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4th of July by James Patterson
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Nov 26, 2010

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Read in October, 2010

4TH Of July
by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Book Review by Jay Gilbertson

If you’re looking for something with depth of character, fascinating setting, amazing plot lines and an ending so enthralling you nearly scream—skip this one. BUT, if want to disappear into a fast-paced murder mystery with entertainingly fun women at the wheel; hop aboard.
The basic reason for my picking this baby up and giving it a read is that author Patterson in the past has penned some truly amazing novels that simply creeped me out. Read; I highly enjoyed. In this series, which is obviously the fourth, the story reads like a script right off the set of Charlie’s Angles, but with less emphasis on fashion and more wallop on murder, and boy are there murders. Lots of mangled bodies, tons of red-herrings and more twists and turns than Lombard Street all dished out in three page chapters that really cook.
This particular installment mostly featured detective Lindsey Boxer as the starring character along with her supporting cast of doctor Claire Washburn and news reporter Cindy Thomas. The reader is literally thrown into the action from the start:

“…My mind was racing even before Jacobi nosed our car up in front of the Lorenzo, a grungy rent-by-the-hour ‘tourist hotel’ on a block in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district that’s so forbidding even the sun won’t cross the street...”

While detective Boxer is in hot pursuit of an ominous black Mercedes, she shoots down two really rotten killers who, of course, turn out to be some hot-shot doctor’s twisted kids. All hell breaks loose. Boxer is sent away while the court case boils; lawyers hunch shoulders in hopes of proving she did indeed follow police protocol to a T. Knowing, as the informed reader that you are, not only had she had a few drinks prior to the all-important car chase, but in the midst of nearly being killed herself, Boxer forgot to read the murdering children their Miranda rights. She had a really bad hair day, shall we say?
No arm-chair murder mystery starring an all-woman cast would be complete without the occasional appearance of the male lead. Joe Molinari literally pops out of his car, zooms into Boxer’s kitchen, whips up Julia Child-like dishes and then whisks away our star for some romance and then poof—he dashes off stage left only to re-appear when the pacing permits. And this story has pacing.
Naturally, when Boxer leaves town and cozies away in her sister’s really well appointed cottage south of the city in Half Moon Bay, more murders happen right down the lane. The poor woman seems to pull murderous energy with her wherever her long, luxurious, wind-whipped chestnut hair seems to fall. Thank goodness she’s able to solve this one too and all in time for the reader to be so confused by all the plot twists and turns that when the murder’s identity is finally revealed not only are you surprised (I was) but happy there’s still time to catch a re-run of Charlie’s Angles.

Would I read another one of these? You betcha.

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