reconvenes the Women's Murder Club, four friends (a detective, a reporter, an assistant district attorney, and a medical examiner) who used their networking skills, feminine intuition, and professional wiles to solve a baffling series of murders in 1st to Die
. This time, the murders of two African Americans, a little girl and an old woman, bear all the signs of a serial killer for Lindsay Boxer, newly promoted to lieutenant of San Francisco's homicide squad. But there's an odd detail she finds even more disturbing: both victims were related to city cops. A symbol glimpsed at both murder scenes leads to a racist hate group, but the taunting killer strikes again and again, leaving deliberate clues and eluding the police ever more cleverly. In the meantime, each of the women has a personal stake at risk--and the killer knows who they are.
2nd Chance speeds along at a Formula One pace through many tight curves, but unlike recent entries in the Alex Cross series, it doesn't sacrifice good characters to a twisted plot. Lindsay's the star, but there's a fine esprit de corps among the four women, who are even better developed here than in the first book. What makes them both convincing and interesting as a criminal-justice juggernaut is their willingness to stick their necks out, even if they suffer for it. If you haven't picked up a James Patterson novel in a while, this is a great time to start anew. --Barrie Trinkle
From Publishers Weekly
It's been a long time since we've seen a bestselling author of Patterson's clout credit an assistant author on the cover, and good for Patterson for that. The credit is deserved. This is Patterson's richest, most engaging novel since When the Wind Blows and, as the second in his Women's Murder Club series (after 1st to Die), yet more evidence that this prolific writer can roam beyond Alex Cross with style and success. Like all Pattersons, the narration mixes first and third person the first here is voiced, as before, by San Francisco homicide detective Lindsay Boxer, while the third-person sections cover the doings of the other three members of Boxer's informal club, a reporter, a pathologist and a prosecutor, as well as the villain's shenanigans. The basic story line is vintage Patterson, i.e., a serial killer (here, one known as Chimera) goes on a calculated rampage until stopped by the good guys or in this case, gals. As the victims a young girl shot dead, an elderly black woman hanged, two cops pile up, it becomes clear to Boxer and others that they're up against a racist who hates black cops; is the killer a cop himself? The story ripples with twists and some remarkably strong scenes, particularly Boxer's in-prison interview with a crazed con. But what makes this Patterson stand out above all is the textured storytelling arising from its focus on Boxer's personal issues. In the first novel, Patterson personalized Boxer by dealing with her rare blood disease; here, it's the emotionally powerful introduction of Boxer's long-lost father into her life that galvanizes the plot, particularly as Patterson ties the man into Chimera's rampage. Prime Patterson; first-rate entertainment. (On sale Mar. 4)Forecast: Patterson's name, major ad/promo and a 10-city author tour add up to #1; simultaneous Time Warner Audio and large-print edition.
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