The Women's Murder Club faces its toughest challenge as Detective Lindsay Boxer investigates the high-profile murder of two San Francisco millionaires and reporter Cindy Thomas digs into the brutal slaying of a preacher with a message of hope for the homeless.
In the meantime, Cindy, the news reporter, discovers a homeless man, Bagman Jesus, brutally murdered on the street and pursues the story doggedly when the police seem to be ignoring it. At first she thinks he’s saintly but later discovers that her first impression was wrong.
Yuki, the prosecutor is involved in a murder case she must win in order to keep her reputation intact. It starts to look like the jury will be hung.
Claire, the medical examiner doesn’t appear much in this book, but she does provide an important piece of the puzzle.
The 8th Confession was written by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro and it fits the pattern of other James Patterson books – short chapters and a quick build-up of suspense. There’s a lot of action and little character development. This is the eighth book in the series, and while it’s not necessary to read the books in order, I think the story develops better if you do. There was one little aside in Yuki’s personal life that I didn’t really care for, but all in all, this is a light, entertaining read.
As usual, Patterson and his co-writer provide a fast-moving plot and fairly interesting characters.
Meanwhile, Yuki Castellano is prosecuting a woman on trial for murdering her father and the attempted murder of her mother. Yuki cannot afford to lose this case. If she does, she fears she will also be out of a job.
As much as I love JP and this series, this book was a letdown for me. About page 100 or so, I just didn’t care about the killer’s identity, the plot or the characters. In prior books, The Women’s Murder Club played a significant role in solving the crimes. In this book, however the characters’ interactions didn’t flow. They appeared to be “too separate” for me. Claire was hardly mentioned at all. The storyline for Yuki was abrupt and somewhat disappointing when she met the cute doctor.
I did mange to finish it only because I think JP may be taking the characters in a new direction. I’m curious to see what will happen with Lindsay’s relationship with Joe. Despite feeling disappointed, I will continue reading the rest of this series, and of course more of JP’s books.
All in all, I thought the book was entertaining, but predictable.
I haven’t read Patterson’s classics, Along Came a Spider and Pop Goes the Weasel. I have read The Lake House, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas and Sundays at Tiffany’s, all of which I liked. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas is probably my favorite love story novel (love love love that book). I heard that his murder/mystery series is good. This is the 8th Book of the Women’s Murder Club Series, none of which I’ve read. Surprisingly, this is not a problem for new readers. Not understanding the depths of these pre-existing characters didn’t deter me from getting to know them in this book and getting into the story.
For not being a huge fan of murder/mystery, I oddly enjoyed the change of pace that this book provided. There were two big cases to solve and I enjoyed watching them unfold. Although this book is a 368-pager, I read this book very quickly and enjoyed the fast-pace of the book. I appreciated the strands of romance woven into the story and the feminine spin on police work and law. 8th Confession also brings you into the mind of a killer, yet lets the story unfold so that you don’t really understand the motives until the end.
If the Murder/Mystery genre is up your alley, I believe you’d enjoy this read. If you’re a follower of the series, it’s a must-have. I met some folks on the soccer field who were really looking forward to this next book in the series and told me that they “gobble” up each book as they are released. Whether you’re a dedicated reader or just want to try out something different, I thought the book was good and perhaps you’d enjoy it. It’s perfect for a long plane ride.
On Sher’s “Out of Ten Scale:”
Because I haven’t read many books in this genre, I don’t have much to compare this book to. So, I’m going off gut instinct here on my rating and if I read more under the same genre, I may become more of a connoisseur of this genre. At any rate, for the genre Fiction: Murder/Mystery/Chick Lit, I rate this book a 7 OUT OF 10. However, if you’re a James Patterson fan (like me), you may disagree and give it higher marks!
James Patterson’s books are always fun to read. It’s sort of like watching C.S.I., you pretty much know what direction the story is going, there’s usually a couple of odd little tangents the story goes off on, that end up being pertinent to the conclusion, enough personal interaction to make you feel like you know the characters, and a good, if not predictable conclusion. Patterson and Paetro do a good job of making sure none of the regular characters remain static in any of the series. Everyone in the series manages to make an appearance and move their own story line along. And they do a bang-up job of moving those folks forward chronologically while keeping the plot moving along. When there’s a cast of characters this size, I’m not sure that’s an easy thing to do either. I’ve read the whole series, but I think its written in a way that would allow someone to come in part way and still be able to figure out who’s who and what’s what. Which is something else that may not be an easy thing for an author to accomplish.
The 8th Confession is a fun, fast read and if you’re a fan of the series, it’s a must read.
I enjoyed the tension between Cindy and Lindsey in this one. It's made the whole situation a little more real as far as their personal lives are concerned. I also really liked the wisdom that Yuki gave to Lindsey about her love life. Then, Yuki's situation with Doc was a shocker! It was a great twist that I think may play out later in the series.
As for the crime solving in this one, well...I'm a little skeptical about a murderer using snakes to kill people. The murder of the homeless man seemed a little more possible, but the fact that Lindsey wasn't supposed to be working the crime at all was unsettling for me. I think what I'd have liked to see is more of a squabble between Cindy and Lindsey resulting from Cindy's supposed crime fighting, and not over their personal feelings for Rich.
Overall, glad that I've gotten myself hooked on this series. Also glad that I'm caught up and can wait patiently for book 9!
There's a lot going on, but not much really happens. The reader is introduced to the killer of the young and fabulous rather early on. I am not opposed to hearing some of the interior monologue of the killer, but knowing the killer's name and reasons for killing took away much of the suspense. Yuki barely got to interact with the other three, and her subplot was rather dull. I would have much rather seen her spend time in the courtroom and be a witness to the actual trial than picking up during jury deliberations. Yuki's other subplot was a blossoming romance that was incredibly awkward, odd and unncessessary, and I want to see her happy. The killer's weapon was interesting, but the early outing of the killer's identity killed the suspense that could have (and should have) accompanied the crimes.
I normally really enjoy the Women's Murder Club series. Some have certainly been better than others, but the stories are usually interesting. Patterson (or Pietro--I'm still not sure how much authoring each one does) is not a great writer. There is usually at least one time I groan out loud at the dialogue. The 8th Confession had a lot of great elements of a good mystery (unique method of killing, the reality of relative morality and importance when it comes to solving crimes against the rich and poor), but I found it to be awkward throughout. For such a short mystery, there were too many storylines, and far too much time spent on the romance lives of Cindy, Yuki and Lindsay. Women's Murder Club is at its best when the four heroines work together, combining their skills and jobs for the greater good. A few meetings for a quick conversation do not drive this series. Yuki needs something to do. She needs some good luck to come her way. Please, Jame and Maxine, stop using italics every other line to emphasize a word. It's sloppy writing, and it makes me think a teenager wrote it. Learn to emphasize like writers.
I'll still read the next Women's Murder Club, but they are on probation after this debacle. The series is still work checking out, if you haven't read it. Start from the beginning (1st to Die), and enjoy.
In a semi-related note, how lame is the cover? I know Patterson's books sell no matter what is inside, or apparently on the cover, but a little effort would be nice, graphic arts department.
Cindy leads her own investigation into the death of 'Bagman Jesus' a so-called saviour of the street people and finally gets the police interested. The conclusion of this case is unusual but very satisfactory.
Meanwhile Lindsay Boxer and her partner Rich Conklin are on the trail of a killer of the rich and famous. With no leads and seemingly no motive this one proves a difficult case. The murder weapon is unusual to say the least, and Rich receives the brunt end.
Lindsay also has to sort her complicated personal life out, and risks a rift between herself and Cindy.
The Womens Murder Club is back - Superb.
WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: Anyone who is familiar with Patterson and his numerous coauthors understands that these books are formulaic, and it's no longer a question of how contrived the plot will be but rather how enjoyable it will be to read. This latest offering is a step above the last two or three entries in the series, but nowhere near as compelling as the first few. That said, this is a quick and untaxing read with characters whom readers have come to know and enjoy. The manner in which the murders are perpetrated is relatively interesting, and the new pairing of Cindy and Rich is cute if pat.
WHY YOU WON'T: Patterson's quirk of short chapters is annoying and tiresome, as his penchant for ending each one with what he assumes to be a cliffhanger. It's plodding and actually slows the narrative rather than accelerating it. The villain is revealed early on as plot device, but their motives are never fully explored, and thus it's difficult to care about them or their victims as we wait for Lindsay to put all the clues together. The new romances for Cindy and Yuki are odd and rushed, with no real thought behind them; Yuki's in particular was brittle and appeared to reinforce her loneliness rather than abate it. Yuki is extremely likable but has never been as fleshed out as predecessor Jill. In fact, characterization suffers as the series progresses.
BOTTOM LINE: If you're in the series for the long haul, this installment is better fare than some of the previous novels, but nowhere near as interesting as the first few. A quick read with some good moments.
At this point, I'm going to come right out and say that James Patterson is probably a wax figure in somebody's closet that gets trotted out at opportune times to cash in on the name and the name alone. And even lately, the name has become extremely watered down to the point that anyone reading a "new James Patterson" novel is probably reading a high school student's first creative writing essay.
I am so sad to see this happen to formerly great authors, and if I may hijack this review to point some of them out: Stuart Woods, Patricia Cornwell, Tess Geritsen to allow that terrible show Rizzoli and Isles to even be made, and Janet Evanovich, you are RIGHT on the edge. Phoning it in. It's a little depressing.
So, in conclusion, if you are in the mood to only use half your brain, this book might be for you. But, if you are looking for a well written, suspenseful novel, please do yourself a favor and check out: Harlan Coben, Robert Crais or John Lescroart - all of whom are still writing quality novels and not churning out the crappy money-makers....
My rating: 4/5 stars
Reading almost like movie trailers, the first several pages describe two different, horrific scenes that seem irrelevant when Boxer initially takes up the storyline. Patterson’s usual cliff-hanging chapter endings are absent, although the clipped, juxtaposed chapters help propel the reader along when the material might not do so.
Detective Lindsay Boxer is the unifying narrator who bastes the divergent cases together. Where newspaper reporter Cindy Thomas elevates Bagman Jesus to the ranks of a savior to San Francisco’s homeless, Boxer defrocks him to anything but a liberator. Where coroner Claire Washburn struggles to identify the causes of the deaths of multiple super-rich San Franciscans, Boxer stumbles into the weapons’ lair. Meanwhile, Assistant District Attorney Yuki Castellano grapples with indefensible court cases and a perplexing romance, without any intrusion or help from Boxer. Yuki’s love life does introduce the topic of transgender operations that might spice up this novel over and above the meth-peddling or crack-selling whores stabled by Rodney Booker.
There are as many murder victims in this book as there are multiple confessions. And, where reasonable doubt cannot be foisted on a legal trial, human interference or vengeance solves the problem.
This issue from the Patterson group is not one of its better efforts. It is an average read—no wonder it remained on my slush shelf for so long.
I had given this series up after number 7 because it was so formulaic and novels read like a script for a TV show. However, I decided to try this as an audio book and see if I would enjoy it differently as I do like some of the characters. Much better. The plot still reads like a dramatization and it does NOT help that there is music in this audio version like a television show but it's much more tolerable. Lindsay seems to make some silly choices as a woman and you just want to smack her at times. I do like that fact that out of the other three main characters, two of them have lives of their own developing in this story. The novel jumps back and forth between first person, Lindsay, third person the others and intimate third person where you are inside the killers head. I do like this format better and will move on with the rest of the series now.