Sunday, May 19, 2013

Book Review: The 8th Confession by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Women's Murder Club #8)

Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: The characters, fast read
Cons: Unconnected plots (again); Yuki's sub-plots; romances
The Bottom Line
Fast read poorly done
Weak romance; wasted Yuki
They deserve better

8th Confession Should Have Confessed it was a Bad Book

The Women's Murder Club books are quick, mindless reads, which is a good thing because if they took a long time to get through, I don't think I would have stuck with the series.  The 8th Confession only continues to highlight the problems in the series.

The series stars San Francisco Homicide Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends, coroner Claire, reporter Cindy, and assistant district attorney Yuki.  Once again, this book finds them dealing with multiple cases.

Cindy is on her way to work one morning when she finds a homeless man shot and beaten on the street.  Those gathered around him all praise "Bagman Jesus" as this great hero for the homeless.  She becomes obsessed with the case, even getting her paper to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer.

Lindsay isn't much help, however, because she is focused on catching a killer who is murdering the rich and famous.  At least it looks like murder.  Claire isn't able to find the cause of death.  Will any of these killers be caught?

I've long given up on them giving the ladies one case to work on together, so I enjoyed these stories even though they weren't related to each other.  They wove in and out of each other quite well, always keeping me engaged.

The problems start with the prologue, which seems pasted in from another book for way too long.  I actually went back a couple of times to make sure I wasn't missing something.

Then there's poor Yuki's sub-plots.  That's right; she gets two of them, both completely pointless, stupid, and a waste of paper.  While the other three ladies interact some as they work the two cases, Yuki is left to herself until the Women's Murder Club meets for the first time around page 250 (out of 350).  Then, she's suddenly an active part of the group again.  Frankly, if she had been left out of the book I wouldn't have missed her.

Which is a shame because I really do love the characters.  All four of these women are strong; after eight books, they seem real.  I buy their friendship when they are on the page together.

And that's one reason the romance really bothered me.  I hope Lindsay has her act together, or I will have to yell at her in the next one.  I didn't buy how Cindy's romance started, but I do hope it continues in the next book.

James Patterson (and co-author Maxine Paetro) continue to write in short chapters.  Between that and the emphasis on dialogue, I was able to read this book in just a few hours.

I borrowed The 8th Confession from a friend; I'm signed up for the next in the series from the library.  I wouldn't pay money for them, but for free I'll continue to enjoy the company of these ladies even if the plots they have to deal with aren't the best.

Here are the Women's Murder Club Mysteries in order.

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