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I was jogging down by the bay with my border collie, Martha. It's my thing Sunday mornings - get up early and cram my meaningful other into the front seat of the Explorer. I try to huff out three miles, from Fort Mason down to the bridge and back. Just enough to convince myself I'm bordering on something called in shape at thirty-six.
That morning, my buddy Jill came along. To give her baby Lab, Otis, a run, or so she claimed. More likely, to warm herself up for a bike sprint up Mount Tamalpais or whatever Jill would do for real exercise later in the day.
It was hard to believe that it had been only five months since Jill lost her baby. Now here she was, her body toned and lean again.
"So, how did it go last night?" she asked, shuffling sideways beside me. "Word on the street is, Lindsay had a date." "You could call it a date ...," I said, focusing on the heights of Fort Mason, which weren't getting closer fast enough for me. "You could call Baghdad a vacation spot, too." She winced. "Sorry I brought it up."
All run long, my head had been filled with the annoying recollection of Franklin Fratelli, "asset remarketing" mogul (which was a fancy way of saying he sent goons after the dot-com busts who could no longer make the payments on their Beemers and Franck Mullers). For two months Fratelli had stuck his face in my office every time he was in the Hall, until he wore me down enough to ask him up for a meal on Saturday night (the short ribs braised in port wine I had to pack back into the fridge after he bailed on me at the last minute).
"I got stood up," I said, mid-stride. "Don't ask, I won't tell the details."
We pulled up at the end of Marina Green, a lung-clearing bray from me while Mary Decker over there bobbed on her toes as if she could go another loop.
"I don't know how you do it," I said, hands on hips, trying to catch my breath.
"My grandmother," she said, shrugging and stretching out a hamstring. "She started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety now. We have no idea where she is."
We both started to laugh. It was good to see the old Jill trying to peek through. It was good to hear the laughter back in her voice.
"You up for a mochachino?" I asked. "Martha's buying." "Can't. Steve's flying in from Chicago. He wants to bike up to see the Dean Friedlich exhibit at the Legion of Honor as soon as he can get in and change. You know what the puppy's like when he doesn't get his exercise."
I frowned. "Somehow it's hard for me to think of Steve as a puppy."
Jill nodded and pulled off her sweatshirt, lifting her arms. "Jill," I gasped, "what the hell is that?"
Peeking out through the strap of her exercise bra were a couple of small, dark bruises, like finger marks.
She tossed her sweatshirt over her shoulder, seemingly caught off guard. "Mashed myself getting out of the shower," she said. "You should get a load of how it looks." She winked. I nodded, but something about the bruise didn't sit well with me. "You sure you don't want that coffee?" I asked.
"Sorry ... You know El Exigente, if I'm five minutes late, he starts to see it as a pattern." She whistled for Otis and began to jog back to her car. She waved. "See you at work."
"So how about you?" I knelt down to Martha. "You look like a mochachino would do the trick." I snapped on her leash and started to trot off toward the Starbucks on Chestnut. The Marina has always been one of my favorite neighborhoods.
Curling streets of colorful, restored town houses. Families, the sound of gulls, the sea air off the bay.
I crossed Alhambra, my eye drifting to a beautiful three-story town house I always passed and admired. Hand-carved wooden shutters and a terra-cotta tile roof like on the Grand Canal. I held Martha as a car passed by.
That's what I remembered about the moment. The neighborhood just waking up. A redheaded kid in a FUBU sweatshirt practicing tricks on his Razor. A woman in overalls hurrying around the corner, carrying a bundle of clothes.
"C'mon, Martha." I tugged on her leash. "I can taste that mochachino."
Then the town house with the terra-cotta roof exploded into flames. I mean, it was as if San Francisco were suddenly Beirut.
Excerpted from 3rd Degree by James Patterson Andrew Gross Copyright © 2004 by James Patterson. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted March 9, 2012
I was completely heartbroken with this one. (those that have read it know why) I take my nook and read on my lunch break. I came back from lunch with tears in my eyes. Some don't understand how people get THAT into a book. But its just been that great of a read. This has been a wonderful series thus far and I highly recommend these books. Can't wait to get further into the series, though it will never be the same.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 17, 2012
My reading habit is to finish a book and wait a day or two to begin a new one. I want to let it marinate before I move on to a new book. But with the series, I can't wait to get to the next book. Each one is more suspenseful, more emotional, and yes....VERY addictive. You just can't get enough. One of the reasons I enjoy this author and this series is that he steps out on a limb with each book and does the unexpected. Shocking you as your read and illicitating a verbal response such as a gasp. Be prepared to be surprised in each of the books.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 18, 2010
I've read most of the Woman's Murder Club Series by James Patterson. Although 1st To Die was my favorite, this novel was excellent. As usual, there is excellent depth of character (Lindsey and Claire, for example) which can actually make you care for the characters. The plot is original, somewhat off beat, thrilling and carefully thought out with a few twists here and there. I also love his writing style. His writing style and short chapters make his novels an easy read. Patterson has never disappointed me with his Alex Cross Series either. I highly recommend Jack and Jill. The Quickie and Swimsuit were also excellent novels.
3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 14, 2012
I love the books, but have found I can get them cheaper in paperback on Ebay. If I have to pay $10 a book for these, it's not worth having the nook or the kindle apps. Very sad.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 21, 2010
This one lost me a bit. The plot was not as interesting as the others and what happened to one of the girls is very, very disheartening. I can't imagine how the series will recover from this one, it just won't be the same. (I guess I will see). In addition, Claire was markedly absent in this one. It didn't seem like the whole team was really a part of this one. I guess you would need to read this one in order for the following books to make sense, however, I didn't find it as enjoyable as the others.
2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 11, 2012
I've read the first three and do love Patterson's Alex Cross series. The Women's Murder Club plays out too much like a Lifetime Movie or a soap opera with some mystery thrown in around it. Patterson's writing is his norm, but these characters and stories leave me skimming through and hoping to quickly reach the end.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 4, 2009
This book was extremely boring. I've only read two other books by him and thought they were great, but this one...I'm glad I'm done.
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Posted August 12, 2013
I am a huge James Patterson fan. I am reading the Women's Club Murder mysteries in order and this one by far is my favorite. Can't wait to get thru numbers 4 - 12.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 25, 2013
Posted July 5, 2013
I have never been disappointed Keith one of Mr. Patterson's books. I love the characters and when there is a series, I must read them all. I would recommend this book and also the series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 3, 2013
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Posted May 14, 2013
Crime fiction is now supposed to contain a twist. Same with movies now. Readers are now looking ahead to the twist. Here, Patterson is sending the reader in one direction and the whole time I'm assuming that it won't go that way. That there's a red herring and then a twist. So, I was pleasantly surprised here when the author did what I thought he wouldn't do. While, yes, some of the other elements are predictable the book is good. A super fast read but a good book with intense drama and radical antagonists. Not the most complex novels but an entertaining and emotional book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 10, 2013
I am a big fan of James Patterson and love his books that keep you reading way past your bed time! I read 1, 2, and 3rd Degree Murder. I found them to be tamer than a lot of his other books. Don't get me wrong, they were not dull, just not as explosive as his other mysteries.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.