Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Book Review: 15th Affair by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Women's Murder Club #15)



Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: The plot is good
Cons: Little of many characters; Lindsay/Joe; resolution to previous book’s cliffhanger
The Bottom Line:
One case, many prongs
Underuses most of cast
Resulting in mess




I Should Be Careful What I Wish For

If you go back and look at my reviews of the Women’s Murder Club series, I’ve constantly complained that the books usually contain two or three unrelated mysteries the main characters are working on parallel to each other.  I’ve wanted to find a book where all the ladies are working on one case again.  That’s what we get in 15th Affair, but the result is pretty horrible.

This book opens with San Francisco Homicide Detective Lindsay Boxer about to go home for the day only to be called to a crime scene at a hotel.  A man has been gunned down in his hotel room.  And two people were also murdered next door.  What makes it really weird is that the security cameras completely failed when this attack took place.  What was happening?

Lindsay gets the shock of her life when she is reviewing surveillance related to this case and discovers her husband Joe has crossed paths with their investigation.  But Joe has vanished.  Did he have anything to do with this?

I’m just scratching the surface of this book that brings in some other plots to keep things complicated and keep the pages turning.  The mystery aspects of this book actually worked well, I thought, and I enjoyed them.  The pace was fast, and the climax was logical with the other storylines brought in all playing off each other for one complex case.

But here’s where things start to go downhill, and they actually crash fast.

First of all, the previous book ended with a cliffhanger.  Remember it?  A drug dealer has decided that Lindsay has the drugs or money he was cheated out of when one of his underlings got arrested by the cop.  So he is going to go after her.  I was expecting that to be a major part of the book.  Instead, it’s like the authors decided they had a new idea that was better and wrapped that up in a paragraph.  No, I’m not kidding.  Why even introduce it then if you aren’t going to deal with it now?

While there is one case with several prongs being worked on, the rest of the Women’s Murder Club only get cameos at best.  Yuki literally has nothing to do.  I’m trying to remember if she even gets a line of dialogue.  Of course, considering some of the storylines she’s had over the series, that’s actually an improvement for her.    Claire and Cindy do fair better since they provide some clues along the way.  But there is no real character development for these three characters or anything new in their various relationships.

Which brings us to Lindsay and Joe.  I get that Joe did some things that upset Lindsay in this book.  I truly do.  But Lindsay blew them way out of proportion.  She went some places she never should have gone emotionally, and let those emotions drive her to make some decisions that drove me crazy.  And here’s a tip for you, you will never work anything out if you aren’t willing to talk about your issues with the other person and listen to each other.  And, frankly, the explanations for what happened with Joe are fairly logical and only make Lindsay seem even worse in her overreactions.

Plus they end with another cliffhanger.  But after how they handled the one from the previous book, I don’t know if I trust them to resolve this one at all.

At least I got this book from the library.

If you are already a fan of the series, see if you can get this book cheaply.  Even then, it might be worth skipping the mess that is 15th Affair.

Check out some of the better books in the Women's Murder Club series.

6 comments:

  1. That's too bad that you got what you wanted but so poorly executed! I don't think I'd be happy at all with the cliffhanger wrapped up in a paragraph and the rest of it sounds so messy! I haven't actually read this series but this definitely doesn't make me want to start! Hopefully 16 is better though I wouldn't trust them to wrap up the cliffhanger either.

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    1. While this series is not a favorite of mine, they are usually enjoyable. Hopefully, this is an anomaly and the series comes back in the next book.

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    2. My biggest problem with this book is the entire premise of the act of keeping secrets, like being or having been in the CIA, is a betrayal of her trust. Seriously??!! Did his researchers even do their job when they researched that bit?? If they did they would know that in order to obtain a security clearance of top secret/classified level, you have to swear to keep ALL the information secret - to DEATH!! Not just until your wife gets mad at you. She knows that he was former FBI and Dept of Homeland, both of those jobs require classified clearance and keeping secrets. She knows from collaborting on cases what that entails. Why suddenly is this an issue?? Of course it is Country first - that is required. As a public servant herself, Lindsay would know that they needs of the many outweigh her own. So why is she so bent out of shape? It makes her look weak and basically selfish - oh, and really not good at her job. Lastly, they could have fixed the editing at a minimum - 4 serious errors in one chapter. Needs some work!

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  2. I guess when you get this far in a series it can start to slow down a bit. Hopefully the next book is better for you again.

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    1. I'm hoping the next book is better and fixes the stupidity they introduced here.

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  3. James Patterson has been declining on his deliverance of books for a while. It seems that other people collaborate with him, in the writing of his books and the James and the collaborator do not share notes nor a conversation, since the theme ends abruptly on a few of the books. The books also do not have endings but merely cliffhangers that are very shortly wrapped up in the beginning of the following book, or not at all. Very disappointing since this was one of my favorite books, and I actually enjoyed all of the characters. The beginning books in the series are very good.
    In addition, James Patterson does not seem to understand that paying over $15 to $16.- for a book is a bit of a rip-off and in our economy, difficult to buy books that are not even satisfactory.

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