2nd Chance (Women's Murder Club Series #2)

2nd Chance (Women's Murder Club Series #2)

4.3 504
by James Patterson, Andrew Gross

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A brutal madman sprays bullets into a crowd of children leaving a San Francisco church. Miraculously-or was it intentionally?-only one person dies. Then an elderly black woman is hung. Police homicide inspector Lindsay Boxer senses a connection and together with medical examiner Claire, assistant D. A. Jill, and Chronicle reporter Cindy, finds a link thatSee more details below


A brutal madman sprays bullets into a crowd of children leaving a San Francisco church. Miraculously-or was it intentionally?-only one person dies. Then an elderly black woman is hung. Police homicide inspector Lindsay Boxer senses a connection and together with medical examiner Claire, assistant D. A. Jill, and Chronicle reporter Cindy, finds a link that sends a chill through the entire nation. This killer's motives are unspeakable.

A Main Selection of The Literary Guild®, of Book-of-the-Month Club®, of Doubleday Book Club®, and of The Mystery Guild®

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It's been a long time since we've seen a bestselling author of Patterson's clout credit an assistant author on the cover, and good for Patterson for that. The credit is deserved. This is Patterson's richest, most engaging novel since When the Wind Blows and, as the second in his Women's Murder Club series (after 1st to Die), yet more evidence that this prolific writer can roam beyond Alex Cross with style and success. Like all Pattersons, the narration mixes first and third person the first here is voiced, as before, by San Francisco homicide detective Lindsay Boxer, while the third-person sections cover the doings of the other three members of Boxer's informal club, a reporter, a pathologist and a prosecutor, as well as the villain's shenanigans. The basic story line is vintage Patterson, i.e., a serial killer (here, one known as Chimera) goes on a calculated rampage until stopped by the good guys or in this case, gals. As the victims a young girl shot dead, an elderly black woman hanged, two cops pile up, it becomes clear to Boxer and others that they're up against a racist who hates black cops; is the killer a cop himself? The story ripples with twists and some remarkably strong scenes, particularly Boxer's in-prison interview with a crazed con. But what makes this Patterson stand out above all is the textured storytelling arising from its focus on Boxer's personal issues. In the first novel, Patterson personalized Boxer by dealing with her rare blood disease; here, it's the emotionally powerful introduction of Boxer's long-lost father into her life that galvanizes the plot, particularly as Patterson ties the man into Chimera's rampage. Prime Patterson; first-rate entertainment. (On sale Mar. 4) Forecast: Patterson's name, major ad/promo and a 10-city author tour add up to #1; simultaneous Time Warner Audio and large-print edition. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
The second adventure in the Women's Murder Club (the first was 1st To Die) places San Francisco homicide detective Lindsay Boxer on the trail of another serial killer. While the murders seem like unrelated hate crimes, a pattern emerges with the discovery of the "chimera" icon and a white powdery substance left at the scenes. Reporter Cindy Thomas researches the icon, assistant district attorney Jill Bernhardt combs likely cases filed, medical examiner Claire Washburn provides forensic clues, and Lindsay chases down the most likely suspect. When that suspect dies, and the killings continue, Lindsay, Claire, and Cindy narrowly miss becoming victims. Written in Patterson's no-nonsense style and read by Melissa Leo and Jeremy Piven, the story is suspenseful, grim, and not altogether predictable. Recommended for fiction collections.-Joanna M. Burkhardt, Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Univ. of Rhode Island, Providence Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A murder outside San Francisco's La Salle Heights Church brings back the Women's Murder Club, extending a series (1st to Die) that could rival Kinsey Millhone for sales, if not for ingenuity, warmth, or humanity. How could the killer have sprayed the sidewalk with casual gunfire and yet managed to hit young Tasha Catchings, and only her, twice? wonders Lt. Lindsay Boxer. He must have been aiming at her instead of the rest of Aaron Winslow's church choir-presumably for the same reason he strung up Estelle Chipman in her Oakland basement and disguised the murder as suicide. Since the killer, whoever he is and whatever his motives are, is running rings around the SFPD, Lindsay calls in "the Margarita Posse": her best friend Claire Washburn, the city's Chief Medical Examiner; ADA Jill Bernhardt; and Cindy Thomas, the Chronicle's lead crime reporter. In no time at all, the Women's Murder Club--"three of the sharpest law-enforcement minds in the city"--have swung into action. One of them gets shot at, one gets pregnant, and one gets to date Aaron Warner. Meantime, the killer dubbed Chimera is continuing to take blood-soaked revenge for a 20-year-old injustice involving a figure from Lindsay's past, her long-estranged ex-cop father Marty Boxer, in a way that another author might make morally agonizing. Patterson, not one to stop and smell the roses, keeps up the pace by showing Chimera taunting Lindsay and attacking her and her buds, the SFPD running to and fro to counter the latest threat, and the body count rising en route to a showdown introduced by the killer's cool assessment that there's "no one to kill right away." Lots of slam-bang action, though, except for Lindsay, the alleged action heroines mostly have it happen to them instead of dishing it out.

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Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Women's Murder Club Series, #2
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Part I



Chapter 1

ON A TUESDAY NIGHT, I found myself playing a game of crazy eights with three residents of the Hope Street Teen House. I was loving it.

On the beat-up couch across from me sat Hector, a barrio kid two days out of Juvenile; Alysha, quiet and pretty, but with a family history you wouldn't want to know; and Michelle, who at fourteen had already spent a year selling herself on the streets of San Francisco.

"Hearts," I declared, flipping down an eight and changing the suit just as Hector was about to lay out.

"Damn, badge lady," he whined. "How come each time I'm 'bout to go down, you stick your knife in me?"

"Teach you to ever trust a cop, fool." Michelle laughed, tossing a conspiratorial smile my way.

For the past month, I'd been spending a night or two a week at the Hope Street House. For so long after the terrible bride and groom case that summer, I'd felt completely lost. I took a month off from Homicide, ran down by the marina, gazed out at the bay from the safety of my Potrero Hill flat.

Nothing helped. Not counseling, not the total support of my girls-Claire, Cindy, Jill. Not even going back to the job. I had watched, unable to help, as the life leaked out of the person I loved. I still felt responsible for my partner's death in the line of duty. Nothing seemed to fill the void.

So I came here...to Hope Street.

And the good news was, it was working a little. I peered up from my cards at Angela, a new arrival who sat in a metal chair across the room cuddling her three-month- old daughter. The poor kid, maybe sixteen, hadn't said much all night. I would try to talk to Angela before I left.

The door opened and Dee Collins, one of the house's head counselors, came in. She was followed by a stiff-looking black woman in a conservative gray suit. She had Department of Children and Families written all over her.

"Angela, your social worker's here." Dee knelt down beside her.

"I ain't blind," the teenager said.

"We're going to have to take the baby now," the social worker interrupted, as if completing this assignment was all that kept her from catching the next Caltrain.

"No!" Angela pulled the infant even closer. "You can keep me in this hole, you can send me back to Claymore, but you're not taking my baby."

"Please, honey, only for a few days," Dee Collins tried to assure her.

The teenage girl drew her arms protectively around her baby, who, sensing some harm, began to cry.

"Don't you make a scene, Angela," the social worker warned. "You know how this is done."

As she came toward her, I watched as Angela jumped out of the chair. She was clutching the baby in one arm and a glass of juice she'd been drinking in the opposite hand.

In one swift motion, she cracked the glass against a table. It created a jagged shard.

"Angela." I jumped up from the card table. "Put that down. No one's going to take your baby anywhere unless you let her go."

"This bitch is trying to ruin my life." She glared. "First she lets me sit in Claymore three days past my date, then she won't let me go home to my mom. Now she's trying to take my baby girl."

I nodded, peering into the teenager's eyes. "First, you gotta lay down the glass," I said. "You know that, Angela."

The DCF worker took a step, but I held her back. I moved slowly toward Angela. I took hold of the glass, then I gently eased the child out of her arms.

"She's all I have," the girl whispered, and then she started to sob.

"I know." I nodded. "That's why you'll change some things in your life and get her back."

Dee Collins had her arms around Angela, a cloth wrapped around the girl's bleeding hand. The DCF worker was trying unsuccessfully to hush the crying infant.

I went up and said to her, "That baby gets placed somewhere nearby with daily visitation rights. And by the way, I didn't see anything going on here that was worth putting on file.... You?" The caseworker gave me a disgruntled look and turned away.

Suddenly, my beeper sounded, three dissonant beeps punctuating the tense air. I pulled it out and read the number. Jacobi, my ex-partner in Homicide. What did he want?

I excused myself and moved into the staff office. I was able to reach him in his car.

"Something bad's happened, Lindsay," he said glumly. "I thought you'd want to know."

He clued me in about a horrible drive-by shooting at the La Salle Heights Church. An eleven-year-old girl had been killed.

"Jesus..." I sighed as my heart sank. "I thought you might want in on it," Jacobi said.

I took in a breath. It had been over three months since I'd been on the scene at a homicide. Not since the day the bride and groom case ended.

"So, I didn't hear," Jacobi pressed. "You want in, Lieutenant?" It was the first time he had called me by my new rank.

I realized my honeymoon had come to an end. "Yeah," I muttered. "I want in."

Copyright (c) 2002 by SueJack, Inc.

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