Thoughts On...Unlucky 13

Unlucky 13 (Women’s Murder Club, #13)Unlucky 13 by James Patterson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

For the past few years I have been wondering if James Patterson is trying to tank his Women’s Murder Club series. Each year I am led to believe that that is indeed his mission. I just finished reading Unlucky 13 and waited for the tie in to the title. I realized that the unlucky person is the reader and not a character.

There is no mention of thirteen anywhere in the book, except for page number 13, which is where I probably should have stopped. Although I am not sure if we had yet reached the middle school girlyness at that point. I have said it before, Maxine Paetro is a fluff writer. Since 4th of July, her debut book with Patterson, things have gone from gritty to girly and not in a good way. If I wanted sappy romance crap, I would read Nicholas Sparks. I have read a few books in the romance genre and they have had more grit than the last several WMC books.

At the end of 12th of Never, I was left thinking that the next book would be  the tracking of cunning psycho killer Mackie Morales, and while there was some tracking of her, it was not the SFPD, but rather the Chronicle’s crime reporter girl wonder Cindy Thomas, an original member of the Women’s Murder Club. But Unlucky 13 doesn’t start there.

It starts with two young people dead on a bridge of an apparent bomb. Not just any bomb, but what the author’s dubbed a “belly bomb”. That irked me the entire book. I don’t know that I can explain why, but belly bomb just doesn’t sound right. And because no Pattaetro book is complete without multiple story lines, they threw in the romance special of Yuki & Brady getting married…in a week.
I have become a person who looks for logic in what I watch and what I read. Yuki hires a wedding planner to plan a wedding that is one week away. One week. She hired a wedding planner to plan a no-frills wedding. Do you see where I am going with this? What is the logic behind spending money to have someone find a judge/justice of the peace/Joey Tribianni and a place to say “I Do”? Plus Lindsay mentions that the wedding planner was able to arrange a dinner/reception at a swank and hard to get into restaurant with amazing views. Last time I checked, Yuki was an ADA and Brady is in charge of homicide. Neither are probably paying top dollar being city government jobs. Also, Brady’s divorce just came through, like hours before he “proposed”, so that had to have cost some money and there could have been alimony, child support, etc. So who was footing the bill? Also, Brady planned their honeymoon, an Alaskan cruise. In a week. Logic took a big hit in the first hundred pages.

Then this belly bomb. As it was explained it was essentially a micro-capsule inserted into hamburgers that when the coating was eaten away the substances would interact with stomach acid and go boom. The question that nobody asked and nobody answered was…why didn’t the coating disintegrate during the cooking process? I would have loved for someone to have thought of that and asked the question. A phone call to Horation Caine or Gil Grissom could have done wonders for the readers like me.

No book is complete without drama and danger right? So we have Cindy trying to track down a psycho killer, Lindsay & Richie trying to find a belly bomber. But what about Yuki & Brady? They are on their Alaskan cruise honeymoon, certainly they will be happy right? Nope. Pirates or terrorists depending on what chapter you are reading because Yuki can’t make up her mind. But not before Yuki posts fun pictures and videos to her Facebook account. Do big city ADA’s have Facebook accounts? Because I know that local county attorneys and some politicians don’t, so…

I am not going to spoil all the fun. I am sure there are hundreds of people out there who will enjoy this book. I did not. I always go back to the first three books in the series and how clever and thrilling they were. There was no soap opera antics. It was more about procedure, about the hunt for a killer, not about planning a wedding and seeing who can one up the other with personal drama.

The final straw for me was the ending. I felt that the belly bomb case was not resolved at all. There was no hinting that it would come up again, it is like they had the ending, but they were over on pages and instead of cutting out the ridiculous honeymoon romance/drama bullshit, they cut out the resolve to the main freaking story!

I would really rate this 1.5 stars.

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