REVIEW: 9th Judgment by James Patterson and Mazine Paetro

Somehow – in all my ramblings in the local library – I missed the fact that Patterson and Paetro had published another Women’s Murder Club novel last spring. So it was my happy day to find it on the new release shelf. I really like these novels, and particularly like Lindsay Boxer, the main heroine. Lindsay is tough and intelligent, but not perfect. As a police office in San Francisco she has her hands full. Lindsay’s love life (as well as her girlfriends’ who make up the murder club with her) often figures in to these novels, and I sometimes have a hard time keeping track of who is sleeping with whom, etc. and personally couldn’t care less. The novels are fast-paced and thrilling. They are similar to Sue Grafton’s alphabet series, in my opinion.

In this installment, Lindsay is chasing after two killers: one who apparently randomly guns down mothers and their young children and one who is a cat burglar. I find the concept of a cat burglar so “Hitchcockesque” – I couldn’t help but be intrigued! Both of the perpetrators are narrators in the novel and their paths cross in an interesting (though for me, predictable) way. While one is a deranged psycho, you can almost find yourself feeling sympathetic for the cat burglar.

This book was also touted as Lindsay struggling with her feelings of attraction for her partner, Rich Conklin (even though he is dating her friend Cindy – whom I find the most annoying of the bunch – and Lindsay is engaged to near-perfect Joe). Now – is it just me? Call me old-fashioned but I sometimes feel like yelling: “Don’t mess us a good mystery with all this silly love triangle stuff!!” I almost feel like the authors feel compelled to add some sort of romantic fluff since their audience is presumably women. This is personally insulting, but what can I say (except the above comment!). Anyhow, I was thrilled that this love triangle business did not figure prominently in the novel and did not detract for me from the main plot lines!

I enjoyed this novel and plowed through it in two days. I’d give it 3 1/2 stars!

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