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1st to Die by James Patterson
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5,424129801 (3.63)93
Title:1st to Die
Authors:James Patterson
Info:Little Brown and Company, Unknown Binding
Collections:Your library

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1st to Die by James Patterson (2001)


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Read 09-21-2015, one tape damaged had to clear player ,it took a couple of months.
  trexm5qp7 | Sep 22, 2015 |
A well plotted who done it. Kept me turning pages. ( )
  lewilliams | Sep 20, 2015 |
I had hopes for this book. I thought the idea sounded right up my alley. It had a lot of potential. Four powerful women in traditionally male professions-- a detective, a medical examiner, a reporter, and a prosecutor-- forming a friendship/support group/crime solving network in San Francisco. Four female protagonists! Be still my heart!

In practice, this was an awfully weak example of writing. I initially wondered if it was just that James Patterson didn't write female characters very well, but he had a female coauthor for this one, so there shouldn't have been any excuse for it. Plus, it's not like he's never written female characters before. He has. Plenty.

This book opens with the main character about to commit suicide, and then backtracks to lead you to that point-- a point which is never actually addressed. It's literally just glossed over briefly as a side-note at the very end of the book. After that flash-forward scene, she gets a diagnosis for a fatal blood disease, which she went to the doctor for because she'd been feeling extremely weak and exhausted every day by afternoon. That could have been really interesting, if they had ever mentioned it anywhere else in the book ever. But no, not once in the course of solving the case does she ever feel tired or weak at any time. It would have been so easy to slip in! She spends lots of time working on this case, at all hours, missing sleep, running herself down. She should have been exhausted! It would have been so easy to mention! But they didn't do it. They would occasionally reference the illness, but always as some abstract, incidental thing. Occasionally she would fear for her own mortality, but she never seemed to suffer from any real symptoms except for a single, very brief incident at the very end.

Also, there was some seriously phoned in character development in this book. The characters would just say things like "I don't trust men because of my failed marriage" or "I always have to win because my parents never thought I was good enough." Those are the kinds of things you might write on a character's bio outline, but in the actual book, you have to expand on them and show them, not just say them once and call it a day. Even if someone is self-aware enough to recognize that they have a problem and is self-reflective enough to find the roots of that problem, it's not something you just say, definitively, to whoever. That's not how people talk or act, James Patterson!

Also-- and this is a weird, minor point-- they're in the city of San Francisco in the modern day, and all of the dozens of main and side characters are straight? Maybe it's silly, but that kind of bothered me as I was reading. I kept waiting for some guy to say "my ex-boyfriend" or some woman to say "my wife" or whatever. Just a casual mention. Or even-- gasp-- one of the four main characters! Again, it just would have been so easy to do. Visibility in a mainstream book like that would be a great thing. But they didn't do it. Fine. Whatever. It's not my book.

Another minor nitpick: the chapters were stupidly short. The print version of the book probably has more between-chapter blank space than it does actual text. I like short chapters in mysteries, but there's a point where it gets ridiculous.

Have I mentioned the plot yet? Do I need to? Does it matter? The plot was generally fine. I do wonder if it was written in unconnected chunks, though, because parts of it didn't seem to line up very well. Knowing James Patterson, I tried to call the twist from pretty early on, and I did end up guessing right. But there wasn't really any foreshadowing or buildup or motive of any kind that would have suggested who it was. I was just going off of what would be a typical James Patterson twist-- a side character who was mostly nonthreatening, but related enough to the case to be an outside possibility. Although I do seriously doubt that a woman described like her could have disguised herself to be indistinguishable from a man described like him. Honestly, now.

I was surprised at who the "first to die" was, I'll at least give them that. I even kind of liked it. It's not the person I would have expected. It's not the kind of person who usually dies in these stories. So there's one point to you, James Patterson. Don't let it go to your head.

You know, I've got a lot of complaints here, but I do have to give it this much credit: I did finish the book. After the second disc ended (I was listening to the audiobook), I briefly considered just giving up on it. But in the end, I wanted to see where it went. Granted, it went nowhere, basically. I had been hoping it would get better as it went, and that the friendship between the women would play more of a role. I thought Lindsay's ties to Cindy and Claire both had a lot of potential. (Jill wasn't really in the book enough to do much, but maybe she is in the sequels.) I just wanted to see more of them interacting. You know, like the series name implies.

This review is now embarrassingly long. I guess I was just disappointed. I hate unfulfilled potential. And I've read at least two other James Patterson books that were actually pretty good. They at least had better character development and writing than this. I guess I wish that this series had been written by a different (better) writer, if that makes sense. Oh well. You can't always get what you want. ( )
  Stheno | Jul 23, 2015 |
really enjoyed this book. hard to put down. i hope the rest of the series is as good. ( )
  jodiesohl | Jul 9, 2015 |
Imagine living in San Francisco knowing someone walks around killing newlyweds. 4 women share the same desire, to kill this man. Lindsay BBoxer; who is a homicide detective for the San Francisco Police Department, Claire Washburn; who is a crime desk reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle , Jill Bernhardt; who is the Chief Medical Examiner for San Francisco, and Cindy Tomas; a reporter who just started working the crime desk of the San Francisco Chronicle, all want to kill this man to put people out of their misery. Although they all work in places that have to do with solving murder mysteries they are not getting any closer to solving the towns problems. The theme of this book would probably be people tend to do things that they should not do. I would recommend this book to people who like to read murder mysteries. ( )
  Anya9914 | Mar 19, 2015 |
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It is an unusually warm night in July. but I'm shivering badly as I stand on the substantial gray stone terrace outside my apartment.
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Book description
You're about to begin James Patterson's most exciting thriller yet. In San Francisco newlyweds are being stalked--and slaughtered. Enter four unforgettable women, all friends...Lindsay, a homicide inspector in the city's police department...Claire, a medical examiner...Jill, an assistant D.A....and Cindy, a reporter who has just started working the crime desk of the San Francisco Chronicle. Joining forces, pooling their talents, courage, and brains, they have one goal. To find, trap, and outwit the most diabolical and terrifying killer ever imagined.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446696617, Paperback)

The Women's Murder Club pits four San Francisco women professionals against a serial killer who's stalking and murdering newlyweds in bestselling author James Patterson's newest thriller. Lindsay Boxer is a homicide inspector who's just gotten some very bad news. She deals with it by immersing herself in her newest case and soliciting the personal as well as professional support of her closest friend, who happens to be the city's medical examiner. The two women, along with an ambitious and sympathetic reporter and an assistant DA, form an unlikely alliance, pooling their information and bypassing the chain of command in an engaging, suspenseful story whose gruesome setup is vintage Patterson.

"What is the worst thing anyone has ever done?" the killer muses to himself early in the narrative. "Am I capable of doing it? Do I have what it takes?" Answering his own question, he embarks on a murderous spree that takes him from the bridal suite in a Nob Hill hotel to a honeymoon destination in the Napa Valley and thence to a wedding reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Dispatching his victims on the happiest day of their lives, he purposefully leaves enough clues for his distaff trackers to discover his identity and put him behind bars. But just when the women think they've got the case all wrapped up, the killer turns the tables on them in a bloody denouement that even the most discerning reader won't see coming. Patterson, author of the popular Alex Cross mysteries, promises future adventures for the Women's Murder Club, which may give him an opportunity to develop his heroines' characters more completely and win new fans among those who prefer their detectives in high heels and lipstick. --Jane Adams

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:50 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Patterson debuts his new series that introduces the Women's Murder Club. A demented killer stalks and murders newlyweds in San Francisco. Four women--a police detective, an assistant D.A., a reporter, and a medical examiner--join forces as they sidestep their bosses to track down a criminal whose twisted imagination stuns and entire city.… (more)

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