The 8th Confession is the eighth installment of James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series featuring Lindsay Boxer, a homicide detective with the San Francisco Police Department; Cindy Thomas, a crime reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle; Yuki Castellano, a prosecutor with the DA's office; and Claire Washburn, medical examiner. This time around, Lindsay and her partner, Rich Conklin, begin working a case involving the brutal murder of an unidentified homeless man known only as "Bagman Jesus." Cindy discovers his body on her way to work, and when Lindsay and Rich are pulled from the case, Cindy takes it upon herself to uncover Bagman Jesus' true identity and find his killer.
Meanwhile, Lindsay and Rich are trying to determine the cause of death for several high-profile socialites. This case was especially interesting, considering that the victims' autopsy and toxicology reports come back negative. The murderer is known to the readers right away (though information is vague) but the murder weapon is not.
I enjoyed The 8th Confession more than the previous installment, 7th Heaven. It was fast-paced, and the murder cases were more interesting. However, I was disappointed that there were so few scenes with Lindsay, Cindy, Claire, and Yuki together. They used to discuss all aspects of the cases and brainstorm over dinner or drinks, but such bantering was missing this time. Also, I was disappointed that Claire didn't have much of a role in the story, and what Yuki learns about her latest love interest was a bit over-the-top for my tastes. As for Lindsay, her fear of marriage and commitment and her inability to choose between her live-in lover Joe and her partner Rich -- a storyline that has been going on for some time -- gets to be a bit old. Patterson's books tend to be plot-driven, so character development is secondary.
Even so, The 8th Confession grabbed me from the first page and had enough action to keep me hooked until the end. I've read all the previous Women's Murder Club books, and I think you could read this one without reading the others. There isn't much back story, but I don't think it matters much. While I'm not sure how many more books Patterson can squeeze out of these characters, I'm looking forward to seeing where they go next.
The 8th Confession also was reviewed by:
A Novel Menagerie
Bookin' with Bingo
Bobbi's Book Nook
If you've also reviewed it, let me know in the comments, and I'll add your link!
Disclosure: I received a free copy of The 8th Confession from Hachette for review purposes.