9th Judgment by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, and read on audio by Carolyn McCormick, begins with the murders of a mother and her young infant. It’s clear that Lindsay and the other members of the Women’s Murder Club are in for a rough ride this time around. McCormick does an excellent job providing different personalities and voices for each character, though at some points in the audio her interpretation of coroner Claire Washburn’s voice is a bit too deep and masculine.
Lindsay is not only tasked with finding the lipstick killer who kills women and children firms, but she also must take on a high profile case involving a movie star, Marcus Dowling, whose wife was murdered following a robbery. Is the husband acting or is he devastated by the death of his wife, and was the robbery committed by the famed Hello Kitty cat burglar coincidental?
9th Judgment delves into how being a solider in war can twist your psyche, and how when these men return from combat, things are just not the same for them or their families. Additionally, this novel connects characters in ways that are unusual and surprising, deals with physical abuse, and more. In terms of depth, this novel has more of it than some of the others given that the motivations behind the criminals are examined.
Patterson and Paetro make a good team in the Women’s Murder Club series, although readers may find that some of the story lines are not as well crafted as some others. However, in 9th Judgment, readers will find that even though they are introduced to the criminals in the first few chapters, how their capture unravels is titillating and edgy. Overall, this installment in the Women’s Murder Club series is a great addition and will have readers looking forward to the next one.
My husband and I listened to this one on our commute northward for Thanksgiving and finished it up on the way back. He enjoyed the chase scenes for their vivid description and the comedic elements as Lindsay plays go-between for the FBI and the lipstick killer. There were fewer instances of sound effects in this one, with just a few gunshots in the beginning, which was fine with us. We’ve grown attached to these characters, even the latest member of the club, Yuki Castellano. At one point near the end, my husband and I almost thought we’d have to write Patterson a scathing letter, but alas we just had to listen onward to learn that our fears were misplaced.
This is my 15th book for the 2010 Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge.