Customer Reviews: 11th Hour (The Women's Murder Club)
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on May 21, 2012
When you read a James Patterson book you know exactly what to expect, high power excitement that doesn't stop.

The SFPD has come upon many crimes as San Francisco is a huge city but it always seem like the strangest of crimes always fall into the lap of Sgt. Lindsey Boxer. Sgt. Boxer and her partner Rich Conklin are called to the Ellsworth compound, the property of actor Harry Chandler who was accused of killing his wife 10 years ago but was never convicted because they never found any solid evidence or no body for that fact. Now they are back here again with the report of two dead bodies. Is Harry up to his old tricks again and will they be able to catch him this time?

There has been a rash of murders against high level drug dealers in San Francisco and there are absolutely no clues as to who is doing this. It seems like there is a vigilante on the loose righting the wrongs that the drug dealers are causing but that can not happen in Sgt. Boxer's city. Lindsey calls her girls to kick around some idea with: Cindy, the reporter who is also the girlfriend of Lindsey's partner Rich. Suki, the ADA who is also the girlfriend of Lindsey's boss and Claire, the medical examiner who is also Lindsey's best friend and together they have dubbed themselves The Women's Murder Club. These professional ladies bounce ideas off of each other regarding difficult cases that they all happen to be involved with in one way or another, think outside of traditional problem solving methods and giving scenarios that traditional police work might not use.

James Patterson and Maxine Paetro are a awesome writing team. They have paired up on many of Patterson's titles and they never disappoint. I enjoy their work and I look forward to the next installment in this series because these women many more crimes to solve.
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VINE VOICEon May 18, 2012
The Women's Murder Club is back for its 11th adventure, in a novel cleverly named 11TH HOUR. I have to give Patterson and random coauthor credit for creating a series that I keep coming back to. I admit that I enjoy the writing style and the familiarity of the characters. However, the quality of these books can solely be judged on the plot. The 9th in the series had a great plot with a serial killer. The tenth tried to have three separate mysteries, and all three bombed. This book sticks with two stories and some of it is good, some bad.

The novel opens with Chaz Smith being gunned down in the bathroom stall at the school of his kid's music recital. Chaz Smith was a big time drug dealer. All evidence points to the killer being a cop since the murder weapon was taken from the police evidence locker. The killer calls himself "Revenge." Also, seven severed heads are dug up in the backyard of the Ellsworth compound, a historical home owned by the famous Harry Chandler. Chandler was tried but not convicted of murdering his wife ten years ago.

Lindsay Boxer, now married and pregnant, gets both cases. Cindy is trying to get the scoop about the heads at the mansion, and Claire is trying to identify the bodies. Yuki doesn't do much in this one. I always hate it when these novels have a bunch of plots going. It reads like a television series. This book seemed more like a novel, but in the end, it really was two unrelated plots that.

What I liked: I like the characters and the description of the police and their harried lifestyle seems spot on. Like I mentioned earlier, the characters are familiar and there is comfort in reading about old friends.

I liked this book until the very end. When I looked back on it, I realized it just didn't have much going for it. The two mysteries were thin, and the character conflict was contrived.

What I didn't like: I could cut and paste my complaints from several earlier reviews from this series. I don't like the two separate mysteries. Neither get the attention they deserve. I don't like the manufactured conflict between Lindsay and Joe. Patterson teases like it might have some bearing on the plot, but it really doesn't.
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on July 10, 2012
I have read and enjoyed all of the Women's Murder Club series via audio cd. This one is much shorter (only 4 cds compared to the usual 6-8) and is chopped up so much that it was difficult to follow. The quality was so bad at times that I considered just throwing it away. I had gotten to really enjoy this series but am considering not buying any future ones if they are of this bad quality in story content and shortness of length.
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on August 6, 2014
James Patterson and Maxine Paetro have struck again. Their novel, 11th Hour will hold your attention till the very end. Even then you may want to go further on, but alas, this book ends. Sgt. Lindsay Boxer and Insp. Rich Conklin are in the middle once again. Many drug dealers in San Francisco are being killed by an unknown killer? Boxer and Conklin are called to their lieutenants office for a conference about these murders. They all believe that these killings are revenge killings. Lt. Jackson Brady believes he has found the killer. He thinks it is Boxer's former partner and now Chief of Police, Warren Jacobi! However, Boxer and Conklin are also trying to solve the murder of seven others. Their skulls were found in the garden of movie actor Harry Chandler. Chandler was on trial several years back for the murder of his wife, Cecily. He was found not guilty. But where is the body? Where are the bodies of the skulls found in Harry's garden? Who buried them? These are only a few questions that need to be answered. If you truly like to read mysteries, then you'll find 11th Hour a great read. Among the investigations, Boxer has problems with her husband Joe. Has he been unfaithful to her? You want answers? You'll find them when you read this novel. Rated for mature readers. Sex and violence. DP. Castro Valley.
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on September 2, 2013
A few years ago I swore I would never read another James Patterson novel (co-authored or otherwise) and I've abided by that pledge ever since. The only reason I read this novel is because my father insisted that I needed to read it. "It may be the worst novel I've ever read" he told me, handing me a copy along with another novel that he advised was almost as bad and that I should read it too. I'm not entirely sure why my father wants me to read bad novels (surely he'd read something lately that he thought I might like) but I felt compelled to at least read this one. I'm not sure I will read the second offering he made - at least not for a while.

Could 11th Hour really be as bad as London Bridges? The only way to find out was to read it. Before I started the novel I quickly checked Amazon to see how readers were responding to 11th Hour and I was surprised to find that it had an average rating of 4.5 stars, which is excellent. Patterson fans are clearly embracing this one and it's not as though they haven't been critical of his novels in the past (at least 8 Patterson novels have ranked 2.5 stars or worse - indicating that even his most loyal fans sometimes feel burned).

My inevitable scathing review shouldn't come as a surprise, given my long standing refusal to read any more of his books. I don't think James even reads the novels he co-authors, let alone participates in writing them. For those that say Patterson used to be a good author before he became a franchise and created a stable of co-authors to churn out work under his name, I remind you of the aforementioned London Bridges. Patterson gave up trying years ago but he's making lots of money - so he has that. Clearly, he still has legions of fans though that enjoy the books he and his minions churn out .

It's a little like, if I were to criticize the popular TV courtroom drama Matlock as being silly and unrealistic and lamenting that it isn't nearly as good a show as The Wire. The reality is that a lot of people like Matlock. I'm not one of them, but people like different things. All I can do is share my opinion and people can decide for themselves how they want to interpret it. The reality is I didn't like Matlock, I don't like James Patterson, I don't like the Women's Murder Club and I obviously didn't like 11th Hour. If you are a loyal fan of JP, you'll probably like this book, and presumably consider it to be one of his better recent efforts (using the term effort in the lightest possible sense).

If for some reason you are considering reading this novel and you aren't already familiar with the James Patterson formula and you're wondering if this novel is for you, I offer the following:

1. Fans of the Women's Murder Club series want to know what is happening in the lives of these characters. It's like checking in with friends for many of them. The novel is therefore filled with a lot of inane details and melodramatic developments in the personal lives of these women. There are pregnancy emergencies and relationship crises and daily life drivel that are superficial and contrived. Maxine Paetro is former advertising executive who previously wrote a couple of romance novels that no one has ever heard of before hooking up with JP. She brings a romance novel vibe that is evident throughout 11th Hour. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just doesn't appeal to me.
2. The police in this novel are so incompetent it boggles the mind. Our hero Lindsay Boxer is especially useless as a cop. Somebody needs to tell her that she simply isn't cut out for this kind of work. The entire novel reads like crime fiction as written by a soccer mom. At one point Lindsay advises readers that they'd asked all the questions they could of a suspect and that she couldn't think of anything more to ask him. Now I'm not a cop, but there were plenty of pretty obvious questions that I could think of that they should have been asking.
3. This is another one of those novels where the cops are investigating two unrelated crimes. The novel itself is already wafer thin with short choppy chapters. Then when you consider all the pages that have been set aside to update fans on the latest relationship issues in the lives of the primary characters, the dual storylines make 11th Hour feel like episodic television, not a novel. The novel skips around between the two storylines and the personal life dramas of superficial characters, never really settling anywhere, never really taking hold or creating any suspense. The Revenge killer storyline held the most promise but it is never developed and what is developed is ridiculous. The storyline is resolved without any competent police work. The SFPD bumble and stumble about culminating in a shootout that I assume was intended to be suspenseful but isn't. The big shoot out merely adds to the previously mentioned melodrama when two secondary characters are wounded. The storyline about a pair of severed heads found in the courtyard garden of a rich actor's home is so preposterous it never had a hope of being salvaged.

I could go on, but suffice it to say, the novel (and there is no other word I can use here) is lame. The writing is pedestrian, the characters are superficial, and the story-lines are underdeveloped. The portrayal of the police department and the media are so unrealistic it's embarrassing. The resolution of the mystery of who buried the heads in the garden is as obvious as it is silly.

So, is it the worst novel I've ever read? I can't say that it is. I'm not even sure it's the worst James Patterson novel I've read (there have been so many stinkers). If you are a fan of the author I don't see any reason for you not to read this novel. It's getting positive reviews from most fans and since I'm not a fan, my views shouldn't affect your decision making. (It would be like someone who hates rap music giving a negative review to a popular rap album.) Obviously a lot of people like this novel. Some people like Matlock. Some people like The Wire. There probably aren't a lot of people who like both. To each his own. If you are not a dedicated fan of JP, my best advice is to read something else. Anything else (as long as it isn't another book by James Patterson - oh, and I'd stay away from Stuart Woods as well. That guy's novel's have taken a real nosedive).
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on March 6, 2012
If you love the Women's Murder Club you will love this book. Two great story lines woven in with Lindsay and Joes' marriage, Yuki, Cindy and Claire and of course Marino. Trouble is once you start you can't put it down!!
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on December 4, 2012
Have read a few of James Patterson's novels and have generally liked them, so I figured with 25% off at the super market, I couldn't miss. How wrong I was. It seems obvious this one was written all by Ms. Paetro. I can't recall a novel (I figure I have read over 100 of 'em) where the narative and dialog were so weak and unrealistic. I quit when heroine gets out of bed, leaves her sleeping husband and then sees a picture online of her husband in DC escorting a good lopoking babe at a public function. A few minutes later that babe calls on his cell, so the heroine answers and askes "Are you having an affair with my husband?" without first asking her husband what is going on or digging a little deeper. How lame.
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on November 4, 2015
Another great James Patterson Women's Murder Club book, a tad more intense then some of the others with this one having two plotlines and one of which was more graphic then the normal series of books. But it didn't distract from the telling of the story, I read the book over the course of 4 days reading about 100 pages a day and the book is almost 400 pages. As for the book itself I do not give away detials of the plotlines because then will spoil it for those who haven't read the book yet. I have been a fan of Mr. Patterson Murder Cub books since the very first book and I intend on buying the whole set book by book. I currently own book 1 threw 13 but just finish book 11. So if your looking for a great intense cop drama who done what to who type of crimes while main characters try to figure out all the clues piece by piece as more and more damage happens in their city then pick up this book and be prepare to be amazed at another top notch Women's Murder Club book by James Patterson.
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on May 12, 2014
The first couple of books of the series were gripping, interesting, and actually thought provoking. The last few books however, not so much. I dislike Lindsay Boxer so much that it's hard to finish a book now. In 11th Hour in particular I couldn't stand Lindsay. It's like she got pregnant and not only lost some key detective skills but also all faith in her husband. I found that aspect of the book particularly annoying given all Joe has done to accommodate Lindsay just to receive not even half as much respect or regard.
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on December 24, 2015
A favorite story line from James Patterson, but this one is perhaps not up to the level of the previous Women's Murder Club books. Two separate crimes being presented and solved at the same time, personal issues with several of the women primary characters and upheaval in the police department, all together a bit jumbled and disjointed. Many issues are brushed over too quickly where more development would have benefited the end result.

The writing, as usual, for James Patterson is good with virtually no-fault editing. It is just that the story does not reach expectations. Still a good read for fans, but not great.
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