From the cover of The 9th Judgment (The Women's Murder Club): The Women's Murder Club hunts a killer with a motto: Women and children first! If that doesn't grab you, all you have to do is read the first chapter to become thoroughly hooked on this heavy-hitting action-thriller.
Chapter one opens with the wife of popular movie star Marcus Dowling being murdered in what appears to be a cat burglary. The finger points to Hello Kitty, a burglar who has been robbing other wealthy people under similar circumstances.
Chapter two starts with a ruthless killer following a young mother and her infant son to a parking garage and shooting them in cold blood. The finger points nowhere in this case because the only clue is a cryptic message scrawled across a windshield in blood red lipstick.
Our main protagonist, Detective Lindsay Boxer of SFPD, is assigned to manage both the "Hello Kitty" and the "Lipstick Killer" cases. She wants to personally handle the child-killer case because she hates child-killers with a passion. She knows the media will make more of the Dowling case because of their prestige, so fears the department will put more manpower on the latter... And sure enough, Lieutenant Jacobi pulls her from the one she wants while giving her and her partner Rich Conklin the Dowling case.
The Lipstick Killer strikes again, resulting in San Francisco residents becoming increasingly incensed and frightened...resulting in the complexities of both cases pulling Lindsay back in.
Even though Lindsay's Women's Murder Club friends, Claire, Cindy and Yuki lend their own brand of charm and personality to The 9th Judgment (The Women's Murder Club) as in others, Lindsay is front and center in this one. She's in her element: strong, smart, independent, capable...beautiful (and need I mention sexy?).
This is a fast-paced book that kept me turning pages faster than the killer's speeding bullets. The excitement was practically nonstop, so I couldn't quit reading... OMG, when the killer has Lindsay at his mercy on the streets of San Francisco, the things he makes her do are horrendous. I was holding my breath, waiting for her to take a bullet any second... It was breathtakingly realistic.
Even though my emotions reached all-time highs that quickly plummeted to the depths of despair, the story flowed so smoothly that I recovered quickly. What a ride!
Patterson and Paetro weave the lives of the burglar, the killer and the actor into the plot with dexterity, all the while managing the police departmental politics and Lindsay's friends with realism and compassion. The cat burglar is a surprise to the police and is a very empathetic character with an interesting life that adds more flavor to this increasingly "tasty" book.
Just who is the cat burglar? What's s/he running from? Why does s/he rob? Why help the police? And who is the Lipstick Killer? How does the killer relate to the cat burglar? Who really killed the actor's wife?
As usual in these mysteries, Lindsay Boxer's love life is in the balance but she seems to be happily engaged to her Joe. Then why does she have a lingering attraction for her sexy partner? Who has her cap set for her partner? And how does Joe's life become threatened?
Never fear, these master wordsmiths answer those questions and more before the surprising, yet satisfying climax of this blockbuster.
I said it before and I'll say it again: Patterson and Paetro are dynamite together! I've read all the books in this series and the six co-authored with Paetro are my favorites... And now The 9th Judgment (The Women's Murder Club) is my all-time favorite.
ENDNOTE: There are many action scenes in this phenomenal book, but if I were a movie producer the street scene where the killer is "herding" Lindsay through the streets by remote control would be all the incentive I needed to grab this one up for a thriller movie. I can just see some lovely A-list actress (Sandra Bullock? Nicole Kidman?) in the role of Lindsay Boxer...and oh, what opportunities for the supporting roles of Claire, Cindy and Yuki!
Reviewed by Betty Dravis, June 27, 2010 Author of "Dream Reachers" (with Chase Von) and other books
The prologue of the novel opens with a cat-burglar stealing priceless jewels from Casey Dowling, the wife of famous Hollywood star,Marcus Dowling. As the thief is leaving, she knocks over the console table and wakes Casey and Marcus. Their marriage had been on the rocks and Marcus realizes that he has a chance to blame a murder on someone else. He kills his wife and accuses the thief of murder. As this murder is taking place, a psychopathic killer is on the loose. This murderer … more
Lindsey is once again faced with a psychopath killer is not only ruthless, he's smart too. His prey of choice? Women and their child. He gets them when they least expect it. His signature is a cryptic message and Lindsey knows right away that this wasn't just some random act of violence. On the night of the first mother-child murder, a man and his wife's home is broken into, jewelry is stolen from a safe and the wife has dead. Does this case have anything to do with the murders? … more
BETTY DRAVIS was born in Hamilton, Ohio, one of seven children of John and Felda Barger. Her natural writing ability was nurtured by a “great Ohio school system, caring teachers, and a loving family.” … more
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"Those who haven't read any of the novels in the Women's Murder Club series are cheating themselves." (BookReporter.com)
"I can't believe how good Patterson is, whether he's doing aWashingtonpolice yarn or traveling a different road with a female narrator. He is always on the mark. I have never begun a Patterson book and been able to put it down." (USA TodayLarry King)
"Patterson and Paetro are at their best here, weaving a number of plots together to create a novel that dips and flows across genre lines.... A series that shows no signs of fatigue or flagging." (BookReporter.com)