Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The 8th Confession by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

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

Bermudaonion's Weblog
Bookin' with Bingo
Bobbi's Book Nook
Booking Mama

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.


Serena said...

I am beginning to wonder if he should retire these characters and create new ones.

bermudaonion said...

I'm about halfway through this one and it is a page turner.

Alyce said...

I haven't read any of the books in this series, but if I do I'll probably start from the beginning. Nice review.

ANovelMenagerie said...

I also reviewed this book and didn't feel that not reading 1-7 mattered much in enjoying this book.

However, I just read Cradle and All by J. Patterson and blew the doors off of this book.

I really like Patterson, esp. Suzanne's Diary for Nicolas and The Lake House.

pamwax said...

I love Patterson. I have been waiting for this one. I prefer paperback so guess I will have to wait awhile. Thanks for the insights.

Darlene said...

You know I haven't read any of these. I always stick to his inbetween ones and the romancey ones. Although I have listened to quite a few of the Alex Cross ones too.

Beth F said...

Just stopping by to say yes, it'd be just fine to add a link to my review of The English Patient.

I've read the first one in this series. I had mixed feelings, but will probably give the second one a try anyway. I have book 2 and 3 on audio, so that's how I read them.

Jenners said...

I am not really a big James Patterson fan but I've never read this series. I read one or two of the Alex Cross books and thought the writing was so simplistic and bad. Not sure if I want to revisit him....

And I wanted to thank you for your comment on the Doris Lessing book The Fifth Child. (Sorry to leave it here ... I didn't have your e-mail.) I'm interested why you didn't seem to care for The Golden Notebook (not that I'm dying to try more of her books). Just curious. And you are right about thinking of "We Need To Talk About Kevin." It had the same basic theme of "can a child be born bad." Of course, "Kevin" was a much better book!

Staci said...

I read the first one a LONG time ago and then didn't go any further...I feel like a dweeb for not going on. Not sure why I didn't but I think I just may have to pick up where I left off!! Great review!!

Blodeuedd said...

Sounds good :D And I do confess that I haven't read any Patterson :)

Kailana said...

The eighth book is out now? I am way back on just about to start book 5. I think I might have to try and read a couple more in the series soon!

Luanne said...

I've read them all up to this one too. They're quick and captivating!

Anna said...

Serena: Me, too, but I'll keep reading them to see what happens. I've invested a lot of time in these characters. LOL

Bermudaonion: I'm looking forward to your review.

Alyce: Thanks! Reading from the beginning is probably the best idea. I read the others a long time ago, so I'm not certain if any of those are stand-alone stories.

ANovelMenagerie: I love the Patterson books you mentioned, too. Cradle and All is one of my faves.

Pam: I hope you get a chance to read it soon!

Dar: I've heard good things about the Alex Cross books (Serena loves them) but I haven't read any yet. His romance books I don't read anymore, but I loved Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas.

Beth F.: Thanks! I'm curious to hear what you think of the next books in the series.

Jenners: The writing definitely isn't great. I turn to Patterson when I'm looking for a quick, action-packed, fluff read.

Staci: Thanks! Let me know if you continue the series. I'd love to know what you think.

Blodeuedd: Some of Patterson's stand-alone books are his best, if you're looking to give him a try.

Kailana: Yup, the 8th one is out. Patterson cranks out the books these days.

Luanne: I agree. Even when the story or the writing isn't the greatest, they're always interesting.