7th Heaven (Women’s Murder Club)
James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Little, Brown and Company (2008)
Reviewed by Leslie Granier for Reader Views (1/08)
“7th Heaven” is the story of four close-knit female friends who include: a cop, the Assistant District Attorney, a crime reporter, and a medical examiner. Collectively, they refer to themselves as the Women’s Murder Club. Two high-profile cases are currently keeping these women busy. One case involves the disappearance of a well-loved member of the community. Despite a recanted confession to his murder, a trial is conducted even though there is no body or physical evidence to support what had been confessed. The second case involves a string of arsons in which wealthy middle-aged couples are first robbed and then left to die in the fires. These two exciting cases find the women searching for answers in order to solve these crimes.
This book is the seventh in a series involving the Women’s Murder Club. Although I have not yet read the other six, I do not feel as if I am missing any relevant information about the main characters. Their roles and backgrounds are well presented and easy to follow. I liked the characters and the ways they interact with each other, especially how they spend most of the little free time they have socializing with each other to discuss their cases. Aside from the murders, there is another interesting storyline. Lindsay, the policewoman, is having difficulty deciding who she is most attracted to, her boyfriend or her partner. This subplot adds more of a personal touch to the story, one to which those who are not in the field of criminal justice can easily relate.
Patterson’s use of short chapters (usually three to four pages) accelerates the pace of the story because there is always something happening. He left me anticipating what would happen next. There were many unexpected turns throughout the book, but the ending was a complete shock. I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to read more of Patterson’s work.
“7th Heaven” is aimed towards adult females, but anyone who enjoys reading a good mystery novel will be impressed by this work. It offers sideline sleuths the opportunity to piece together the evidence and attempt to come up with the correct solution. However, the true answer may not always be where the clues lead.