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An intriguing and well-told tale

  • Jun 2, 2011
Rating:
+5
A segment of the mystery books reading public decry the value of James Patterson's novels principally because they feel that his writing is not of the highest caliber and the books "must be bad" because no one is able to produce quality literature as fast as Patterson publishes his books. As I discussed in some detail in my review of Tick Tock, this is unfair. I wrote, among other things:

James Patterson has written that his goal is to be a good story teller, and this is how his writings should be evaluated. Does he tell a good story? Does the story hold our interest? Do we find ourselves caught up in the plot, the characters, the suspense? Does he write clearly? Do we understand what he is telling us? Do a large segment of people like his tales? If the answers to these questions, or most of them, are "yes," then he is clearly a good writer. It should be obvious that when telling a story one does not have to use perfect English. In fact, the use of imperfect English may make the story more interesting. Secondly, it is unfair, even illogical to say that a person can't tell more than one good story a year. Patterson is not the only writer who has produced many books. It makes more sense to judge each story on its own. He may tell six great tales in a row in a single year and then tell only one the following year that is not interesting.

This is the tenth book in the series of the women's crime club, the seventh that James Paterson coauthored with Maxine Paetro. He wrote the first by himself and the next two with Andrew Gross. They are all good stories with interesting characters, engaging plots, suspense, and interest-holding events. We are left with the feeling that we would like to know more about the characters and about the crimes they become involved with. This is clear by the success of the series, that it has continued for ten volumes.

This novel is filled with plots and subplots. Lindsay Boxer, the police sergeant who turned down a chance to become a lieutenant saying she prefers working the streets, has a second chance for the position, but misses it when she fails to keep her phone active. The position is given to a large, hard-nosed man from out of state, who is now Lindsay's boss, is married, and is dating Lindsay's dear friend the prosecutor Yuki Castellano without telling her that he is married. Lindsay becomes involved in the disappearance of a lying fifteen year old pregnant girl, who turns up bloodied and disheveled and claims she doesn't know where her new born baby is. Lindsay marries her love, Joe, but is hardly ever home. Meanwhile, Yuki, who is dating her boss, is prosecuting a case of a woman who she is convinced killed her husband. The defense attorney is excellent and cleverly destroys many pieces of her evidence. She lost too many cases in the past and her boss warns her that another loss will be detrimental, and a win could give a jump to her career. Lindsay tells Yuki that she is convinced that the woman is innocent. Lindsay's other friend Cindy, the newspaper reporter, starts a sexual liaison with Lindsay's partner, a handsome cop who had clearly loved Lindsay, and Lindsay is concerned that information that should not be disclosed is being passed on over the bedroom pillow. These are just some of the beginning tensions that come together in intriguing ways in this well-told tale.
An intriguing and well-told tale An intriguing and well-told tale

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About the reviewer
Israel Drazin ()
Ranked #62
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of twenty books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four … more
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