Monday, May 21, 2007

The 6th Target - James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

The 6th Target
James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Little, Brown and Company


The latest installment of the Women’s Murder Club series begins on a ferry ride across the San Francisco Bay. It’s a picture-postcard day until a gunman opens fire without warning or reason. Several of his victims are killed instantly; some are seriously wounded. Among the victims is a member of the Women’s Murder Club. Even if that weren’t the case, Inspector Lindsay Boxer would be in a rush to find the guy before something sets him off again.

In another part of the city, at least two people in a minivan abduct a five-year-old girl and her nanny off the street in broad daylight. No ransom note is forthcoming; and police and parents fear the worst when the body of the nanny, is found. And a certain apartment building experiences an escalating set of problems. It begins with anonymous threatening notes placed under doors, and then continues with the death of small pets. Boxer and her partner get involved when the violence includes trashed apartments and the deaths of tenants.

Written in the typical staccato-style chapters, the narrative moves along at the expected quick pace. The problem is that the story as a whole is fairly disjointed. The three cases never come together in any way, except that they involve members of the Club. This might have worked a little better had the book been structured as three novellas. As it stands, although the ferry shooting is given the most attention, each plotline seems to get short shrift. Not the best in the series, but an entertaining read for fans of the series.

Rating: 6
May 2007
ISBN# 978-0-316-01479-3 (hardcover)


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