4 stars out of 5
They're baaaaack: Lindsay, Claire, Cindy and Yuki all get fairly substantial roles in this, the latest installment of the Women's Murder Club adventures. There's plenty of murder and mayhem - some of which hits more than a little too close to home for one club member - and Lindsay must come to terms with her true feelings for Joe, her once-beloved husband.
The book opens as Lindsay, a San Francisco Police Department detective, is having a "date night" with Joe, who she reluctantly kicked out of her life after learning that in essence, he's been a spy and neither 'fessed up to his secret activities nor apologized for doing them. The spark between the two (and love for their young daughter, Julie) remain, though, and they're keeping things civil as Lindsay tries to decide whether to keep Joe or turn him loose. As they're starting to engage in meaningful conversation during a restaurant dinner, all hell breaks loose: A popular attraction nearby explodes, showering rubble and body parts for blocks. Lindsay just came off the successful take-down of a member of a bomb-loving terrorist group - could it be more of their work?
Rushing to the scene, Lindsay and Joe find what appears to be the answer; but within 24 hours, the case turns sour in more than one way and Lindsay finds her career in jeopardy as she tries to defend her actions. Attorney Yuki Castellano gets her day in court and crime reporter Cindy Thomas scoops the competition. Not to be left out, medical examiner Claire Washburn finds evidence that a serial killer may be on a rampage - giving Lindsay and her partner, Rich Conklin (who lives with Cindy) something to do that takes Lindsay's mind off the possibility of losing her job and making up her mind what to do with Joe.
As usual, it's all good fun - with most, but not all, the issues resolved in the end (also as usual). And, I always get a kick out of the author's crediting Humphrey Germaniuk, medical examiner for Trumbull County, Ohio (my county of residence), for his help; this time out, Chuck Hanni, a fire investigator from nearby Youngstown, gets a nod as well. Nice going, gentlemen - you done us proud.
16th Seduction by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Little, Brown & Co., May 2017); 384 pp.