I remember a time when James Patterson actually wrote Women’s Murder Club (WMC) books. It seems so so long ago.
I haven’t been pleased with the last four or five WMC books, but I keep reading in hopes that they will once again be engaging reads. One thing, they are fast reads.
The last several books have been severely lacking in actual police/detective work. The cases, yes there are more than one, are laid out, checked in on every four chapters or so and then wrapped up nicely with a pretty bow on top at the end. 12th of Never was no exception.
The book takes you through six different story lines. SIX, 6! That is insane. There is no way even the greatest of authors could manage that many storylines. And let me tell you, Maxine Paetro is not a great author. James Patterson is not fooling anyone into thinking that he is actually writing any of the drivel that is contained in this book.
First there is Lindsay, Joe and the baby. There is quite a story in there, that I am probably horrible for saying this, didn’t satisfy me in the end.
Second, there is the story of a murdered designer, whose body goes missing from the lab. The jacket teases the story with a hotshot NFL boyfriend, but really fails to flesh that out.
Third, there is the always present courtroom drama so that Yuki Castellano (whom I dislike with a fiery passion by the way) is able to star in half the book. I fully believe that she is the pet character of Paetro, thus the need to have some sort of court case in every book. This case involves a shady lawyer, his dead wife and missing child.
Fourth, there is a clairvoyant of sorts who dreams murders. A potential for a stand alone storyline, they cram this in and fail to give it teeth and in the end completely fail to explain the outcome.
Fifth, there is the small vignette of Cindy & Rich. A storyline best held for a future book. It has a moment. That is it, a single moment and then the bow is placed on top and the present sits in the back of a closet.
Finally, there is a story that comes out of nowhere involving a serial killer, who wakes from a coma and is ready to talk. But only to Lindsay, who apparently helped the FBI catch this guy. What? Maybe they thought they wrote this story into another book, but it rings no bells with me.
I give the book 3 bookmarks, which I feel is quite generous.
My reasoning is:
· I read the whole thing (that alone gets a star). I thought there would be this great ending or at least a cliffhanger to make me want to read the next book…if there is a lucky 13
· After a few chapters, I was invested in the stories.
· The characters are well established and I am invested in them. Even though, they failed to do any of them justice.
My pet peeves:
· Bubbleen Waters. An actual character’s name. I am not joking. That has to be the lamest attempt at sly humor ever. I direct Paetro to John Sandford’s Del Capslock. That is clever. Bubbleen Waters not so much.
· The tidy happy ending. That twist at the end was not a cliffhanger and was not even plausible. I like things to go awry once in a while. I like there to be some darkness. But in this everyone is happy in the end.
· The fact that these books sell because James Patterson’s name is on them. If you insist on “guest” authors, please reconnect with Andrew Gross because at least he was a real writer, unlike the soap scribe (at best), Paetro.
Hit the comments and let me know what you think/thought of James Patterson & the Women's Murder Club.