Friday, November 23, 2012

1st To Die ( Women's Murder Club #1 ) by James Patterson

Inspector Lindsay Boxer of the San Francisco Police Department suddenly finds herself in the middle of two horrifying situations: The first is that she s just learned she has an often-fatal blood disease. The second is a double homicide case she s now heading up that involves the murder of newlyweds on their wedding night. Burdened with Chris Raleigh, a new partner reassigned from the mayor s office, Lindsay finds that she has too much to deal with and turns to her best friend, Claire, the head ME on the case. Claire offers helpful advice and human, friendly contact amid a job filled with violence, cruelty, and fear.

Soon a fledgling newspaper reporter, Cindy, makes contact with Lindsay looking for a career-making story. Although Lindsay can t officially comment on the case, the two women form a rapport, and Cindy joins Lindsay and Claire for their weekly meeting. When a second pair of newlyweds is murdered, and later a third, the investigation leads to a prominent crime writer, Nicholas Jenks, who has a history of spousal abuse and a predilection for kinky, dangerous sex games. With the help of an understanding assistant D.A., Jill Bernhardt, Lindsay tries to make a case against Jenks, who even had an affair with one of the slain women. Eventually Jill joins the Murder Club, and the four ladies share private interdepartmental information in an effort to track and stop the killer before he strikes again.GOODREADS


Terrific …a great thriller… what’s not to love about a “club’ formed by four women to catch a psycho killing newlywed couples? - Providence Sunday journal

Well, I don’t know, maybe the “psycho killing newlywed couples” part but I can see how that makes this a great thriller. This is my second Patterson book and the guy is winning me over book by book. 1st To Die is also the first book in the Women’s Murder Club where we meet the first member, Lindsay boxer.

The book starts with a prologue where we meet Boxer in not the best of state. Starting the book like this was engrossing. Boxer’s on the verge of shooting herself in the head, she’s on the balcony with her gun to her temple. Reasoning with herself how easy it would be to pull the trigger or call her friends. They’d say all the right things but she’d still be where she is next week or month. This draws my attention because "what's the benefit of talking out your problems when you already know what people will advise you to do". Although I don't think this is what Patterson is saying because in the end Boxer talks about her troubles and asks for help which leads to a somewhat happy ending. I gradually began to like Boxer a lot. She’s not what I expected. She’s a female working in a profession where the majority is formed by men yet she can still hold her own. Much like one of my favorite characters Jane Rizzoli (from Rizzoli & Isles series) only that’s where the similarities end. Boxer’s an inspector but she’s also very feminine as well whereas Jane’s a bit more of a tomboy. This was new and surprising. I prefer Rizzoli because she’s stronger but still Boxer’s a individual character as well who’s definitely in my book of great, independent female leads.

Boxer gets diagnosed with Negli ,a typed of blood disorder, which she is told can be fatal. Patterson builds on this , Boxers emotional state and how she uses negli to motivate her to catch the killer. Because of negli Boxer is made somewhat vulnerable and yet she’s determined to catch the killer. So she decides on an unorthodox way to find leads. She forms the Women’s Murder Club with Clair (medical examiner) and Cindy (reporter) ,the first two members.

“We could reassemble whatever clues came out of the official investigation, share what we had, cut through the political cover-you-ass and the bureaucracy. Three women, who would get a kick out of showing up the male orthodoxy, more important, we shared a heartfelt empathy for he victims” pg 140-141

The Women’s Murder Club was born

This is indeed a terrific book. The plot is great, the different pov’s  makes the reading process very dynamic, in the way that we can follow what’s happening and the clues from different people, we also get into the killers mind. And there are twists and turns and more twists. The chapters are also short and end with little cliffhangers, before you know it the books done.

The fourth member in the club, is Jill Bernhardt (DA). Half way through the book I realized there was still more pages left but they had already found (who they thought was) the killer. So of course they’d need a lawyer in the club. They are all independent, hard working women.

So you must be wondering who the killer is? All the leads pointed to Nicholas Jenks, a famous author. Later there’s a lot of incriminating evidence found at his house. The rings from the murder victims, cloths stained with the victim’s blood. And a book Jenks wrote in the beginning of his career about an Author who killed newlywed couples to really experiences it and write the story called Always a Bridesmaid. So every story has to have a villain right. So let me described Jenks for you: he’s a douchebag. He likes dominance, he’s a narcissist, has an ex wife he dumped after she practically supported him during he’s writing career, has an abusive history with current wife and the last one. He's arrogant and thinks all women want him. Later he screams he's not the killer and somebodies trying to frame him. Refusing to believe it could be his ex-wife because he's under the impression she still loves him and he's too awesome . The most unbelievable and ridiculous thing to happen in this book, well one of them, is Jenks escapes custody! because of an earthquake  I know this is fiction and Jenks could escape, but it would have been ridiculous but the earthquake, using that as instrument for his escape makes it plausible and more believable. Although it's still a "what the hell" twist. 

The first unbelievable and ridiculous thing : I'm really starting to fear that Patterson is turning me into an abusive bookworm. I again wanted to punch this book. Like with Roses Are Red, the same thing's done here. Patterson builds characters so well I end up liking them so much that when they DIE or something bad happens, the injustice is felt! In 1st To Die Boxer has a life threatening disease to deal with and she gets saddled with another partner  Chris Raleigh. This leads to a romance. It was so lovely. Even I started to wonder if Chris had soft hands. Boxer and Chris were so good together, they loved each other. Of course I was suspicious . It was to good to be true. Something bad is going to happen. and it did but it was too abrupt! too unfair! why?!

The climax happens when Jenks escapes and is kidnapped and brought to the place he married his second wife. oh and he's also being held at gun point by said wife. she turns out to be the real killer. Boxer ends up having to kill her. However this is not the important event here for me) . Chris dies! he gets shot and I know what to expect , he's going to die of course:

"I got her , ChrisChessy Jenks was the killer"
He managed to nod his head. "That's my girl," he whispered.
Then Chris smiled faintly and he died on me.

 No! smile and die?! really?! not only is that annoying , the irony of this. Boxer's the one diagnosed with a life threatening disease. She later gets told that the treatment is working, she'll live and then Chris dies! Although Moved by violent emotions I did not punch this book.

Epilogue: Chessy Jenks was the killer? oh no, Nicholas Jenks after the terrible ordeal has published his book, has sold millions. He doesn't have to share his money with his ex wife or possibly lose any if he were to get divorced because both women are dead. Jenks visits Boxer at her apartment and confesses to orchestrating the whole thing, the brains behind the whole thing and tries to kill Boxer. Boxer kills him and the last words he hears are "burn in hell".

Another wonderful book by Patterson with a satisfying ending all the same  and a great new series to check out.



  1. I see you made to my blog and found James Patterson's book DON'T BLINK. :)

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Silver's Reviews

  2. I LOVE it! I wanna a club like that, too! Hum... or maybe I just want a 'murder club'. LOL.
    Oh, and "what's the benefit of talking out your problems when you already know what people will advise you to do"... You know, that does make sense... however, once in a while people come up with actual useful insights.
    Furthermore, I think I'm starting to get why you would develop a violent streak while reading books from this guy... he's sort of a sadist. The girl was going to die anyway and he goes and sacrifices the poor cutie? You so punched that book. I can almost see it. :P

    1. You're right about the "insight" thing. When I read the first chapter (I thought that,because I kind of agree to that too) but later when Patterson works out the other relationships connected to Boxer We see how important it was/is in supporting her though the process (negli).

      NO comment on whether I did or didn't punch le book :P



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