The 6th Target: The Women's Murder Club, book 6

The 6th Target: The Women’s Murder Club, book 6

‘THE 6TH TARGET: WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB, BOOK 6’


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OPENING LINE:

This book may have also been called the 6 storylines.


PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY:

When an attack leaves one of the members of the Women’s Murder Club struggling for her life, the others fight to keep a madman behind bars before he hurts anyone else. And Lindsay Boxer and her new partner in the San Francisco police department try to stop a series of kidnappings: children and their nannies are being plucked off the streets.
Amid uncertainty, Lindsay juggles the possibility of love, an unsolvable investigation, and the possibility that a member of the club could die. When everything appears to be under control, the case takes a turn, and puts the city in danger. Lindsay must make a choice with no certainty that either outcome has more than a prayer of success.
©2007 James Patterson; (P)2007 Hachette Audio


THE PLOT:

It would be unfair to suggest that there is a lot going on in ‘The 6th Target’. This is because the words “a lot” might not be an accurate enough description of all that is happening.
The book gets off to a hot start when a shooter opens fire on a boat and injures Claire while leaving several other passengers dead. The incident is captured on video, but Lindsay is more than a little surprised when the shooter voluntarily turns himself in.
Meanwhile, a child and her nanny are abducted from a local park. The nanny’s dead body turns up later, and the investigation points to a series of crimes throughout the United States and Canada that all have a similar MO.
Furthermore, a series of mysterious happenings are taking place at the new apartment building of Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas. Pets are found dead, and when people residing in the building turn up dead, it has the whole building on high alert.
If that weren’t enough, Lindsay Boxer is forced to confront the reality of her relationship with Joe Molinari. She grows tired of his constant showing up and then having to leave again. Finally, it leads her to break up with him, but will it last?
Meanwhile, Lindsay was granted her wish from ‘The 5th Horseman’ to receive a demotion in rank back to Sergeant, and is paired with a new partner. Sparks fly between the two, and they nearly end up spending the night together in Los Angeles while investigating a lead in the kidnapping case.
The bottom line is that there is no shortage of things that could potentially grab a reader’s attention. I get the feeling that Claire Washburn getting shot was done in part so that they wouldn’t have to find something else for her to do.
If you factor in Lindsay’s investigation of the kidnappings, Yuki’s trial of the gunman, the developments at Cindy’s apartment building and Lindsay’s personal trials, finding a plot for Claire may have actually caused the book to throw up from an abundance of story.
The storyline would have been tighter if it had been just the kidnapping, the shooting and Lindsay’s break-up with Joe. The Cindy subplot could have been left out. The idea itself was actually a good one, but it was overshadowed by everything else that was going on at the same time.
The structure of a couple big things happening at once is still the right way to handle this series, considering the different roles of the women. However, in this case, I believe that the authors got a little too ambitious, and tried to cram too much into one story.


THE AUTHOR:

Patterson and Paetro use the same formula that worked so well for them in the previous two installments, yet it appears that for ‘The 6th Target,’ they tried to double the formula. This approach works if you’re one of those people that needs to have a lot going on, and if you like the idea that if one storyline doesn’t interest, you another will be along shortly.
Still, the fact is that the more storylines you add, the less important you make all of them feel. It is kind of like Patterson and Paetro decided to see if they could pack in as many storylines into the book as the number in the series they are writing. I don’t know if they quite made it to 6 storylines, but they gave it a good try.


THE NARRATION:

I have found Carolyn McCormick’s performances in the series to be mixed, at least when it comes to the main characters. However, there is one thing that she does really well from book to book – She gives interesting voices to some of the supporting characters, and book is no different. Her portrayal of Fred, one of the main antagonists, is a nice mix of childlike and insane. Often, I think McCormick’s handling of the antagonists is far better than her handling of the core group of characters in the series.


THE PRODUCTION:

Another typical release in the Women’s Murder Club series. There are audio chapter stops every twenty or so chapters and a few sound effects sprinkled in here and there when something is meant to be important. In this instance, they use the same piece of music to introduce each chapter in the book, and that was just fine by me because I thought it was a nice piece of music, a bit ominous and heart-pounding.


FINAL THOUGHTS:

This is a definite step down from ‘The 5th Horseman’. There are just too many subplots in this novel. The subplot at Cindy’s apartment complex served as a reason for having her around this book. If you take that out, it doesn’t really change the story much, and the other storylines would have felt more important.
The 6th Target reminds me of the first book in the ‘Private’ series. It isn’t bad if you like a lot of variety in your stories and the ability to jump back and forth from case to case, but it doesn’t quite work if you want to believe everything that’s happening is very important.


QUICK FACTS:

Title Author Narrator Publisher Genre Release Date Running Time Score
The 6th Target: Women’s Murder Club, Book 6 James Patterson, Maxine Paetro Carolyn McCormick Hachette Audio Mystery & Thriller 04/23/2007 8 hours, 13 minutes 6/10

DISCLAIMER:

A copy of ‘THE 6TH TARGET: WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB, BOOK 6’ was purchased from Audible for review.


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