Tuesday, March 13, 2012

First To Die

Author: James Patterson
Goodreads Rating: 3.90
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Pages: 424 

If you've been paying attention, you should know by now that I am also a TV junkie. I watch almost every show, and Women's Murder Club was one that I was decently fond of. Having built my "To-Read" list on Goodreads, I added this book because I was curious about the book that started the show. Sadly, this is one of those instances where watching the show skewed how I read this book which was unfortunate, but alas, there is nothing that can be done about it.

Goodreads Synopses:

James Patterson, bestselling author of the Alex Cross novels Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls, and Pop Goes the Weasel, offers the first of a new series dubbed The Women s Murder Club, featuring a four-woman team that occasionally works outside the system. None of the gritty darkness or frenzied action is lost in 1st to Die, although the female protagonists offer an even deeper emotional context to this suspense thriller. 

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. 

The major subplot -- Lindsay's facing up to her illness even while she learns to fall in love again -- carefully compensates for the novel s coarse scenes of brutality. Lindsay Boxer isn t merely an obsessed cop trailing a maniac; she s also a terrified woman confronting the onslaught of disease. The story lines balance out to show us the true mettle of someone who puts the safety of others before her own. 

Again, Patterson s skill for producing furiously paced fiction are evident as the novel breezes by rapidly. The short chapters keep the narrative leaping with increasingly taut plot elements, but there s an emotional commitment that makes our protagonist even more amiable and involving. 1st to Die is a novel that works as an intense series of character portraits that will leave the reader touched and delighted.

Jump and you will find my review!

One of the biggest problems I find with watching a show or movie and then reading the book is that I compare the characters in my head and I use their voices when reading. In the case of this book, I had Angie Harmon for Lindsey and Tamala Jones for Claire, the rest were no faced characters. 

For the most part I liked this book, I was frustrated in the beginning because I kept comparing it to the TV Show it was based on. Once I was able to get past that I liked it a lot more. One of the things that really irritated me was the fact that so many names were the same - and not the same per say, but super similar that I couldn't keep their names straight. For example- Chessy and Cheery- Chessy was a part of the police force and Cheery was the suspects wife. And then there was Cindy and Claire, and I could almost never remember Cindy because when I tried to remember he name I could only think Claire! Writers think that they're being clever with twins who have similar names and things like that, but all it does is confuse the reader.

One thing I did like was who it was a book that was written led them to the killer. Granted Castle came after, but you can see the similarities. I was also totally bummed by the killing of the couples in this book, but thats just the nature of the crime. When it came down to the end of the book, I will admit, that I cried, and I never thought this would be the type of book that would make me do that, but it did.

The characters seemed a little flat as far as Jill the DA and Cindy the reporter went. But thats because there really wasn't much exploration into their lives as their was for the other ladies of the murder mystery club. Even though what they do is probably border line illegal, how they work together seems to work for them, and its true what they say, 2 heads or in this case, 4 heads are better than one.

Once I was able to get past thinking of the show, this book became a much quicker read- in fact, I read it in one day. (Thank you long car rides) Since this is the first book in a series, there is the option to further explore the lives and relationships of the characters, but it also works as a stand alone book.

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