3rd Degree
James Patterson
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3rd Degree
James Patterson & Andrew Gross
368 pages
January 2005
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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On a beautiful April morning, San Francisco PD Homicide Lt. Lindsay Boxer is out jogging with her dog when a house explodes right in front of her. Instincts kicking in, Lindsay races into the house and rescues a young boy, the only survivor. The house was the home of an Internet billionaire, and a mysterious message is left behind which baffles the police. They’re also investigating the disappearance of an infant from the house, the youngest child of the family. There were three bodies found in the house, but they were all adults.

Curled Up With a Good BookSoon a prominent businessman is murdered under stranger circumstances with another puzzling message left behind, and Lindsay decides she needs the help of her best friends on this one. She convenes a meeting of the Women’s Murder Club, comprised of Claire Washburn, the Medical Examiner; Cindy Thomas, a Chronicle reporter; and Assistant District Attorney Jill Bernhardt to help her discover who is behind the killings, why they call themselves “August Spies,” and why they kill someone every three days.

As clues come together, the SFPD realizes that all of this may have something to do with the upcoming G-8 conference to be held in San Francisco. Joseph Molinari, Deputy Director of the Department of Homeland Security, arrives in town to check on security plans for the G-8 only to become embroiled in the hunt for terrorists. Lindsay’s reputation having already preceded her, Joe is very impressed with the smart, dedicated detective and also greatly attracted, as she is to him.

But as the investigation intensifies, it becomes extremely personal to the Woman’s Murder Club as they lose one of their own. Why one of them? Where do they fit in?

James Patterson, in collaboration with Andrew Gross, once again does an excellent job of ratcheting up the suspense while keeping the action flowing quickly. People either love or hate his short, choppy chapters, but I love them because the story never gets bogged down and the scene changes from one chapter to the next which holds my interest. These two men do a good job of writing about women; hopefully the Woman’s Murder Club will continue for many more books.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Vivian Outen, 2004

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