Jerry's Reviews > 3rd Degree

3rd Degree by James Patterson
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Jul 20, 10

really liked it
Read in April, 2004

Third in Women's Murder Club series is a shocker!

Back from "1st To Die" and "2nd Chance", the Women's Murder Club finds terror in unexpected places in this third outing. Starring San Francisco PD Homicide Lt. Lindsay Boxer, friends newspaper reporter Cindy, Medical Examiner Claire, and Asst. District Attorney Jill have somewhat larger roles than the light supporting cast they portrayed in the two earlier books. We're also glad to see the adolescent dialogue from the last pairing of Gross and Patterson was replaced by much more meaningful interactions between the foursome. (We might quibble that it's an unlikely group from the viewpoint of a three-way conflict of interest: cop, DA, and reporter). Keeping in touch with modern times, involvement by Homeland Security personnel and a plot that featured seemingly random acts of terror gave the novel an up-to-date tone. And two subplots, involving spousal abuse of Jill, and a love interest between Boxer and Molinari, the Homeland guy, added to the torrid pace of the main and complex mystery for which Patterson is well known.
When a home is bombed and then a death by deadly chemical is followed by another bombing at a mall, it's clear that some group is out for revenge. We get to meet a few of the bad guy players from some first person dialogue of their own, but their identities are not all revealed until the somewhat surprising ending. The usual short chapters (111 in like 340 pages), plus a lot of blank pages from five Parts, make the book little more than a two hour blitz. But the shock comes from a direct attack on one of the club members, nothing new to the other novels in the set.

This series may not be quite as hard core as Patterson's more movie-oriented thrillers, but the generally likable heroine and her friends, along with a suspenseful storyline, is quite good enough for an enjoyable read. You might want to save it for the beach!

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