My Rating – 4 out of 5
Plot Summary – 20th Victim
Sniper hits of military precision across three cities of San Francisco, L.A. and Chicago sets off this pulse pounding thriller. The targets are people of dubious achievements, the media cannot make up their collective mind whether to call these victims heroes or villains but for Lindsay Boxer, these are murders to be solved. The victim in Lindsay’s case is a professional player who is shot in the head while sitting in his parked car outside a restaurant. That’s not it, there is a message scrawled on the rear windscreen – Rehearsal. So what does the message mean or indicate? Each of the other sniper hits also carry some message or the other.
The four protagonists of this story – Lindsay Boxer, Claire Washburn, Cindy Thomas and Yuki Castellino make up the self-proclaimed Women’s Murder Club combine in their own unique ways to crack the puzzles facing them, whilst keeping their bond intact. Lindsay is with SFPD, Claire is the Chief Medical Examiner for SFPD, Cindy is the Crime reporter for San Francisco Chronicle and Yuki is the Assistant Public Prosecutor in the DA’s office. Together they collaborate, aid and pick each others’ brains in solving whatever problem faces one of them, be it a case or a personal problem.
Yuki here deals with a 18 year old delinquent teenager caught with a bunch of drugs during a routine traffic stop, but although Yuki is convinced that the kid is a circumstantial victim himself, the kid’s refusal to talk or give up the ones behind him mean that the DA’s office has no option but to prosecute him. There’s another member of the Club who receives a devastating news on the personal front which not only affects her but the other members as well. Can Lindsay put this disturbing news at the back of her mind and focus simply on the solving of the murders happening around the country?
As a sideline, Lindsay’s husband Joe Molinari, sets off to Napa Valley, to help his childhood friend Dave solve the apparent riddle of his father’s death from an innocuous heart failure.But Joe feels that there is something hinky in the way Dave’s father died and his suspicion zones in on his friend but he has no proof that Dave is involved but intends to investigate as subtly as possible and get to the truth, both for his own conviction as well as for his friendships sake.
All good so far, and it works as well as the other James Patterson collaborations, but strictly personal opinion – this one delves too much into mush between Lindsay and Joe, veering dangerously close to Mills & Boon category. Then again, some may find it to be a human connect or EQ or whatever.
Conclusion – Book Review of 20th Victim
As I mentioned earlier, my personal grouse with this edition is the overly sappy nature of Lindsay and Joe’s romance, otherwise this is an awesome page turner and you can finish it at one lengthy sitting. Since the 21st instalment is already out in 2021, can’t wait to read that as well.