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1st to Die (Women's Murder Club Series #1)

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Overview

1st to Die is a dazzlingly powerful new thriller by master suspense novelist, James Patterson, the #1 bestselling author of Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider.

Four women-four friends-share a determination to stop a killer who has been stalking newlyweds in San Francisco. Each one holds a piece of the puzzle: Lindsay Boxer is a homicide inspector in the San Francisco Police Department, Claire Washburn is a medical examiner, Jill Bernhardt is an assistant D.A., and Cindy ...

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1st to Die (Women's Murder Club Series #1)

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Overview

1st to Die is a dazzlingly powerful new thriller by master suspense novelist, James Patterson, the #1 bestselling author of Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider.

Four women-four friends-share a determination to stop a killer who has been stalking newlyweds in San Francisco. Each one holds a piece of the puzzle: Lindsay Boxer is a homicide inspector in the San Francisco Police Department, Claire Washburn is a medical examiner, Jill Bernhardt is an assistant D.A., and Cindy Thomas just started working the crime desk of the San Francisco Chronicle.

But the usual procedures aren't bringing them any closer to stopping the killings. So these women form a Women's Murder Club to collaborate outside the box and pursue the case by sidestepping their bosses and giving one another a hand.

The four women develop intense bonds as they pursue a killer whose crimes have stunned an entire city. Working together, they track down the most terrifying and unexpected killer they have ever encountered-before a shocking conclusion in which everything they knew turns out to be devastatingly wrong. Full of the breathtaking drama and unforgettable emotions for which James Patterson is famous, 1st to Die is the start of a blazingly fast-paced and sensationally entertaining new series of crime thrillers.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
James Patterson, bestselling author of the Alex Cross novels Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls, and Pop Goes the Weasel, offers the first of a new series dubbed The Women’s Murder Club, featuring a four-woman team that occasionally works outside the system. None of the gritty darkness or frenzied action is lost in 1st to Die, although the female protagonists offer an even deeper emotional context to this suspense thriller.

Inspector Lindsay Boxer of the San Francisco Police Department suddenly finds herself in the middle of two horrifying situations: The first is that she’s just learned she has an often-fatal blood disease. The second is a double homicide case she’s now heading up that involves the murder of newlyweds on their wedding night. Burdened with Chris Raleigh, a new partner reassigned from the mayor’s office, Lindsay finds that she has too much to deal with and turns to her best friend, Claire, the head ME on the case. Claire offers helpful advice and human, friendly contact amid a job filled with violence, cruelty, and fear.

Soon a fledgling newspaper reporter, Cindy, makes contact with Lindsay looking for a career-making story. Although Lindsay can’t officially comment on the case, the two women form a rapport, and Cindy joins Lindsay and Claire for their weekly meeting. When a second pair of newlyweds is murdered, and later a third, the investigation leads to a prominent crime writer, Nicholas Jenks, who has a history of spousal abuse and a predilection for kinky, dangerous sex games. With the help of an understanding assistant D.A., Jill Bernhardt, Lindsay tries to make a case against Jenks, who even had an affair with one of the slain women. Eventually Jill joins the “Murder Club,” and the four ladies share private interdepartmental information in an effort to track and stop the killer before he strikes again.

The major subplot -- Lindsay's facing up to her illness even while she learns to fall in love again -- carefully compensates for the novel’s coarse scenes of brutality. Lindsay Boxer isn’t merely an obsessed cop trailing a maniac; she’s also a terrified woman confronting the onslaught of disease. The story lines balance out to show us the true mettle of someone who puts the safety of others before her own.

Again, Patterson’s skill for producing furiously paced fiction are evident as the novel breezes by rapidly. The short chapters keep the narrative leaping with increasingly taut plot elements, but there’s an emotional commitment that makes our protagonist even more amiable and involving. 1st to Die is a novel that works as an intense series of character portraits that will leave the reader touched and delighted.

--Tom Piccirilli

Tom Piccirilli is the author of eight novels, including Hexes and Shards, and his Felicity Grove mystery series, consisting of The Dead Past and Sorrow's Crown. He has sold more than 100 stories to the anthologies Future Crimes, Bad News, The Conspiracy Files, and Best of the American West II. An omnibus collection of 40 stories titled Deep into That Darkness Peering is also available. Tom divides his time between New York City and Estes Park, Colorado.

Randy Michael Signor
James Patterson has started a new series, featuring four women who form the Women's Murder Club. Think of it as a book club for amateur dectectives, except that these women aren't exactly amateurs. The main character, San Francisco homicide detective Lindsay Boxer, forms the group out of frustration with the male-dominated investigation of a series of murders of newlyweds. While the city's officials spin their wheels, the Women's Murder Club works to solve the case. Patterson lumps together a bunch of twists at the end.1st to Die is a good, fast-paced read.
Book Magazine
Chicago Tribune
...delivers a sharp punch...
Providence Sunday Journal
...a great book...a gripper, right from the opening pages...a great thriller and a terrific read...
Book
...the part that just plain enjoys a good, fast-paced read said, 'Forget it, who cares, this is fun.'
Sunday Oregonian
...polished, briskly written entertainment that's more complicated than it at first seems...
Publishers Weekly
...clever kickoff to a new series...Patterson...isn't afraid to reach as a writer...
Roanoke Times
...[Patterson] ably displays the storytelling talent that is the source of his popularity...
Austin American Statesman
...Patterson has shown skill at developing characters and crafting ingenious tales. I'm betting this series will only get better..
From The Critics
James Patterson cheats. None of his fans care—they're too busy turning the pages of his books, but all the same, he cheats. He withholds information, and his first-person narrators (there is often more than one voice per book) purposefully mislead the reader, who, with all that adrenaline pumping through his veins, has no time to worry about how masterfully he's being manipulated. All writers trick their readers—some are just better at it than others. Having possibly done away with long-standing character Alex Cross in his last book, Patterson has started a new series, featuring four women who form the Women's Murder Club. Think of it as a book club for amateur detectives, except that these women aren't exactly amateurs. The main character, San Francisco homicide detective Lindsay Boxer, forms the group out of frustration with the male-dominated investigation of a series of murders of newlyweds. While the city's officials spin their wheels, the Women's Murder Club works to solve the case. Patterson lumps together a bunch of twists at the end, and while the critic in me rebelled, the part that just plain enjoys a good, fast-paced read said, "Forget it, who cares, this is fun."
—Randy Michael Signor

Library Journal
Lindsay Boxer is an inspector on the San Francisco Homicide Squad. Her healthy, optimistic outlook is given a jolt when she is diagnosed with aplastic anemia, which is potentially fatal. While dealing with her first treatments, she takes on a new case. Someone has killed a bride and groom during the first hours of their honeymoon. The killer strikes again in Napa Valley and a third time in Cleveland. Lindsay gathers her girlfriends, all of whom work in related areas of the justice system, to circumvent the bureaucracy of police business and solve the crimes. There are a number of loose ends that never get tied up, and a number of actions that don't seem to fit the characters' persona. The unabridged version of the story moves along well but seems contrived and somewhat sloppy, though well read by Suzanne Toren. Lack of detail in the abridgment, which is well read in alternate chapters by Melissa Leo and Dylan Baker, does not significantly hamper the telling of the tale; the loose ends and inconsistent characters are less apparent and bothersome. Recommended for large, well-funded collections. Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Providence Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Providence Sunday Journal
"Patterson again proves himself a master of the craft ... Such a great book: every time you think you've got it all figured out, you realize the killer is still a step ahead."
Entertainment Weekly
"A clever plot with enough last-minute revelations to keep you guessing."
Sunday Oregonian
"Polished, briskly written entertainment ... delivers the spine-tingly goods."
BookPage
"One of the most creative and sadistic killers since Hannibal Lecter ... There are surprises in store right up to the last page."
From the Publisher
"Patterson again proves himself a master of the craft ... Such a great book: every time you think you've got it all figured out, you realize the killer is still a step ahead."—Providence Sunday Journal

"A clever plot with enough last-minute revelations to keep you guessing."—Entertainment Weekly

"Polished, briskly written entertainment ... delivers the spine-tingly goods."—Sunday Oregonian

"One of the most creative and sadistic killers since Hannibal Lecter ... There are surprises in store right up to the last page."—BookPage

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446610032
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Series: Women's Murder Club Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 488
  • Sales rank: 16,589
  • Product dimensions: 4.12 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

James Patterson is the #1 bestselling author of Along Came a Spider, When The Wind Blows, Pop Goes The Weasel, and many other books. A past winner of the prestigious Edgar Award, Patterson lives in Florida.

Biography

James Patterson had been working as a very successful advertising copywriter when he decided to put his Masters degree in English to a somewhat different use. Inspired by bestselling hair-raising thrillers like The Day of the Jackal and The Exorcist, Patterson went to work on his first novel. Published in 1976, The Thomas Berryman Number established him as a writer of tightly constructed mysteries that move forward with the velocity of a bullet. For his startling debut, Patterson was awarded the prestigious Edgar Award for Best First Mystery Novel—an auspicious beginning to one of the most successful careers in publishing.

A string of gripping standalone mysteries followed, but it was the 1992 release of Along Came a Spider that elevated Patterson to superstar status. Introducing Alex Cross, a brilliant black police detective/forensic psychologist, the novel was the first installment in a series of bestselling thrillers that has proved to be a cash cow for the author and his publisher.

Examining Patterson's track record, it's obvious that he believes one good series deserves another…maybe even a third! In 2001, he debuted the Women's Murder Club with 1st to Die, a fast-paced thriller featuring four female crime fighters living in San Francisco—a homicide detective, a medical examiner, an assistant D.A., and a cub reporter. The successful series has continued with other numerically titled installments. Then, spinning off a set of characters from a previous novel (1998's When the Wind Blows), in 2005 he published Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. Featuring a "flock" of genetically engineered flying children, the novel was a huge hit, especially with teen readers, and spawned a series of vastly popular fantasy adventures.

In addition to continuing his bestselling literary franchises, Patterson has also found time to co-author thrillers with other writers—including Peter de Jonge, Andrew Gross, Maxine Paetro, and Howard Roughan—and has even ventured into romance (Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, Sam's Letters to Jennifer) and children's literature (santaKid). Writing at an astonishing pace, this prolific author has turned himself into a one-man publishing juggernaut, fulfilling his clearly stated ambition to become "the king of the page-turners."

Good To Know

Patterson's Suzanne's Diary For Nicholas was inspired by a diary his wife kept that tracked the development of their toddler son.

Two of Patterson's Alex Cross mysteries (Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls) have been turned into films starring Morgan Freeman; in 2007, a weekly television series premiered, based on the bestselling Women's Murder Club novels.

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    1. Hometown:
      Palm Beach, Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 22, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Newburgh, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Beautiful long-stemmed red roses filled the hotel suite — the perfect gifts, really. Everything was perfect.

There might be a luckier man somewhere on the planet, David Brandt thought as he wrapped his arms around Melanie, his new bride. Somewhere in Yemen, maybe — some Allah-praising farmer with a second goat. But certainly not in all of San Francisco.

The couple looked out from the living room of the Grand Hyatt's Mandarin Suite. They could see the lights of Berkeley off in the distance, Alcatraz, the graceful outline of the lit-up Golden Gate Bridge.

"It's incredible." Melanie beamed. "I wouldn't change a single thing about today."

"Me either," he whispered. "Well, maybe I wouldn't have invited my parents." They both laughed.

Only moments before, they had bid farewell to the last of the three hundred guests in the hotel's ballroom. The wedding was finally over. The toasts, the dancing, the schmoozing, the photographed kisses over the cake. Now it was just the two of them. They were twenty-nine years old and had the rest of their lives ahead of them.

David reached for a pair of filled champagne glasses he had set on a lacquered table. "A toast," he declared, "to the second-luckiest man alive."

"The second?" she said, and smiled in pretended shock. "Who's the first?"

They looped arms and took a long, luxurious sip from the crystal glasses. "This farmer with two goats. I'll tell you later.

"I have something for you," David suddenly remembered. He had already given her the perfect five-carat diamond on her finger, which he knew she wore only to please his folks. He went to his tuxedo jacket, which was draped over a high-backed chair, and returned with a jewelry box from Bulgari.

"No, David," Melanie protested. "You're my gift."

"Open it anyway," he said to her. "This you'll like."

She lifted the top. Inside a suede pouch was a set of earrings, large silver rings around a pair of whimsical moons made from diamonds.

"They're how I think of you," he said.

Melanie held the moons against the lobes of her ears. They were perfect, and so was she.

"It's you who pulls my tides," David murmured.

They kissed, and he unfastened the zipper of her dress, letting the neckline fall just below her shoulders. He kissed her neck. Then the tops of her breasts.

There was a knock on the door of the suite.

"Champagne," called a voice from outside.

For a moment, David thought of just yelling, "Leave it there!" All evening, he had longed to peel away the dress from his wife's soft white shoulders.

"Oh, go get it," Melanie whispered, dangling the earrings in front of his eyes. "I'll put these on."

She wiggled out of his grasp, backing toward the Mandarin's master bathroom, a smile in her liquid brown eyes. God, he loved those eyes.

As he went to the door, David was thinking he wouldn't trade places with anybody in the world.

Not even for a second goat....

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 982 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(555)

4 Star

(272)

3 Star

(74)

2 Star

(41)

1 Star

(40)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 987 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2007

    Patterson Shows He's 2nd To None

    Patterson catches us again with book in hand turning those pages as we did for his other thrillers. Patterson is able to create a suspenseful mood for the reader. What¿s better than a group of four woman to try and catch a psycho, killing newlywed couples. In my opinion, this book deserves 5 stars, for its intense suspense. Patterson is one of the few authors that is able to make you think you know what¿s happening and then your all wrong. A person¿s wedding day is suppose to be the happiest day of their life. The time after, referred to as the ¿Honeymoon¿ is supposed to be enjoyable, fun, and romantic. In 1ST TO DIE., three couples find their wedding day and their honeymoon¿s to be a time of death. The book has four main characters, who Patterson points out within the first few chapters. The most notable being Lindsay Boxer, an inspector for the San Francisco Police Department. Along with Lindsay the characters who want to solve the case include Claire Washburn a medical examiner and Lindsay¿s best friend, Jill Bernhardt an assistant District Attorney assigned to the first case, and Cindy Thomas a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, who integrates herself into the group after the first murders. Together, these women form ¿The Women¿s Murder Club¿ and take you on a ride of suspense as they work together to find the monster responsible for a series of tragic honeymoon murders that began with the intense killing of David and Melanie Brandt. Patterson is able to make these books enjoyable for even the High School student. He has this ability to make you pick up the book and never put it down. Make sure that if you purchase this book you also purchase the second and third books as well. The thing with Patterson is that once you read one in a series you have to read the rest. James Patterson writes in a short and casual manner. His chapters are short and to the point, which makes you keep turning the page to find out what will happen next. The characters are very well described, which makes you feel like you know them personally. When something bad happens you feel as if the tragedy has happened to one of your friends or family members. James Patterson truly is one of the most amazing authors, his clever twists and fast pace keep the reader going. It¿s almost as if Patterson knows what you are afraid of and he reaches the point that you jump out of your seat. If you truly enjoy this novel, you would also like Along Came A Spider, Kiss The Girls, Jack And Jill, Cat & Mouse, Pop Goes The Weasel, and Roses Are Red. -Nick Trodella

    19 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    Not what I was expecting!

    I am always looking for new books to try. I have read some of James Patterson's books and have not been all that crazy about them(Alex Cross books). I love suspense. I love books with a twist. This book had all that and more. I absolutely did not see that ending. Wow! Definitely going to read more of this series...

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Quick read, keeps you guessing until the very end

    James Patterson writes in short chapters which make it easy to read when you just have a few spare minutes. He also makes his books so suspenseful that you want to spend every spare minute reading to try to find out what will happen next. I was captivated until the very end. Can't wait to start the next book!

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Must Read for Thriller Lovers

    This book was the most exciting thrilling book I have ever read. James Patterson is so original. You think you know what's going on but then he always comes up with an unexpected twist. Great book!

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Loved it!

    Read it in 2 days! Love the women's murder club series and James Patterson's amazing talent! This book grips you from the start till the end and even got me to cry! Thats an intense read!

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    OMG...LOVE IT!!

    I've only read the sample, but I am very intrigued by this book. James Patterson: best author ever!(:

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2009

    Fighting For Life

    Lindsay is a strong, hardworking, and determined detective until she receives life changing news. It doesn't break her, but she also runs into a case that will change her life forever. Some crazy person is killing honey mooners on the best day of their lives. Now poor Lindsay is fighting for her life beside her dying couples. I love this book because it keeps you on your toes. It also has a lot of action, and every murder is grusome.To top it off you will never suspect what happens in the end ...

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2010

    I loved this book!

    I started reading James Patterson just recently. I have only read this one and the second one in his Women's Murder Club series. So far I am really enjoying these books.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2010

    Formulaic characters, predictable plot twists

    OMG, if I read another book featuring a heroine who is afraid of love and decides instead to plunge into work, I may have to begin my own serial murders of mystery writers. Her "potentially fatal" disease was handled with the finesse of a 5 minute Google search, and as a physician, it pained me to read the medical sections.

    The basic premise is good, but the plotting, foreshadowing, character development, secondary characters, and basic writing was awful. This was my first Patterson book and I'm flabbergasted as to why he is a best-selling author, if this is an example of his work.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2009

    Amazing Thriller

    Have you ever wanted a really good book that puts you at the edge of your seat? Well, this is it. This novel isn¿t just heart throbbing. This is an amazing yet suspenseful story waiting for you to lay eyes on it. <BR/><BR/><BR/>Right at the beginning, you¿re hit with intensity. There is a crime waiting for Linsey, the head detective, at a new hot hotel. Newlyweds being murdered every new case she gets. A few weeks later, another murder is waiting to be solved. Later on, another murder! Three thrilling murders at the tip of her fingers. All of these newlyweds are being stalked before they are even killed. She does get help though. There is a Women's Murder Club. Helping Linsey, Clair, a medical examiner. Jill, an assistant D.A. and Cindy, a reporter who has just started working the crime desk of the San Francisco Chronicle. They all have one goal to fulfill, to trap, and outwit the most terrifying killer ever. They are all pulling their talents together, to solve this crime. <BR/><BR/>I would defiantly recommend this book. Anyone who likes thrilling, suspenseful, something that you find biting your fingernails off, or somewhat sad towards the end, this is the novel for you.<BR/><BR/><BR/>In conclusion of the story, there is a surprise ending. You would never ever guess who was committing the murders. You will be very surprised. Don¿t stop reading though! Because, if you do, you¿ll always want to wonder about what would have happened if you have read it. <BR/><BR/><BR/>Amazing doesn¿t even cover this book. Wonderful couldn¿t do it either. This book is the best book that I¿ve read in a very long time. It put me in pure amazement. <BR/>1st to Die is just the first book in the series. Be prepared for the surprised ending though. Six other books are waiting for you to read. You would be greatly cheating yourselve if you just ignore this review. So go on, read away.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Don't Know Why I Like This Book

    I found this book to be very cookie cutter, things happen in a very predictable way. The main characters are caricatures of professional women. The Women's Murder Club seems to be little more than a high school social club with little real input into the case (except of course for Lindsay Boxer). If the hook here is that these four women actually contribute to the solving of the crime, the authors have missed the mark.<BR/><BR/>That being said, I actually enjoyed all the books in this series I have read. It's probably because the characters are fresh and interesting. They don't seem to be real as a group. Individually they are interesting.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2001

    THIS WAS SUCH A GREAT BOOK

    I read this book in one day and was scared to go to bed that night. I am now about to go buy the rest of his collection.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2001

    Along Comes Another Great Series!!!

    James Patterson provides another exciting thriller with his newest series, the Women's Murder Club. Race along with San Francisco's only female homicide inspector, Lindsay Boxer, who, with the help of her 3 friends, try to solve a horrible crime spree referred to as the Honeymoon Murders that span from California to Ohio. Another page-turning masterpiece from the author who brought you Alex Cross!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    The women in this book were not believable characters - they wer

    The women in this book were not believable characters - they were poorly formed by the author. I can't understand why this author is so popular.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    Excellent Read

    This is the first "Woman's Murder Club" book I have read and I was extreamely pleased. I have bought the next two in line and I plan to read the entire series. Classic Patterson - just as good as the Cross series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    Great book. Couldn't put it down. Read it in 2 days.

    Great book. Couldn't put it down. Read it in 2 days.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    Recently introduced to this series

    Have gotten "hooked" on this series and decided to start from the beginning. I was not disappointed with my decision. Thank you Barnes & Noble for making this suggestion:)).

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    A good read!

    I bought #11 at Costco on an impulse. I decided to start with #1 and go from there. I'm glad I did; will continue until I "catch up."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    Enjoyed, Could not put it down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    sooo exciting!

    I was so shocked and sad at the end. Patterson wrote that one chapter so well. I felt Lindsey's pain right along with her and the girls.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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