. She drops everything and heads off with her partner hoping that this will be the lucky break they need to break open the case and stop the perpetrator in his or her tracks. But things never go according to plan and Lindsay finds herself on extended vacation with lots of time on her hands and lots of juicy murders that the local police force are unable to solve. Theres no prizes for guessing what Lindsay does next and even fewer for guessing who dunnit as the lack of characters introduced by Mr Patterson really doesn't leave much to the imagination.

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        13.04.2009 22:48
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        Thriller murder mystery

        James Patterson is one of my favourite authors, especially his early work which is excellent, unfortunately in recent times he increasingly seems to writre in collaboration with another writer and the quality suffers however for this book although there is a credit given to Maxine Paetro the book does not suffer with regards to quality.

        This is the fourth book in the series to feature a group known as The Women's Murder Club, this is a group of friends most of whome work in the criminal field and provide support for each other in resolving murder cases. In my opinion you need to have read the other three to really enjoy this one as the storylines arecontinuous and book three had some major events unfold that have an influence on the dynamics of the group.

        In this book Lindsay Boxer a San Francisco Police Lieutenant is in hospital along with her partner after an arrest goes wrong, not only does she have her wounds and the guilt to deal with a civil case is also bought against her questioning her conduct on that arrest and the case that lead up to it. While restig up in a sleepy back water known as Half Moon Bay she becomes involved in a series of macabre murders and starts to investigate these atthe same time.

        Patterson writes excellent fast paced thrillers and this one is no different, I love the characters in these books and this one is high quality, that is right up to the end when it suffers from a very poor finale that is weak and not very realistic.

        This is a shame because it left me with a feeling of being let down and undoes all of the good early work. It is still not a bad read and fans of his will find this an acceptabe offerring, just a shame about the ending.

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        23.10.2008 02:05
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        Great start and flows as normal, then dies off far too quickly at the end. Blink and you miss it!

        Not content with the immense success of the Alex Cross, master of the quick crime thriller James Patterson has created a new series of books, with the fourth in the series entitled 4th of July. The series follows the Women's Murder Club, featuring four professional women: a cop, an ME, a reporter and a lawyer, who all get together and solve crimes. The plot normally involves the main character, Lindsay Boxer, and the books are written in the narrative with her as the 1st person.

        4th of July picks up where the 3rd in the series left off, and be warned, if you haven't read this or any of the others, then this review may have some series plot spoiler type elements to it. Sufficiently warned, I shall continue. The plot is different to the other books here, as Patterson gives us two for the price of one. Boxer is investigating the latest in what seems to be a series of faked suicides (i.e.murders) when conflict results in her shooting to save her life as well as that of her ex-partner, Jacobi. The problem is, she's had a drink, and thus ensues a courtroom battle with Boxer being accused of doing something she shouldn't have.

        This plot serves as a continuance of the ongoing saga of friendship in the club, and as an introduction to plot number 2. Boxer is told to take some holiday, and she does so by staying at her sister's house in the quiet coastal town of Half Moon Bay. However, as luck would have it, Boxer stumbles on a nest of vicious murders and, not being able to just turn the other cheek and relax, she gets involved and ends up rubbing the local police chief up the wrong way.

        So, two questions here: will Boxer be successful in defending her actions in the courtroom? And will these grisly murders get the better of her and can she solve them? Well, of course, with a little bit of help from her friends in the Club, anything's possible, surely?!

        James Patterson has taken of late to joining forces with another writer to publish his books. This was is written with the aid of Maxine Paetro, and although it is unclear which part she wrote or whether the whole novel was a collaboration between the two of them, there are parts where you wonder what is going on. It really does have a split personality when you read it, and can be a little confusing as to why we have two completely separate plots going on. There are brief and tenuous links between them which are examined very sketchily, but as with most Patterson novels, the trick is to not try and analyse, but to read and try to immerse yourself in the story.

        James Patterson has the uncanny knack of making those pages turn a whole lot quicker than any other author I've read, and this surprises me because it's not down to the quality of writing or ease of plot. There are complications and plot twists, but I have to say, I was immensey disappointed with the ending. It built up through the book, and then the last 40 pages or so were just tying up loose ends with no real grand finale to find out whodunnit or anything like that. Just a complete anticlimax.

        This is a shame because I was hoping for at least something to rival the first three quarters of the book. I found it very hard to put down all the way through and, when I got to the end, I felt there had to be more to it than that, and did I blink and miss it or something? I thought there was more to come as there were still a few pages left, but they were the first few pages of the next book in the series.

        No doubt I will read the 5th in the series, but I'll not anticipate as much as I did with this book for fear of being hugely disappointed again. 4th of Jul retails at £6.99 but is available online and in charity shops for a lot less if you can find it.

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        23.06.2007 10:38
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        Average book from an author who seems past his best.

        In previous reviews I have moaned about the fact that one of my favourite authors James Patterson has over recent years resorted to producing his books in conjunction with various other writers and in my opinion the quality has dropped since this started unfortunately the fourth in the crime series to feature a group known as The Women’s Murder Club has gone in the same direction and while overall this was a competent entertaining read it was let down by a rushed ending which had some glaring plot holes in it, it felt as though he delegated the ending to the co-writer as part of a development exercise and then never bothered to check the work properly.

        Background

        The Women’ Murder Club is not a group of harpies set on knocking off people rather a group of friends whose jobs and close friendships have involved them in a series of murders. This is the fourth book in the series and it is worth reading them in order so that you not only benefit from understanding the development of the friendships but also how previous cases have affected the group dynamic as this was changed somewhat in the third book in the series and is referred to in this one.

        The lead character in the group is Lindsay Boxer an independent San Francisco Police Lieutenant who has recently been promoted to the post however she still takes a very hands on approach to investigating cases. The rest of the group is made up of Claire the medical examiner for San Francisco and Cindy an investigative reporter for the Chronicle however in this story these characters play a peripheral role as the story mainly focuses on Lindsay.

        The Plot

        There are two story lines running through the book although one is resolved half way through and is the staring point for the book. After a botched arrest that see Lindsay and her partner both in hospital suffering from shot wounds Lindsay also finds herself as the high profile defendant in a court case having to defend her actions and avoid the end to her career, financial ruin and the risk of going to jail. Seeking some escape to the media frenzy and to get a chance to recover from both the mental and physical scars she incurred she moves into her vacant sisters’ home in Half Moon Bay.

        While there she becomes involved in a series of murders that are plaguing the small town and these bear an uncanny resemblance to one of her first ever murder cases which was never solved, initially reluctant to get involved her investigative instincts and a desire to close the cold case from her past result in her getting involved in a dangerous and life threatening case.

        The Opinion

        This is a fast paced thriller which just about has enough emotional pull within the pages to have kept me engaged and caring about the ending. It is not hard to work out who the likely killer or in this case killers (the fact that it is more than one is made obvious in the first couple of chapters so no real plot spoiler there) are as in my opinion there are a limited number of local characters introduced in the book and in that sense I felt let down of let down when I got to the end as there was no real twist to the plot as the ending was as obvious as a fame hungry Big Brother contestant faced with the paparazzi whilst leaving Stringfellows. The other disappointment with the ending was that it just felt so contrived with a really strange part where it was all set up that really did not make a lot of sense even after a second read I’m afraid I was just not convinced about the motivation of one of the characters for taking the actions that they did.

        On the plus side as with all of Patterson novels the story moves along at a hectic pace supported by he fact that he uses very short chapter of a couple of pages at a time. The story telling is predominantly told from Boxers point of view however occasionally it switches to that of one of the killers known as The Watcher. This works well as it helps to build the suspense and is a style used in a number of his books.

        In terms of character development there is little happening in the book, those of Lindsay and her two colleagues are already established and apart from filling in a little background detail little new is learnt however the size of the group does swell as a result of this story line and it will be interesting to see how the new character is integrated into future storylines.

        Overall this is a book I would describe in such terms as functional, competent but predictable, at best it is an average novel from an author who has produced much better work but who now seems to have settled for churning out thriller after thriller and trading on past successes, the thing is I still find myself going back to his work, I guess it is because on the whole it is a safe choice, I know I will get some enjoyment out of it, I know I will read it at a fast pace and on the whole I do not have to think too hard while I read it. It is a bit like watching re-runs of Only Fools and Horses, you know you ill be entertained but it was never as good as the first time you saw it, just safe and predictable.

        Ideal holiday reading now that summer is on its way once the storms and flooding depart.

        Boring Stuff

        I acquired the hard back version via readitswapit.co.uk and there are no price details on the book cover. On Amazon the paperback is available for £4.54 new or from a penny in the new and used section.

        Florida resident Patterson himself has produced over thirty books with his most famous character Alex Cross appearing in two Hollywood films. His co-writer Maxine Paetro is a novelist and journalist based in New York and has also worked on the two follow up books in this series.

        Thanks for reading and rating my review.

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      • Product Details

        The fourth title in the bestselling Women's Murder Club series from James Patterson, the 'master of the suspense genre'