“Did you think I didn’t recognize you? Gee, princess, you’re almost a celebrity around this town. I knew, of course, that they’d put a cop on this gig. But, to my delight, it’s you. Sergeant Lindsay Boxer, my girl on a leash.”
“Well, as long as you’re happy.”
“Happy? I’m ecstatic. So listen up, Lindsay. I’m just a Google click away from knowing where you live, who your friends are, who you love. So I guess you’ve got an even better reason to make this a payday for me, don’t you, sweetmeat?”
I pictured Cindy in the camera’s eye, Conklin, Joe working in his home office, Martha at his feet. I saw myself with my Glock in my hand, sights lined up between the no-color eyes of a guy in a baseball jacket. I squeezed the trigger.
Problem was, I didn’t have the Glock.
(from The 9th Judgment, page 189 in the ARC)
The 9th Judgment is the ninth installment in James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series, and he co-authored the book with Maxine Paetro. As usual, the book centers on Sergeant Lindsay Boxer, a detective in San Francisco, who is finally engaged to her long-time boyfriend, Joe. She remains close friends with Claire, the chief medical examiner, Yuki, a prosecutor in the DA’s office, and Cindy, a reporter, but the other members of the Women’s Murder Club don’t play a huge role in this installment.
In The 9th Judgment, Lindsay is working two cases, that of the Lipstick Killer, who guns down women and babies in shopping areas and scrawls three letters on the windshield of the victim’s car in their lipstick, and the Hello Kitty burglar, who robs rich women of their jewels when they are home entertaining friends. The deaths of helpless babies and their mothers have the city on edge, and Lindsay worries that a psycho killer will harm her and the people she loves. Meanwhile, she struggles with a bit of jealousy as Cindy embarks on a relationship with her on-the-job partner, Rich Conklin.
The identities of the criminals are made known to readers from the very beginning, and while I generally prefer not to know “whodunit” right away but to figure it out over the course of a book, I think Patterson and Paetro use this to their advantage. The 9th Judgment gives readers a glimpse into the minds of the criminals, their home lives and troubles and what led to their actions. Although I didn’t and couldn’t sympathize with them at all, I found their stories interesting — especially how they intersected.
Like all Patterson novels, The 9th Judgment is fast-paced with short chapters. It was a quick read that didn’t require me to think too much, which was good because I read it last month during a weekend camping trip. I didn’t really enjoy the last couple installments of the Women’s Murder Club series, but I’ve kept on reading because I’ve invested too much time in these characters to stop now. Thankfully, I found The 9th Judgment to be an improvement, and I’m actually looking forward to what happens next…and big changes could be on the way for Lindsay!
Disclosure: I received a copy of The 9th Judgment from Hachette for review purposes. I am an Amazon associate.
© 2010 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.