4. 7th Heaven by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. 376 p. Published February 2008.
I was first introduced to the Women’s Murder Club through the ongoing series on ABC. During the Writer’s Strike, I decided to read the books. I may get around to writing reviews for the others, but for now, here is my review of the latest edition to the series:
7th Heaven, as the last few novels of the WMC, has two concurrent plot lines. The book opens with the primary plot as a pair of serial arsonists, dubbing themselves Hawk and Pidge, hog-tie a rich couple and leave them to burn for the crime of high-society living.
Jump to Patterson’s protagonist, Homicide Inspector Lyndsey Boxer, who is called away from a meeting with the rest of the WMC with news of a hot tip on the 3-month old disappearance of celebrity Michael Campion. Boxer and the rest of the squad begin digging into the life of the last person believed to see Campion alive – Junie Moon, a prostitute. Things heat up as Ms. Moon suddenly confesses to Campion’s death and the disposal of his body. But with so much time past, no evidence or corpse can be found. For Boxer’s DA friend Yuki Castellano, things begin to get even tougher as Ms. Moon recants her confession. Yuki, never one to back down, presses on with the prosecution, and soon garners the attention of true-crime writer Jason Twilly.
As the trial hits full stride, Boxer is pulled into the investigation of the serial arson-murders. Soon enough, other couples are put to the flame, and the only clue SFPD’s finest can find are books left at each scene bearing Latin inscriptions. Suddenly, Boxer is called home to find that her own apartment has been set aflame, forcing her to move in with her boyfriend.
Personal issues assail both Boxer and Castellano as they try to work through obstacles. Soon enough, both plotlines take a stunning turn and Boxer finds herself pursuing one in order to solve the other.
With a fast-paced storyline and gut-wrenching ending, 7th Heaven takes the reader on Patterson’s latest thrill ride. Not many authors can pull so many stunts with a protagonist’s life, but Patterson makes it all believable.
Rating: 3 out of 5