4th of July

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4th of July

Review #1

4th of July audiobook free

4TH OF JULY is generally representative of the style that James Patterson (together with his co-authors) has continued to refine into a very successful formula for creating bestselling novels – nonstop action, a relatively straightforward storyline with just enough complexity to keep his readers’ interest, very short punchy chapters which make it extremely easy for the reader to get caught up in the action (in this case the 146 chapters average less than three pages each); and finally in the case of his series (first the Alex Cross books, now the Women’s Murder Club), characters with whom his readers become increasing familiar. While there are some subtle changes in the fourth installment in the series, Patterson has obligingly continued the tradition of making it easy for new readers to understand the order in which they were written by conveniently numbering them.

WARNING: This book contains a spoiler if you have not read THIRD DEGREE, the previous installment in this series. If you plan to read that book, do not read this book first. Also, skip the remainder of this paragraph, which comments upon the shocking conclusion to that story. One major difference from the first three entries in this series is that ADA Jill Bernhardt was brutally murdered near the conclusion of that story. Thus, when the remaining three members meet at the neighborhood cafe Susie’s, there is a void as Jill’s memory still intrudes upon their thoughts. Furthermore, by the conclusion the author verifies the reader’s suspicion that this novel has been used as a bridge to reconstitute the Club.

One of the obvious differences from the earlier books in the series is that Patterson partners with a new co-author, Maxine Paetro. Judging from the differences in style and tone and the injection of more humor, it appears that while Patterson undoubtedly sketched the plot since he owns the franchise, it is highly likely that Mrs. Paetro wrote the majority of the story. Hopefully, Patterson will continue to utilize her skills in future episodes. The second and most important difference is that this is definitely a book about SFPD Lt. Lindsay Boxer with other club members playing only periperal roles with the exception of a few important contributions from Chief Medical Examiner Claire Washburn. The third difference is that most of the action takes place while Lindsay is recuperating in the town of Half Moon Bay and her actions are totally outside the scope of her official duties. Last, the gruesome detailed violence which came to dominate some of the later novels in the Alex Cross series (especially those involving the Mastermind) is more prevalent; while it is integral to the plot in this case I nevertheless did not enjoy it and reduced my rating by half a star because of this factor.

The story begins with the body of a young man found electrocuted in a bathtub in a seedy hotel in the Tenderloin District of SF. Lindsay is called to the scene and ominously notes the words NOBODY CARES which have been spray painted on the door. Despite the fact that this murder is similar to another recent homicide, the invisible nature of the victims means that the cases have received only cursory media attention. However, Lindsay is very trouble by the fact that they bear a remarkable similarity to a still unsolved case which she investigated when she first joined the police force. A young male was found murdered in his hotel room and the same phrase was painted on the wall; the fact that she has never even been able to identify the victim still distresses her. Soon she and her former partner Warren Jacobi engage in a near fatal car chase in pursuit of some suspects, the subsequent showdown has potentially disastrous consequences for everyone concerned when a brief firefight erupts as the two police officers attempt to rescue the two teenagers trapped in their wrecked automobile.

While Jacobi recovers in the hospital, Lindsay flees SF to hide from the press while awaiting the trial which will determine the course of her career. However, the peaceful community in which she is staying (accompanied by her border collie Martha while babysitting for Penelope, her sister’s Vietnamese potbellied pig) is increasingly terrified by several apparently random but very grisly murders. Lindsay decides to unofficially investigate, an action which both alienates the local police chief and soon puts her life in danger. Meanwhile, the reader is quite effectively treated to brief glimpses into the mind of the anonymous killer(s) in a way which increases the suspense without revealing any helpful information.

The action moves quickly to a climax, and the final outcome is quite ingenious if quite improbable. The title of my review refers to the three parallel and interlated storylines. First, what will happen to Lindsay and will these events lead to the Women’s Murder Club being reconstituted by the end of the story. One new candidate soon emerges, but the outcome is not clear until the conclusion. Second, as the dead bodies pile up we soon wonder how many members will join the Victims’ Club (my term, but the author can use it in the next book if she wants) before the murderers are caught. Third, it soon becomes clear there is a methodical Murderers’ Club with a very specific agenda operating in Half Moon Bay. An essential element of the clever plot is that we only know them by their very descriptive nicknames for themselves.

This is an excellent beach read, or in my case just the right type of story for a busy airport and a few hour plane flight. As usual in the recent formulaic Patterson mystery/detective books, the lack of character development combined with the rush to conclusion after the case has been solved and the consequent loose ends left dangling (less than usual) kept it from receiving a higher rating.

Review #2

4th of July audiobook Series Women’s Murder Club

Easy and entertaining read that holds some suspense and you gotta’ be kidding moments. The chapters are quite short which is to my liking; however, others may not like that sort of writing. The focus of this tale of fiction is Lindsay Boxer, the heroine and San Francisco Police Department homicide lieutenant. Boxer and the other members of the women’s murder club are having dinner when she receives a call from her ex-partner, Jacobi. He tells her the suspicious vehicle that was previously sighted at the scene of a homicide has been spotted. In spite of the fact that she has had a drink or two Boxer feels she is fully in charge of her faculties and capable of performing her duties as a police officer should. This action will later come back to haunt her. The night takes on a nasty turn that leaves a teenager dead, another seriously injured, Jacobi seriously wounded as well as Boxer. After a hospital stay Boxer finds herself facing a trial based on her actions that night. If found guilty she will be facing financial and career ruin.

Boxer is put on forced vacation while recuperating from her wounds and awaiting the trial that will either clear her of all wrong doings or end her career. She relaxes at her sister’s home which is in the town where a homicide cold case of 10 years previous took place. This case has haunted Boxer for all these years. As Boxer attempts to relax, homicides continue to haunt the small town where she is staying. She tries to connect the dots between the cold case and the latest homicides. There is definitely a serial killer(s) on the loose. Can Lindsay stop him/her/them? In spite of her difficulties with health and career, Boxer continues to be a super sleuth. Even tho’ some other reviewers say they knew who the serial killers were from the beginning…..I was somewhat surprised. Enjoy this book for what it is….an entertaining read that just may keep you reading and guessing until the end.

Review #3

Audiobook 4th of July by James Patterson

A good read. 4th of July by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro is exciting. If you the reader are familiar at all with the San Francisco Bay Area, you can visualize the scenery in this well written book. Our heroin, Lt. Lindsay Boxer, is with her Murder Club friends in their restaurant hang out near SFPD. Lindsay has had a couple of margaritas while waiting for their meal to be served when Warren Jacobi, her former partner, enters and tells Lindsay of a murder that was committed in the Tenderloin district. They had learned of a black Mercedes that had been seen at one other homicide. When Lindsay and Jacobi arrive at the scene, they see a black Mercedes parked at the curb so the decide to wait and see who gets in. Their view is blocked and the next thing they know is that the Mercedes takes of at high speed. The chase is on. The driver crashes the car and when Lindsay and Jacobi look inside they find two teenage kids. They get the teenagers out of the car and then all hell brakes loose. Lindsay is shot along with her partner but while she is down on the ground, she gets off a couple of rounds and kills the teenage driver and wounds her brother who had shot Jacobi point blank and when he was down kicks him in the head. Lindsay is released from the hospital but the parents want revenge. This is a story of court action and in the face of civil jury trial, Lindsay goes to visit her sister in Half Moon Bay. While there she becomes involved in a series of murders very much similar to John Doe #24 when Lindsay was just a new homicide detective. This case has not been solved in ten years and remains as an open case.
Both writers have their way with some of the laws and at times I get a little laugh from how this fine book is written. It is not possible for every writer to know fully how California criminal and civil laws are written, but it make this a fine read. Not recommended for young readers. Sex and violence. DP., Castro Valley, CA.

Review #4

Audio 4th of July narrated by Carolyn McCormick

The murder club is now three and the girls still miss jill. As usual Lindsay is in the middle of a murder inquiry and as per their ritual the girls are at Susie’s discussing work when her partner Warren gives her a shout about another murder and a mysterious car has been seen. This car has been reported at another murder locus so together they give chase. problem is the outcome leaves someone dead one with life altering disability and two with serious injury. Lindsay is left fighting a judicial system and begins to question her future. Whilst on gardening leave she takes refuge at her sister’s home and soon becomes embroiled in a murder investigation there and her fight becomes one for her life as she herself becomes a target. OMG this woman is having a busy week!
Lindsay is one lucky girl , she has the SFPD on her side, Claire, Cindy and her faithful Martha. Joe is making occasional appearances due to his work but when he does she is finding the separation worse each time he goes. A couple of new kids on the block in Yuki and Conklin .I can’t put Mr Patterson down my bed time is getting later and later

Review #5

Free audio 4th of July – in the audio player below

I was given the first three books in this series by a friend and really enjoyed them, very pleased when I found the rest of the series and decided to get them all, making my way through them and really enjoying them all. They are murder cases in America and a group of young women from different public sector jobs get together and call themselves the murder club who try to solve the cases alongside the police investigation, well worth a read

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