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4th of July (Women's Murder Club, No 4) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 4,947 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 375 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

4th of July

By James Patterson

Warner Vision

Copyright © 2006 James Patterson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446613361

Chapter One

IT WAS JUST BEFORE 4:00 a.m. on a weekday. My mind was racing even before Jacobi nosed our car up in front of the Lorenzo, a grungy rent-by-the-hour "tourist hotel" on a block in San Francisco's Tenderloin District that's so forbidding even the sun won't cross the street.

Three black-and-whites were at the curb, and Conklin, the first officer at the scene, was taping off the area. So was another officer, Les Arou.

"What have we got?" I asked Conklin and Arou.

"White male, Lieutenant. Late teens, bug-eyed and done to a turn," Conklin told me. "Room twenty-one. No signs of forced entry. Vic's in the bathtub, just like the last one."

The stink of piss and vomit washed over us as Jacobi and I entered the hotel. No bellhops in this place. No elevators or room service, either. Night people faded back into the shadows, except for one gray-skinned young prostitute who pulled Jacobi aside.

"Give me twenty dollars," I heard her say. "I got a license plate."

Jacobi peeled off a ten in exchange for a slip of paper, then turned to the desk clerk and asked him about the victim: Did he have a roommate, a credit card, a habit?

I stepped around a junkie in the stairwell and climbed to the second floor. The door to room 21 was open, and a rookie was standing guard at the doorway.

"Evening, Lieutenant Boxer."

"It's morning, Keresty."

"Yes, ma'am," he said, logging me in, turning his clipboard to collect my signature.

It was darker inside the twelve-by-twelve-foot room than it was in the hallway. The fuse had blown, and thin curtains hung like wraiths in front of the streetlit windows. I was working the puzzle, trying to figure out what was evidence, what was not, trying not to step on anything. There was too damned much of everything and too little light.

I flicked my flashlight beam over the crack vials on the floor, the mattress stained with old blood, the rank piles of garbage and clothing everywhere. There was a kitchenette of sorts in the corner, the hot plate still warm, drug paraphernalia in the sink.

The air in the bathroom was thick, almost soupy. I swept my light along the extension cord that snaked from the socket by the sink, past the clogged toilet bowl to the bathtub.

My guts clenched as I caught the dead boy in my beam. He was naked, a skinny blond with a hairless chest, half sitting up in the tub, eyes bulging, foam at his lips and nostrils. The electric cord ended at an old-fashioned two-slice toaster that glinted up through the bathwater.

"Shit," I said as Jacobi entered the bathroom. "Here we go again."

"He's toast, all right," said Jacobi.

As commanding officer of the Homicide detail, I wasn't supposed to do hands-on detective work anymore. But at times like this, I just couldn't stay away.

Another kid had been electrocuted, but why? Was he a random victim of violence or was it personal? In my mind's eye, I saw the boy flailing in pain as the juice shot through him and shut his heart down.

The standing water on the cracked tile floor was creeping up the legs of my trousers. I lifted a foot and toed the bathroom door closed, knowing full well what I was going to see. The door whined with the nasal squeal of hinges that had probably never been oiled.

Two words were spray-painted on the door. For the second time in a couple of weeks, I wondered what the hell they meant.

"NOBODY CARES."



Continues...
Excerpted from 4th of Julyby James Patterson Copyright © 2006 by James Patterson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Warner Vision Books (June 1, 2006)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0446613363
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0446613361
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.3 x 1.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 4,947 ratings

About the author

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JAMES PATTERSON is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. His books have sold in excess of 375 million copies worldwide. He is the author of some of the most popular series of the past two decades – the Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, Detective Michael Bennett and Private novels – and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers.

James is passionate about encouraging children to read. Inspired by his own son who was a reluctant reader, he also writes a range of books for young readers including the Middle School, I Funny, Treasure Hunters, Dog Diaries and Max Einstein series. James has donated millions in grants to independent bookshops and has been the most borrowed author of adult fiction in UK libraries for the past eleven years in a row. He lives in Florida with his wife and son.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
4,947 global ratings

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