I was so surprised when I read the James Patterson/Maxine Paetro book last Christmas and enjoyed it – it was a Christmas themed book entitled The 19th Christmas and part of the Women’s Mystery Club series. Okay. I thought, let’s do this and proceed with The 20th Victim. Nice – and back to #1 in the series, 1st to Die. Oh-oh. No. Paetro was not the co-author and the book was too violent for me. So instead I went to 21st Birthday and that was okay again.
by James Patterson / Maxine Paetro
Read by January LaVoy 8h 16m
Rating: B+/ procedural thriller #22 in Women’s Murder Club series
This series may be getting a wee bit old. Either that or I just wasn’t as engrossed in this particular book for some reason. I’ve read a total of 7 out of the 22 books in this series, 6 with Paetro as co-author. Also, a bit of the action takes place outside of the US – that seems to happen more often in series with more books. Even the Murder She Wrote (by Monica Ferris), Dave Robicheaux (by James Lee Burke), Inspector Gamache (by Louise Penny), and Harry Bosch (by John Connelly) books go abroad at some point in their late teens or early 20s.
A new gun control law is being passed in San Francisco and there is some serious opposition. There is also an enormous supply of guns suddenly coming from Mexico. People die, not always women. (In fact, this has less fem-jeop than most of this series although there certainly is some.) Lindsay Boxer, a police sergeant, is front and center as usual, and her life is definitely threatened but then that’s Lindsay, she just kind of stands out as a target. The other friends, Cindy, Claire, and Yuki have bit parts.
The narrator is perfect and the writing is terrific for a “procedural thriller.” It’s the plot and the characters that are lacking. The story feels a bit canned and over-the-top at the same time. The story has are lots of threads going but everything gets tied up at the end.
Overall, I’m certainly glad I read it and I’m sure I’ll grab the next one when it’s available, but I don’t think I’ll be going back into the old #s in the series – well, maybe … now that I know they’re at the library.
‘Fem-jeop’ is a new term for me, is it a reaction to the way women are so often the victims of violent crime in popular fiction?
Yup – someone in a reading group came up with it. Too many mysteries and thrillers overuse “females in jeopardy.” So we started calling it Fem-Jeop. I suppose that’s too often what happens though – 😦