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

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Overview

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.

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

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Overview

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®

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
None of the chilling suspense or bizarre plot twists of Patterson's supremely popular Alex Cross novels is lost in this second offering in the author's Women's Murder Club series, featuring a four-woman team of friends who tend to work outside the system. The female protagonists offer a different perspective on heinous crimes and provide more of an emotional subtext.

After a young girl is murdered outside a San Francisco church, the newly promoted Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer sets out to discover why the killer -- who is soon known as Chimera -- ineffectually tried to make the scene look like a casual drive-by shooting. The case bears a resemblance to another murder thinly camouflaged as a suicide. Baffled by Chimera's motives, Lindsay decides to call another meeting of the Women's Murder Club: Her best friend, medical examiner Claire Washburn; Chronicle crime reporter Cindy Thomas; and Assistant District Attorney Jill Bernhardt. Eventually, Lindsay learns that her own father, an ex-cop, is somehow entangled in the killer's past, and soon she and Chimera are caught up in a battle of wits as the women of the Club become his prime targets.

Short chapters keep the action going by at whizz-bang speed. As the viewpoints shift from Lindsay's introspection to the killer's own brutal mind, we learn more and more about how similar they are in some respects, making this an eventual cat-and-mouse tease of investigation as hunter becomes hunted. 2nd Chance powerfully realizes both its heroes and villains, and fans of Patterson's bestselling Cross novels will be equally delighted with this series. (Tom Piccirilli)

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

  • ISBN-13: 9780446612791
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/27/2003
  • Series: Women's Murder Club Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 26,533
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 240 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. Mr. Patterson also writes the bestselling Women's Murder Club novels, set in San Francisco, and the top-selling New York detective series of all time, featuring Detective Michael Bennett. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

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

Part I

THE WOMEN'S MURDER

CLUB - AGAIN

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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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 492 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(263)

4 Star

(142)

3 Star

(60)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 496 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Enjoyable, fast reading. The plot keeps your interest and the ch

    Enjoyable, fast reading. The plot keeps your interest and the characters are likeable.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2013

    Predictable

    I guess i think these mystery "suspense" novels are just not written very well. They all seem the same to me. I bought a few because they were half off and will read them when i have nothing else. This cop does stupid things that make no sense. No phone, no vest, no backup, yeah right. Thank god we didn't have a long sex scene with the preacher and the reporter. If these women are so tough, smart, independent and amazing at what they do, can we have a little less crying.
    I am a woman.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    I really enjoy James Patterson and the Women's Club - but I also

    I really enjoy James Patterson and the Women's Club - but I also find that Stuart Woods - Stone Barrington Series are a nice fill when your waiting for the next!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2011

    Excellent suspense

    The plot was very well conceived. Every time I thought I knew who committed the crimes, the focus switched on to someone else. Not until the last chapter did Patterson unveil who the real culprit was...amazing story line...kept me glued to the book until the very end!!

    I read this nook book on an iPad this time. I was able to download a free nook app for the iPad. I set the font size to very large, and it was a very easy read. Sorry B&N...don't see much of a need in buying another Nook going forward.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    Mystery lovers - check it out

    I am now on #3 and thoroughly enjoy this series. It is a nice mix of crime, friendship and the outcome of working together. The storyline is a pleasure to follow and the women, in the club, each have their own personal stories that take you into their individual lives.
    I am looking forward to the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    A great read, but I really like James Patterson.

    A lot of significant characters in this book were being killed and you had no clue who was doing the shootings until the last chapter. Very thrilling.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    Another good one.

    U can depend on patterson abd crew. Always a good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    I enjoy this author. Definitely check out his books.

    Good story line and keeps you involved in the book. Hard to put down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

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

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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2013

    Well done James and Company!

    His are always a good read. This one was a return visit as it's been years and years since I read this series. Now, I won't have to buy it again after I donate used books so I have room for more as this one is permanently in my Nook library. Enjoy this read. It's a good one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2013

    Highly recommended

    This is the best book i've read but you must start with the first book to understand this one. It's a series of books called awomens Murder Club seriees...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    Read this review

    I havent read this one i did read number one though. How is this.?.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2008

    Just okay

    This book was entertaining and quick to read, but it wasn't as great as the first one. I hope the next book, 3rd degree, is a bit better.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2014

    Great read

    I enjoyed this great book,just like all of his books.

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  • Posted June 28, 2014

    Great Reading

    I recommend the series

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  • Posted April 20, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I enjoyed reading this book. It was fast paced. The plot had goo

    I enjoyed reading this book. It was fast paced. The plot had good twists and turns. The reader was led in different directions to find the murderer. But at the end, a small clue, which I had overlooked, pointed to the killer. I liked Lindsay Boxer but her friends didn't offer much in solving the murders. She took chances and one almost cost her life. I was happy to be surprised by the ending.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    Hush

    Yes?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 21, 2014

    Great reading!

    I love the Women's Murder Club Series. Can't wait for the new on to come out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Great Book

    I enjoyed reading this book even more this second time than the last.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 12, 2013

    This is a formula book, that seems to have the same issues in all of the first three books I have read.

    Personally I would prefer more development of insight and analysis than the emotional involvement that permeates these books.

    Also having main players be murdered in the plot seems a little far fetched.

    I enjoy other books by this author, but not this series.

    It seems meant for a more superficial view of police life. And what's with the high end food and high label clothes? The dialog and plot does not match that venue. And every time they meet, they are drinking, some of which seems during work, or going back to work after. Not too good.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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