2nd Chance: The Women's Murder Club, book 2

2nd Chance: The Women’s Murder Club, book 2




A few months after the events of ‘1st to Die’, Lindsay Boxer is ready to get back in the game.


This presentation features an exclusive special introduction by James Patterson.
Master of suspense James Patterson continues the Women’s Murder Club series with this sequel to 1st to Die.
The sensational killings that have rocked San Francisco appear to be unrelated except in their brutality. But detective Lindsay Boxer senses there’s some thread connecting them all. She calls her friends in the Women’s Murder Club together to see if they can discover what it is.
Working with Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas, Assistant District Attorney Jill Bernhardt, and medical examiner Claire Washburn, Lindsay discovers that there is indeed a link. Each of the victims had a close relative in a particular profession, a profession that sends a chill through Lindsay’s heart.
The partners in the Women’s Murder Club deduce where the killer is likely to strike next and bait a trap that can’t be resisted. But if their calculation is wrong, the consequences will be lethal. And there will be no second chance.
©2002 James Patterson, All Rights Reserved; (P)2002 Time Warner AudioBooks, a Division of the AOL


It is just a few months since the events of ‘1st to Die’. Lindsay Boxer has been on administrative leave, but comes back to the San Francisco homicide unit with a promotion to Lieutenant, and is now the head of the squad. Even though this is a desk job, that doesn’t stop Lindsay from going out into the field.
When a little girl is gunned down at a local church, the community is in shock because the killing seems to be racially motivated. When Lindsay discovers that it may be connected to a slaying in Oakland, the possibility becomes even larger.
But when the San Francisco Chief of Police is gunned down outside of his home, it becomes clear that race is not the only factor that these killings have in common. The killer’s victims are all connected to police in some form.
In the Women’s Murder club, a lot is going on. Cindy Thomas starts to date the reverend of the church where the first shooting took place. It appears that Assistant District Attorney Jill Bernhard is going to be a mother soon, and Claire’s life is interrupted when she becomes a target of the killer. Yet, it is Lindsay who has the most to occupy her thoughts.
She is still trying to cope with the loss of her former partner and lover Chris during the slayings of the wedding couples in the first novel. She must also deal with the sudden reappearance of her father in her life after being absent for several decades. Why is her dad back? To reconnect with his daughter or might it be related to the targeting of police personnel?
The plot is pretty standard Patterson. If I may paraphrase the great Rowdy Roddy Piper, just when you think you have all the answers, Patterson changes the questions. The antagonist causes a lot of mayhem and the good guys think they have it all figured out, but then things turn in a new direction, putting them back on their heels. When it comes to the Patterson formula, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” seems to be an appropriate turn of phrase.


This is the first book in the series in which James Patterson has a co-author, and Andrew Gross is along for the ride for the next two. In terms of structure, it follows the same blueprint set by the first in the series, with one main plot line and a few other side stories involving the personal lives of the Women’s Murder Club members to fill in the gaps.
The nice thing about this structure is that it allows for a little better character development. Moments away from the main plot where personality shines through or background information is revealed are easier to keep track of when there’s only one story taking place instead of two or three, which would become the norm in future installments of the series.


Out of the two narrators, I enjoyed Jeremy Piven’s performance a little bit more than I did Melissa Leo’s. Piven has a great voice for the brooding, angry and menacing characters that he is playing in this book. I was somewhat surprised to discover this was the only audiobook he has narrated.
As for Melissa Leo’s performance, there is nothing wrong with it in terms of her acting. The fact is that I thought Suzanne Toren managed to hit all the right vocal notes and give the right voices to the main characters in ‘1st to Die’. In Leo’s case, there isn’t much difference when She’s speaking for Lindsay, Claire or the others.


There is some ominous music to open and conclude the book that manages to strike the right tone. The audio chapter stop placement is a bit disjointed, however. Skipping ahead one spot on the track might take you to the next chapter, might skip you ahead two chapters, or might land you in the middle of a chapter.
Unfortunately, there were some serious glitches on this track. There were several points where the audio played as though it were a CD that skipped, and another time where the audio went out for a few seconds. I submitted no less than 3 glitch reports to Audible on this book alone. If these mistakes are fixed however, it will sound pretty great.


Structure wise, ‘2nd Chance’ has a lot in common with the first installment in the Women’s Murder Club series. So if you liked ‘1st to Die’, then the chances of you enjoying this one are pretty high.
As for me, my overall grade is reflecting the fact that I thought the narration was a little weaker this time around, though I do always like when male and female narrators are paired up. However, most of the downgrade in score comes from the fact that the audio track itself was plagued with issues that ended up distracting from my enjoyment. This obviously isn’t an issue if you read the print version, but when grading an audiobook, audio quality matters.


Title Author Narrator Publisher Genre Release Date Running Time Score
2nd Chance: Women’s Murder Club, Book 2 James Patterson, Andrew Gross Melissa Leo, Jeremy Piven Hachette Audio Mystery & Thriller 03/01/2002 8 hours, 40 minutes 6.25/10


A copy of ‘2ND CHANCE: WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB, BOOK 2’ was purchased from Audible for review.