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I'm a fan of James Patterson, as I like his style of writing and how he captures your attention and concentration and makes you read on till early hours of the morning.
Give I've read all the other books in this series, while waiting at the airport on my way to New York for my Christmas break, I found this book in WHSmiths and didn't think twice before buying it.
Taken from the back:
As San Francisco's most glamorous millionaires mingle at the party of the year, someone is watching--waiting for a chance to take vengeance on Isa and Ethan Bailey, the city's most celebrated couple. Finally, the killer pinpoints the ideal moment, and it's the perfect murder. Not a trace of evidence is left behind in their glamorous home.
As Detective Lindsay Boxer investigates the high-profile murder, someone else is found brutally executed--a preacher with a message of hope for the homeless. His death nearly falls through the cracks, but when reporter Cindy Thomas hears about it, she knows the story could be huge. Probing deeper into the victim's history, she discovers he may not have been quite as saintly as everyone thought.
As the hunt for two criminals tests the limits of the Women's Murder Club, Lindsay sees sparks fly between Cindy and her partner, Detective Rich Conklin. The Women's Murder Club now faces its toughest challenge: will love destroy all that four friends have built? The exhilarating new chapter in the Women's Murder Club series, The 8th Confession serves up a double dose of speed-charged twists and shocking revelations as only James Patterson can. And remember, this is the only Murder Club episode of the year.
Detective Lindsay Boxer: The main character of the book, she is a very successful detective. Lindsay is working along side Rich in solving the death of many rich people.
Detective Rich Conklin: Detective who works along side Lindsay. He is getting to know Cindy Thomas a bit better, and is enjoying his time with her (something Lindsay is not too happy about, as her and Rich have some history).
Claire Washburn: Is a coroner, who not just works very closely with Lindsay, but also are very close friends. Claire is the person who identifies the cause of death for the murders of the rich.
Cindy Thomas: Is a newspaper reporter. She is trying to solve a death of a homeless man Bagman Jesus. She evelates Bagman to be a great person and who is also misunderstood.
Yuki Castellano: Is an fiery Assistant District Attorney, who has a reputation for losing most of her cases. The readers will find out more about Yuki's personal life with a dishy doctor (surprise twist to come).
My first impression of the book was "wow this a thick book", thinking to myself i've found a good read for the duration of my holiday. However when I opened the book I was slightly taken back, as the font is big and there are big spaces between characters. The Chapters are very short and there is alot of paper wastage with huge parts of the paper being left blank. However being a true fan i didn't let this put me off.
I was glad to see that the four main characters of the other series were also present in this. The story picks up very quickly and is very easy to follow.
However I felt disappointed in this book and James Patterson's efforts, it didn't provide any real edge or grip for the reader. I found the plot too easy to follow and at times even take a guess at what was coming up next. I felt that there was too many space filers, which wasn't necessary, this made the story line choppy and to be honest uninteresting.
I finished this book within 3 days, not due to it's gripping content, but rather it's predictability. I would still purchase the others in the series, just to see if there is any improvement in the writing.
Price: New £12 (however you can purchase it for much cheaper online via amazon.)
ISBN 10: 0099514583 / ISBN 13: 9780099514589
It seems these days that barely a week goes by when James Patterson doesn't release a book. To be honest, it's becoming a bit tiresome (not to mention potentially expensive) and I long ago stopped buying his books on publication, preferring instead to pick them up cheap in charity shops.
I've also never really warmed to the "Women's Murder Club" series, which take in the adventures of San Francisco police detective Lindsay Boxer and her colleagues. Indeed, I'd almost decided to give up on it until the previous book - 7th Heaven - turned out to be one of the better books in the series. Sadly, it appears that this was a blip, as 8th Confession is one of the worst.
The book has two main storylines. In the first, a homeless man, revered by his fellow homeless, is brutally murdered. The authorities are not interested in investigating the circumstances of his death. Meanwhile, several of San Francisco's rich and famous are murdered -and pressure is put on the police to give the case top priority; a clear case, then, of one law for the rich and another for the poor.
The single biggest problem with 8th Confession is that the two plot strands never come together or feel like they are part of the same book. The over-riding impression is that Patterson had two different ideas, neither of which were enough to sustain a whole book, so he decided just to stitch the two together to make sure the book was the right length. This leads to a really disjointed book with two distinctly mediocre plotlines which Patterson tries to cover up by filling the pages with tales of the personal lives of the various lead female characters.
As a result, 8th Confession feels more like a soap opera than a murder/crime thriller. It's Sex and the City with Added Death. Large, dull passages concentrate on the love lives of the various members of the Club and their latest relationships. I've lost track of the number of boyfriends each of them has had, and their constant girly gossip about the new loves of their life is all rather tiresome.
Moreover, using the love lives of the characters to try and generate some excitement is becoming rather predictable. Personally, if I even met these women in real life, I'd run a mile before I went on a date with them, since every time one of them picks up a new boyfriend, he almost invariably is a) killed b) badly beaten up or c) turns out to be the killer they are hunting. Patterson has now used these plot elements so often that the element of surprise has long since disappeared. Clearly recognising this, he tries something different... and so preposterous that I actually burst out laughing when I read it. Patterson has definitely jumped the shark.
8th Confession just never engaged me. At best, I was mildly curious to find out how it all panned out, but it was never a compulsive page turner. If my copy had been confiscated when I was halfway through, I wouldn't have felt the slightest bit bothered and that's a pretty damning indictment of this supposed "thriller".
In fairness, the book is a little better when it focuses on the crime element. Patterson proves he still has what it takes to create a vaguely decent thriller. There's a far greater sense of purpose and pace, a feeling of tension caused by the race against time to find the killer before he strikes again. This is the closest you'll come to feeling interested in, or engaged with the various plot strands and characters.
As with other recent Patterson books, 8th Confession is shallow, relying on regular cliff-hangers to generate interest and excitement, rather than being an accurate portrayal of police work. This works in the book's favour, since it means that the plot can zip along at a rapid pace, without getting too bogged down in detail. Sure, Patterson's superficial style might frustrate at times, but it does provide a readable book.
This readability is helped by Patterson's trademark short chapters, which are usually 3-5 pages in length (a "long" chapter might be as many as 10!). This means that when you reach the end of one chapter, there is always the temptation to read just one more; because you know it will only take a couple of minutes. It also means that you will get through the book very quickly (I would guess the whole thing could easily be read in less than three hours). In many ways, this was quite appealing. I'd just finished reading the excellent Human Traces - a very long, very detailed novel about human psychology- and fancied something a little lighter. 8th Confession fitted the bill perfectly as I barely needed to concentrate to keep ahead of the plot.
Despite this, there's just not enough in 8th Confession to make it a must-have read. The plot is too fractured, predictable and dull, with too much attention paid to the love lives of the protagonists. It seems the improvement shown in 7th Heaven was a fluke. Even for fans of the Women's Murder Club series, this is weak, insipid and uninspired. Perhaps Mr Patterson should concentrate on writing fewer books of better quality, instead of trying to break the record for the most books ever released in the name of one author.
My advice? Unless you can pick this up dirt cheap (my copy was 49p from a charity shop), don't bother.
Arrow Books, 2009
© Copyright SWSt 2011
***Also on Ciao.co.uk under username kayleaf.***
I've always loved reading, it's one of the best ways I can spend my time at the moment as I'm waiting for my little on to arrive and the crime/horror genre is one of my favourites. James Patterson is one of my favourite authors (despite him having a ghost writer - I still love the stlye) and he's wrote many best selling crime hits including a few that have been sent to our screens.
One of his most famous series to date is the Womens Murder Club series - so far with nine books, although I haven't read the ninth one yet! It's next on my list. I've recently read his 8th book in the series 8th Confession and I really enjoyed it.
Let's Get Up To Speed.
So far in the series we have followed the life of homicide seargant Lyndsay Boxer and her friends solving high profile murder cases. The Women's Murder Club consist of the four female protaganists of the series Lyndsay alongside Jill Bernhardt, Dr Claire Washburn and Cindy Thomas. The series is later joined by Yuki Castellano an assistant district attorny.
In this 8th book we are hooked into the case of an apparent street 'superhero' Bagman Jesus. Cindy is going to all ends to get a lifestyle story peice on him from the homeless after his gruesome execution that left him beyond recognition. Meanwhile Lyndsay and the rest of the SFPD are investigating the high profile case of the murders of serveral high society socialites whom have all seemingly died without anything being wrong with them - no posion, no wounds, no broken bones...who is stalking the celebrities?
Patterson has created a group of very likeable women with great professions yet still they are characters which are easy to empathise with as they too suffer from problems at home with relationships and family disputes. The characters develop nicely in 8th Confession but I don't want to spoil the story for you by revealing what's happened since when.
Like all Patterson books I've read the story is short, to the point with snappy chapters and simple language. I personally think this is effective for the crime genre as it enhances the fast paced world in which a killers mind works. The language is simple with short and snappy sentance structures making it easy to read and follow. I would suggest reading the previous seven books before picking up the 8th however, to get a real grasp on the story.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and it lived up to my expectations of Patterson's earlier books in the series. The book does feature a few gruesome bits but is a good all rounder. There are also sexual references so I wouldn't advise this particular series for the younger generation.
8th Confession is on sale at Tesco as part of a buy one get one free promotion and can be purchased for £4.49 online at Amazon.co.uk at time of writing.
8th confession is the eighth book in James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series. The series features a group of women who are successful in a man's world and who have formed a close bond in the most difficult of circumstances. The main character is Lindsay Boxer, a detective in the San Francisco Police Department and her best friends are: Claire Washburn, the city's chief medical examiner; Cindy Thomas, hot reporter for the city's newspaper; and Yuki Castellano, a state prosecutor.
8th Confession sees the club pitted against a brutal killer who is stalking the rich and famous. Lindsay is under pressure because the SFPD is bottom of the league for unsolved murders and the newest victims are all high profile people with families that have plenty of clout in the city. Aside from this, reporter Cindy stumbles across a less high profile, but arguably more interesting case when the local homeless hero Jesus Bagman is found brutally executed. Both of the women need their friends to help them solve these equally disturbing cases, but can they pull together at the crucial moment or are their own personal agendas going to tear the group apart?
I couldn't put this book down. It is James Patterson at his page turning, edge of your seat best. That is not to say the book was perfect, because there were a few things that I found irritating about the book, but none of these things was big enough to hamper my overall enjoyment of the story.
If you have read the previous seven books in the series, you will be well aware of each of the main characters and many of the sub-characters. Over the series, Patterson has introduced the reader into the lives of his characters; making you feel as if you know them and making you care about them. In 8th Confession, he continues this style and once again, you are quickly drawn into the world of the Women's Murder Club. If you haven't read any of the books in this series before, you can still enjoy this book. The author does give a little background into the characters and at no point would you feel lost or as if you'd missed out on something.
The story, like I said, is full of twists and turns and is really addictive stuff. In fact I finished the book in just one sitting. I always find that this is easy to do with Patterson's books, mainly because of his short chapters and writing style that make the story run very smoothly and so easy to read. There was just one problem with the story though and that is that it seemed to be two or three different stories running concurrently and at no point did they seem to interweave other than that the characters are best friend so they meet up to discuss their own part of the story if you will. Each of the individual stories was well written and again, kept you turning the pages quickly, but I just felt that they should have all come together a bit better in the climax.
The story is set in San Francisco and Patterson does a fantastic job of describing the place in a way that makes you want to be right there (despite the fact that people are getting horrifically murdered left, right and centre!). At one point Lindsay Boxer and her boyfriend are sat in a restaurant and Patterson did such a good job of selling it that I actually went online to find out if it is a real place. I'm delighted to say that it is and I'm now working on going there!
Overall, I would say that this is a great example of why Patterson has been given the description of being 'the world's best thriller writer'. He has really come up trumps with a typical fast paced, addictive thriller here that will have his fans pouring more praise on him as well as it being a great place for Patterson virgins to start.
I'm a bit gutted that I am going to write this. James Patterson has been one of my favourite authors for a long time, I've read all his Alex Cross series, the Women's Murder Club, the singular books - everything.
I picked this up for a bargain price of £3.86 in Tesco (can be bought in their 2 for £7 offer currently).
As you can see the front cover is fairly plain in design, but still striking and if you know the series, you know this belongs to the Women's Murder Club series.
The Women's Murder Club consists of:
Lindsay Boxer - Detective Sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department, assigned to Homicide cases with her partner Rich Conklin
Cindy Thomas - Crime Reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle
Claire Washburn - Chief Medical Examiner for San Francisco
Yuki Castellano - District Attourney in San Francisco
These are the four main characters and they all regularly get together at a bar named Susie's where they discuss their lives, loves and jobs - strictly off the record.
8th Confession begins with a bang, literally. A huge explosion rocks down-town San Francisco. Boxer and Conklin are close and first on scene, but they are quickly pulled away to attend to the scene of a double death under suspicious circumstances.
No suicide note, no murder weapon, no evidence, no forced entry - what killed two of the city's top Socialites? More and more keep appearing to drop dead, surely this cannot be a coincidence?
Meanwhile, Cindy stumbles on to the scene of another murder - a homeless man, brutally beaten and shot. Yet everyone claims he is wonderful and no one would want to hurt him. Can Cindy get the police to take notice and care? Is everything as it seems?
The book bumps along quite nicely, as ever James Patterson is descriptive without going overboard - possibly with the exception of mentioning Lindsay's bra size, in a completely unnecessary reminiscence she has.
Maybe the feminist in me is screaming to get out lol, but it did seem a pointless addition.
Anyone who reads these books will know the plot does move all over place and occasionally it's to a storyline that doesn't seem to fit, or personally I just feel like I don't care about. Mainly it's for character development, to show us their lives outside their jobs.
I don't know, occasionally I find it a bit over the top, but I can live with that.
My biggest problem with this book - well, there are snakes in it. My heart sank when I realised. I am completely phobic of them and as Mr Patterson is so adept at being descriptive I was cringing and itching reading it.
To be fair, that's not really his fault. What is his fault, is the layout of his books. I'm starting to get a little irritated with the chapters lasting 2-3 pages each. I'm not sure why, maybe I feel like I've been conned as realistically the book isn't as large as it looks. The typeface is also quite large.
I did manage to struggle through and finish it. Personally, I feel this is not his best book. I didn't seem to care about any of those who died, I didn't care about the story behind the killings.
I didn't particularly care about what was happening in the women's lives.
It was readable, and fairly enjoyable. Maybe after being astounded by Shutter Island I've now been spoiled, and Patterson's books pale in comparison.
I hope not, as there is a new one coming out on 9th April - the 9th Judgement (All the Women's Murder Club books are numbered, quite handy really!).
Hopefully, this new offering from Patterson will return him to his best and I can once again settle into his usually snake-free and enjoyable books!
If you like crime novels, which aren't overly taxing on the brain, these books are for you. They are easy to read and you do get to see the main characters are they grow which is good.
This is worth a read, I just wish I had enjoyed it a little more, but onwards and upwards. I'll still be buying number 9.
I usually enjoy James Patterson books, especially those he writes in a 'series' more than the single books. I always like the Women's Murder Club and the Alex Cross books.
I don't want to write too much about the story line here in case I give it all away but the plot line was up to the usual James Patterson standard. As well as writing about the investigation, he also adds in character development, which not all thriller/crime writers tend to do. This makes me care more about what happens in the book, and I almost feel as if I 'know' the characters and are there with them.
Although James Patterson isn't the best writer on the planet, and not all of his books are fast paced, or indeed have many twists, nevertheless, I found this book, and his others, very enjoyable. Easy to read, and the plot line is gripping enough to keep me entertained. This is a quite a light hearted thriller, in that it's not dark, or serious, although it might try to be!
Having read every single one of James Patterson's books I was eager to give this one a try when I saw it for sale in my local supermarket. I knew that this was one of a series of books from the Women's Murder Club, and having read all of the others I was keen to know what was next in store for them. I was a little disappointed with this one I have to say, and if any of you have never read a Patterson book before I wouldn't recommend you start with this one, there are far better ones which he has written.
After a handful of San Francisco's celebrities are found dead in their homes, with no sign of how they have been killed, and tox screens coming back negative, their deaths are a mystery. However, as they are all high profile murders and the numbers of the dead are quickly increasing, the mayor is keen for an answer and quick! Lindsay Boxer is put in charge of the case and with the help of her friends Claire the Medical Examiner, Yuki the assistant attorney and Claire the reporter, they all try to solve the cases together. This is the general idea of all the Women's Murder Club series (as you would expect from the title), but as this is the 8th one in this particular Patterson series, I find it a little far fetched that a Detective, a reporter, a medical examiner and the district attorney would all work so closely on so many occasions! Once you try to get past that, it is quite a good read, but it took me a few attempts of picking it up and putting it down before I was actually into the book and looking forward to next picking it up again. Although the story was a little far fetched in places, the writing was concise, but I found that the story veered off in quite a few places and was trying to follow the personal lives of the four women. This is ok, but I would have preferred more info on the actual plot, maybe a little more forensic information, something which I always find fascinating when reading books like this.
Patterson's way of writing has always been incredibly easy to follow, and the plots are normally quite gripping, but the problem I have been having at the moment with Patterson is that he seems to be churning out about 4 books a year, and the quality just doesn't seem to be there as much as Along Came A Spider and other earlier ones. Don't get me wrong this is still a great book, if not a little slow in places, but having been a fan for many years, I just think they are not as good as they used to be.
Well worth a read, but I would not pay the full RRP for it - try the library or greenmetropolis.com (which I have also reviewed)!
Hardback: 352 pages.
£6.99 on Amazon.com
I've been a big fan of James Patterson for a few years but I've always stayed with his Alex Cross series. However, my partner went out, saw the name James Patterson and I thought i'd give it a go. I wasn't at all sure if i'd follow the storyline as it is part of the Womens Murder Club series and I think this is the 8th book. I have to say I had no problems picking the book up and following along. I might have missed some of the background but Patterson and Paetro let you know everything you needed to.
~~ The Plot ~~
People think that money can buy them safety and security and it makes them untouchable. Wrong! A serial killer is on the loose but just how are they being killed? Lindsay Boxer is the detective assigned the high profile cases and she must work alongside best friends Cindy and Claire. Claire is the medical examiner that must crack the cause of death - the perfect bodies and negative tox screens are a complete mystery.
Cindy is a journalist that just doesn't leave her stories alone. A homeless man is brutally murdered and he appears to be the local hero. So why will noone help her to crack the case? Who is the man that everyone called Bagman Jesus? Cindy must look and find out some dark secrets with the help of Lindsay and her partner Conklin.
Yuki is an attorney that can't seem to grab a decent case. She meets the man of her dreams and falls head over heels - but he's hiding a deep secret.
~~ My Opinion ~~
James Patterson has a particular writing style and I noticed in both the Cross Series and this book. He writes short chapters in order to keep the reader gribbed and this book was no different. One more chapter turned into ten more chapters and before I knew it I had finished the book in less than 12 hours.
Just a little bit about the characters -
Lindsay is the detective in charge of the high profile cases but is fighting her feelings for two men. This seems to cloud her judgement a little bit and I think if she'd have paid more attention to her case she would have solved it a bit sooner.
Conklin is Lindsay's partner on the case and he comes across as caring about romance more than his job. One minute he's crazy about someone, the next in bed with someone else. You can see how it goes.
Cindy is determined to make her way as a journalist and to find the killer of the poor homeless man. With people saying her life is in danger, it shows her courage that she'll carry on until she finds the truth.
The storyline itself started with one I had seen before and I thought the book was going to be a complete dud. After all, there are only so many books about serial killers you can read without being bored. Wrong again! Each serial killer book has its own differences and this was definitely the case. The victims were killed in a far from brutal way, in fact you had no idea how they were being killed until halfway through the novel. The killers' nickname was revealed early on as was her motive for killing and you did have some sympathy with her.
The police investigation let the story down a little bit though as I had guessed what was happening and I'm sure I would have placed the clues together a lot earlier than they did (and i'm no detective!). They let go of the fact one of the people they had questioned not only had keys and access codes to the properties, but went to school with the victims and had been bullied by them. She now worked for them and had Lindsay and Conklin investigated a little more thoroughly they would have solved the case a lot sooner.
This part of the story was mostly covered by Lindsay and Conklin and their feelings for each other - even though Lindsay was supposedly with another man. The investigation always came first but the authors seemed to go a bit too far into their relationship for my liking.
Lindsay and Conklin also worked with Cindy on the case of Bagman Jesus even though their boss had told them to leave the case alone. After all, he was a homeless man that noone had claimed and noone would talk about. Had it not been for Cindy's persistence they wouldn't have worked the case at all but would have put it at the bottom of their growing pile.
Cindy's investigation seemed to be a lot more thorough than Lindsay and Conklin and it made me doubt the main characters again. It's true that Cindy had more time to work and research and being a journalist was a lot less intimidating than a cop, but I still felt Lindsay and Conklin's characters were missing something. The authors again managed to use this storyline in order to form a relationship and at times it looked like it was going to turn into a romance novel rather than one about serial killers.
Claire, the medical examiner, worked both of these cases and it was her that had to crack the cause of death in both. One was very obvious - Bagman had been shot and brutally beaten - whilst the other was a total mystery - no marks, negative tox screen and not a clue to be found. Claires character was the only one that seemed to be really consistent throughout and they didn't try to put her into a romance that felt totally out of place to the rest of the plot.
As for the Yuki storyline, I still have no idea why she was even in the book. Her storylines ran on a completely different path to anyone else and I felt she was only used in order to introduce a doctor into the equation. She may feature more prominently in other books in the series but she certainly didn't fit in well with this one. Again, she was used as a way to introduce romance but when the book described he wasn't what he seemed I thought it would be some interesting story about a killer or something similar - totally wrong.
~~ Overall ~~
Overall the book was gripping and I did thoroughly enjoy it despite the many flaws. If the authors had focused on the investigations a bit more rather than the characters romances then it could have been a lot better. It is a series book and I haven't read any of the rest so I am judging from just this book so I'm maybe missing a bit of information as to why they would have followed this route. Saying that, series books need to explore their characters so that probably has something to do with it. I would recommend this to someone but not if you're a serious crime reader as the romance may put you off a little.
~~ Extra Little Bits ~~
The hardback version has 352 pages and was bought for £7.99. Probably selling much cheaper on Amazon.