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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From the start, Patterson's Women's Murder Club series (1st to Die; Second Chance) has felt like high-concept TV with a smart edge, featuring an appealing and reliable cast of four female crime busters (a cop, a prosecutor, a medical examiner, a reporter) who race along byzantine plot lines humming with blood and sex, romance and heartbreak. But Patterson is an author who will detonate readers' presumptions for the sake of story, and in the series' third installment, the prolific author, working with frequent collaborator Gross (The Jester, etc.), defies expectations in a shocking way. Readers will love him for it. San Francisco Homicide lieutenant Lindsay Boxer, who narrates most of the action, is jogging with assistant DA Jill Barnhardt when Lindsay notices two things: first, bruises on Jill's shoulder; then the explosion of a nearby townhouse, into which Lindsay rushes to save a child. With the juxtaposition of these two plotlines, Patterson jumpstarts this enjoyably convoluted tale. The townhouse, home to a greedy CEO and his family, was destroyed by members of a terrorist group calling itself "August Spies"; Lindsay's chase after the group, which commits further killings, brings her into close proximity to what promises to be a new series regular, Joe Molinari, deputy director of the Office of Homeland Security. Love blooms for Lindsay but, meanwhile, love has curdled at Jill's house, where Jill's husband is abusing her. Then comes the big surprise, and the story's remainder plays out at high emotion and warp speed. There's a calculated feel to all that happens, but clever manipulation of an audience serves Patterson as well as it served Hitchcock: his fans will only clamor for more.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'Patterson knows where our deepest fears are buried... There's no stopping his imagination.' New York Times Book Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Women's Murder Club
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company; Unabridged edition (May 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594839522
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594839528
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (544 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It is no surprise that in January, 2010, The New York Times Magazine featured James Patterson on its cover and hailed him as having "transformed book publishing," and that Time magazine hailed him as "The Man Who Can't Miss." Recently, NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams profiled Patterson's prolific career, AARP named him one of the "50 Most Influential People Who Make Our Days a Little Brighter," and Variety featured him in a cover story highlighting his adventures in Hollywood.

In 2013, it was estimated that one-in-five of all hardcover suspense/thriller novels sold was written by James Patterson, his books have sold over 300 million copies worldwide, and he holds the Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. And his success isn't based solely on thrillers like the perennially popular Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Michael Bennett series. Patterson is now also the current bestselling author in the young adult and middle grade categories.

He's been called the busiest man in publishing, and that's not just because of his own books. For the past decade, James has been devoting more and more of his time to championing books and reading. From the James Patterson Pageturner Awards, to his website ReadKiddoRead.com, to his College Book Bucks scholarships and his regular donations of hundreds of thousands of books to schools here in the states and troops overseas (see interviews on Fox & Friends, The Dennis Miller Radio Show and CNN.com), Patterson has passed on his passion of books and reading and supported those who do the same. Jim personally funded a major ad campaign re-printing a recent opinion piece on CNN.com about how it is our responsibility to get our kids reading. The ad has run in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and USA Today. Those ads are a call to action to parents to make their kids reading a top priority; and were featured by USA Today here. Patterson believes that we cannot rely on schools, teachers or the government to get our kids reading; only parents can make this crucial change in the reading habits of our kids. Here are links to some interviews on his first-ever dual lay down (two books, one for parents and one for kids, in one day): AOL's You've Got, NBC's "Today Show" with Hoda and Kathie Lee, USA Today and Family Circle, NBC's "Today Show" with Al Roker, as well as an interview with AARP.

Customer Reviews

Once I start reading I can't put the book down.
Kindle Customer
As with all good detective stories these books keep you guessing right to the end!
Andrea K.
They each have such good story lines plus the characters all all so interesting.
Kindle Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Bull on April 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Back from "1st To Die" and "2nd Chance", the Women's Murder Club finds terror in unexpected places in this third outing. Starring San Francisco PD Homicide Lt. Lindsay Boxer, friends newspaper reporter Cindy, Medical Examiner Claire, and Asst. District Attorney Jill have somewhat larger roles than the light supporting cast they portrayed in the two earlier books. We're also glad to see the adolescent dialogue from the last pairing of Gross and Patterson was replaced by much more meaningful interactions between the foursome. (We might quibble that it's an unlikely group from the viewpoint of a three-way conflict of interest: cop, DA, and reporter). Keeping in touch with modern times, involvement by Homeland Security personnel and a plot that featured seemingly random acts of terror gave the novel an up-to-date tone. And two subplots, involving spousal abuse of Jill, and a love interest between Boxer and Molinari, the Homeland guy, added to the torrid pace of the main and complex mystery for which Patterson is well known.
When a home is bombed and then a death by deadly chemical is followed by another bombing at a mall, it's clear that some group is out for revenge. We get to meet a few of the bad guy players from some first person dialogue of their own, but their identities are not all revealed until the somewhat surprising ending. The usual short chapters (111 in like 340 pages), plus a lot of blank pages from five Parts, make the book little more than a two hour blitz. But the shock comes from a direct attack on one of the club members, nothing new to the other novels in the set.
This series may not be quite as hard core as Patterson's more movie-oriented thrillers, but the generally likable heroine and her friends, along with a suspenseful storyline, is quite good enough for an enjoyable read. You might want to save it for the beach!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. Schwartz on October 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This third book in the Women's Murder Club series, is, I think, not as good as the first two. I found it hard to get personally involved in Lindsey's fight to find terrorists. Not only that, it was almost unbelievable in parts (and so senselessly graphic). How can one woman in the Police force almost singlehandedly solve a huge case like this? I kept wondering where the rest of the police force was. That's what I mean by stretching it. It also wasn't easy to know before reading the book that one of the women in the club was going to be killed. During the first part of the book, I kept wondering who it would be and didn't concentrate on the plot the way I should. Personally I think reviewers and book jacket writers expose too much of the actual story, and it's almost a good idea not to read these before reading the book (especially with a thriller like this one). I don't know - after how much I loved the first two in the series, I found this one sadly disappointing. I doubt whether I'll bother with others in this series.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Shashank Tripathi on April 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Apart from the break-neck pace, I love the way Patterson squeezes in contemporary facts and events in his thrillers.
This latest in the Women's Murder Club series is every bit as nailbiting as the first two, but with a slight twist: this time, the solution to a grisly string of bombings cannot come without the expense of having to lose someone very close to our amateur detectives.
Riveting plot twists. Bullet paced turn of events. This novel packs in just about everything you would expect from a wholesome crime thriller. If you've read the first 2 in the series, you'd probably be even better off as you could relate more easily to the fears and idiosyncrasies of our intriguing protagonists.
So feed the cat, turn on the air conditioning and slip into bed with this very, very satisfying nailbiter.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Jewell on March 30, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book reads nothing like the earlier two in the "Woman's Murder Club" series. Calling it trite fluff is kind. I realize Mr. Patterson is a multi-millionaire, but allowing such dribble to be put out with his name on it is a quick way to lose his audience and his income. I pay for a novel by a particular, proven author and I expect it to be of the caliber of the past works of that author. Shame on you Mr. Patterson.
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Format: Hardcover
For me, crime fiction has to have enough ring of truth that I can imagine the circumstances really happening. Otherwise, the book is simply a fantasy, and my pleasure depends on the symbolism, metaphors and issues explored. 3rd Degree didn't work well for me from either perspective.

If you have read and enjoyed 1st to Die and 2nd Chance, you should read this book because there are important developments for the four women in the Women's Murder Club. Otherwise, if you pick up the fourth book in the series when it comes out, you will find yourself a little lost.

The book opens with a bang when Homicide Detective Lindsay Boxer observes a home explode during her jog. There are more explosive events ahead as the book chronicles Lindsay's efforts (abetted by her women friends) to locate the terrorists behind a series of attacks on those who have gained at the expense of others and have upheld law and order. Because of the magnitude of the events, the whole antiterrorist forces of the United States become involved. Lindsay finds herself being attracted to one of them. At the same time, there's trouble in Jill's marriage.

The problems with the book come from the story's development of the terrorist theme. The terrorists just don't seem like real people. They are like cardboard drawings that haven't even been cut out of the cardboard so that they can stand two-dimensionally on their own. The way they work together and their motivations didn't ring true with me either.

Mr. Patterson and Mr. Gross also didn't seem to develop the four female characters more than the minimum to build the story and draw your interest in reading a fourth book in the series. These four women could have made for wonderful characters if the authors weren't so plot and action obsessed.

After you finish this book, think about whether your time is spent on the right priorities.
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