4th of July: Women's Murder Club, book 4

4th of July: The Women’s Book Club, book 4

‘4TH OF JULY: WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB, BOOK 4’


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OPENING LINE:

The Women’s Murder Club is going through some changes. The question is whether or not these changes are for the better.


PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY:

After losing one of its own, Lindsay Boxer and the Women’s Murder Club make a courageous return for their fourth and most chilling case ever, one that could easily be their last. A young girl is killed in crossfire after a routine arrest goes terribly wrong, and Lt. Lindsay Boxer has to defend herself against a charge of police brutality. In a landmark trial that transfixes the nation, Lindsay fights to save her career and her sanity.
While awaiting trial, Lindsay escapes to the beautiful town of Half Moon Bay, but the peaceful community there is reeling from a string of unspeakable murders. Working with her friends in the Women’s Murder Club, Lindsay finds a link between these killings and a case she worked on years before: an unsolved murder that has haunted her ever since. As summer comes into full swing, Lindsay battles for her life on two fronts: before a judge and jury as her trial comes to a climax; and facing unknown adversaries who will do anything to keep her from the truth about the killings, including killing again. It all comes to a head before the big annual 4th of July celebration on the waterfront at Half Moon Bay. Patterson fine-tunes the tension like never before in this heart-racing new novel in the best-selling detective series to debut in years.
©2005 James Patterson. All Rights Reserved.; (P)2005 Time Warner AudioBooks. All Rights Reserved.


THE PLOT:

Lindsay Boxer and her friends in the Women’s Murder Club are still mourning the loss of one of their own in the previous novel. When Boxer leaves the other women to follow a lead in an ongoing investigation, she gets more than she bargained for. A routine arrest goes bad, leaving a teenage girl dead and her brother paralyzed for life. Lindsay is charged with police brutality as a result, with her blood alcohol level over the legal limit.
When Lindsay is put on leave, she goes to her sister’s place in Half Moon Bay to relax. Yet work seems to find her there as well, as the town is seeing a string of murders of it’s own. Lindsay just can’t help but get herself involved in the case.
Along the way, we are introduced to some genuinely nice people in Half Moon Bay and a few that are real creeps as well. Lindsay must act to help solve these murders while at the same time mounting her own defense against the charges of police brutality.
‘4th of July’ features two major changes. The first is the debut of Yuki Castellano who serves as Lindsay’s personal attorney in her police brutality case. Yuki is a very confident and capable lawyer, and by novel’s end becomes a confidant of Lindsay and the other members of the Women’s Murder Club.
The other change is more of a structural change. There are really two main plots in this novel – The police brutality charges against Lindsay and the murders in Half Moon Bay. I consider this an improvement over the previous installments because it ensures that everyone has something to do and that nobody is there just because we expect to see them.
I thought that of the two plots, the police brutality one was actually the stronger one. The Half Moon Bay plot did bring some interesting characters into the story, and featured a nice red herring, but the other plot was more intense and dramatic. Still, the murder plot had its moments at the end, which made for a nice payoff.


THE AUTHOR:

I think that a lot of the change in plot structure can be attributed to co-author Maxine Paetro. Indeed, the structure here is similar to that used in ‘Private’ which was also co-written with Paetro. The difference is that this really just centers on two major plots, whereas Private’ had a few more.
I think this structure works better for the ‘Women’s Murder Club’ because it gave the reader a chance to see Yuki in action during a trial situation, and that is something we never really got from Jill. The singular plots from the previous novels weren’t bad stories, but they often were problematic because it felt like there were characters that didn’t have anything to do in the story. This was less of an issue here.


THE NARRATION:

I thought that Carolyn McCormick really started to find the voice of each character in this novel. The four main members of the women’s murder club are more vocally defined than they were in McCormick’s previous turn in 3rd Degree.


THE PRODUCTION:

I won’t repeat myself too much. This is pretty much the kind of track you’d expect if you’ve been listening to this series for awhile now or have been keeping up with my previous reviews. There are a few musical cues and sound effects here and there as well as audio chapter stops that take you about 20 chapters forward in the book. Otherwise, it sounds fine, and there are no noticeable hiccups or other glitches on the track.


FINAL THOUGHTS:

I thought this was a big step up in a lot of ways from the previous installment in the Women’s Murder Club series. I thought the dual plot structure worked to give some of the other characters besides Lindsay an opportunity to develop. Yuki Castellano is a welcome newcomer, and was already given more of a role than Jill Bernard had in the previous three novels combined.


QUICK FACTS:

Title Author Narrator Publisher Genre Release Date Running Time Score
4th of July: Women’s Murder Club, Book 4 James Patterson, Maxine Paetro Carolyn McCormick Hachette Audio Mystery & Thriller 07/20/2005 7 hours, 41 minutes 8/10

DISCLAIMER:

A copy of ‘4TH OF JULY: WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB, BOOK 4’ was purchased from Audible for review.


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