Wednesday, October 12, 2011

1st to Die by James Patterson

1st to Die
James Patterson
Women's Murder Club #1

Lindsey Boxer, an police inspector in San Fransisco, finds herself in the midst of a difficult serial wedding homicide case when she learns that she has a serious blood disorder. Desperate to solve the case while she still can, she brings together three other women to help her: her best friend Claire, the ME; Cindy, a crime reporter; and Jill, the DA for the case.

Despite the novel's gruesome murder scenes, I'd consider 1st to Die a light read. (Here light has to do with ease and pace of reading, not content.) I don't read a lot of mysteries, mainly because I get my procedural crime fix from television, but I suppose this was as good a place as any to jump in.

1st to Die has generic, formulaic pop fiction sort of feel to it. It's not necessarily a bad thing--I certainly read plenty of those--but I would have guessed, even if I hadn't known in advance, that James Patterson is one of those authors who produce several books a year. (Personally, even though my desire to finish the series often demands more, I'm inclined towards authors who write about a book a year, or sometimes even less.) 

When it comes to characters, I wasn't entirely happy with the way Patterson wrote the women in the story but I can't put my finger on why. I have, however, seen the same complaint from other reviewers, so I'll just say something's not quite right and leave it at that. I also would have left out the murderer's point of view, because even if, in the end, it didn't give away anything, it somehow detracts from the mystery to know what's going on inside the killer's head. I did, however, appreciate that only Lindsey's narrative was written in first person; otherwise reading the book would have been much more confusing.

Overall, 1st to Die was a reasonably entertaining read, but I think I'll stick to TV dramas for my detectives.

Plot: 3 cupcakes
Characters: 2 cupcakes
Style: 3 cupcakes
Overall: 3 cupcakes
Source: Tiny Tyrant's Kitchen

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