The 5th Horseman (Women's Murder Club Series #5)

The 5th Horseman (Women's Murder Club Series #5)

by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

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The 5th Horseman (Women's Murder Club Series #5) by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

A young mother is recuperating in a San Francisco hospital when she is suddenly gasping for breath. The call button fails to bring help in time. The hospital's doctors, some of the best in the nation, are completely mystified by her death. How did this happen?


This is not the first such case at the hospital. Just as patients are about to be released with a clean bill of health, their conditions take a devastating turn for the worse.

Accompanied by the newest member of the Women's Murder Club, Yuki Castellano, Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer probes deeper into the incidents. Could these cases just be appalling coincidences? Or is a maniac playing God with people's lives? When someone close to the Women's Murder Club begins to exhibit the same frightening symptoms, Lindsay fears no one is safe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446618199
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 02/26/2008
Series: Women's Murder Club Series , #5
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 20,226
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 7.62(h) x 1.00(d)

About 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 300 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. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.


Palm Beach, Florida

Date of Birth:

March 22, 1947

Place of Birth:

Newburgh, New York


B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971

Read an Excerpt

The 5th Horseman

By James Patterson Maxine Paetro

Little, Brown

Copyright © 2006 James Patterson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-15977-8

Chapter One

RAIN WAS DRUMMING HARD against the windows when the midnight-to-8:00 rounds began at San Francisco Municipal Hospital. Inside the ICU, thirty-year-old Jessie Falk was asleep in her hospital bed, floating on a Percocet lake of cool light.

Jessie was having the most beautiful dream she'd had in years.

She and the light of her life, three-year-old Claudia, were in Grandma's backyard swimming pool. Claudie was in her birthday suit and bright-pink water wings, slapping the water, sunlight glinting off her blond curls.

"Simon says, kiss like a butterfly, Claudie."

"Like this, Mommy?"

Then the mother and daughter were shouting and laughing, twirling and falling down, singing out "wheeeeeee," when without warning a sharp pain pierced Jessie's chest.

She awoke with a scream-bolted upright-and clapped both of her hands to her breast.

What was happening? What was that pain?

Then Jessie realized that she was in a hospital-and that she was feeling sick again. She remembered coming here, the ambulance ride, a doctor telling her that she was going to be fine, not to worry.

Falling, nearly fainting back to the mattress, Jessie fumbled for the call button at her side. Then the device slipped from her grasp and fell. It banged against the side of the bed with a muted clang.

Oh, God, I can't breathe. What's happening? I can't get my breath. It's horrible. I'm not fine.

Tossing her head from side to side, Jessie swept the darkened hospital room with her eyes. Then she seized on a figure at the far edge of her vision.

She knew the face.

"Oh, th-thank God," she gasped. "Help me, please. It's my heart."

She stretched out her hands, clutched feebly at the air, but the figure stayed in the shadows.

"Please," Jessie pleaded.

The figure wouldn't come forward, wouldn't help. What was going on? This was a hospital. The person in the shadows worked here.

Tiny black specks gathered in front of Jessie's eyes as a crushing pain squeezed the air from her chest. Suddenly her vision tunneled to a pinprick of white light.

"Please help me. I think I'm -"

"Yes," said the figure in the shadows, "you are dying, Jessie. It's beautiful to watch you cross over."


Excerpted from The 5th Horseman by James Patterson Maxine Paetro Copyright © 2006 by James Patterson . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The 5th Horseman (Women's Murder Club Series #5) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 391 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Since so many others have outlined the general plot of this story (huge lawsuit against a hospital; suspicious deaths that may or may not have been committed by a doctor) I'll simply leave a brief comment. Although the story isn't all that complicated, it was still a quick, enjoyable read--and the ending was one I didn't see coming.

Please be aware, though, that THE 5TH HORSEMAN is NOT an Alex Cross novel, which seemed to be one reviewer's complaint. This is the story of Lindsay Boxer, SFPD Lieutenant and her fellow Women's Murder Club friends. I found the story to be heartfelt and emotional, full of action-adventure, and, as I said, a very quick, satisfying read.
DonnaD More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy reading James Patterson, but his Women's Murder Club and Alex Cross books always get better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another mystery/murder book I had trouble putting down. The women's murder club is not my favorite series from James but I still highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book seemed a bit slow starting for a James Patterson book. I thought I might have read too many of his books and was expecting too much. But no, I was not disappointed. As I continued through the book, it became very interesting and exciting, right down to the last chapter and the Epilogue. The 5th Horseman is one of the Women¿s Murder Club series that Patterson has established. Patients in San Francisco Municipal Hospital are dying when they should not be. Patients of all ages are found dead in their beds with a small coin on each eye. When a new member of The Women¿s Murder Club, Yuki Castellano, has to have her mother taken to the Emergency Room in this hospital, she and her friends have much concern. Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer of the San Francisco Police Department takes a personal interest in these deaths now that her new friend¿s mother is involved. Two other members of the club, Claire, the San Francisco Chief Medical Examiner, and Cindy, a reporter, also become more involved. There are just too many deaths for their minds to assimilate. Emergency Room Dr. Dennis Garza seems to always be at the wrong place, at the wrong time as far as the police were concerned. He immediately becomes one of the main suspects, despite having alibis most of the time. Attorney, Maureen O¿Mara, has filed a suit against the hospital for the many victims that have lost family over the past few years. The courtroom action becomes a large part of the book. Victim after victim testifies describing the loss of their loved one, a loss not expected at all. Larry Kramer, the attorney for the hospital, also parades his witnesses for the hospital each telling the hospital couldn¿t be responsible for these deaths as they have a foolproof medication system through their computers. The action gets hot and heavy, in the courtroom and outside as the police pursue their leads. No one is working harder than the Women¿s Murder Club as they trail some of the suspects quietly, and some times NOT so quietly! Dr. Garza remains on the top of their list especially since some personnel in the hospital furnished some information to them. All the time, Lindsay Boxer tries to keep her long-distance romance active with her boy friend, Joe, who is an agent with the FBI in Washington, DC. This is very difficult with both of them too busy most of the time and ¿phone dates¿ are not the best kind of socializing. Meanwhile the Night Walker continues the killing and placing the coins on the eyes. Who is this vicious and uncaring killer who has no respect for anyone¿s age or health condition? Even a person with just a simple broken bone is not safe if the Night Walker wants them DEAD!
Guest More than 1 year ago
There were too many stories, none of which were resolved. I wondered why the 'Car Girls' crime wasn't explained. I wondered what made Lindsey suspect the 'button killer'. What was the point of the pharmacist? Strange and unresolved. I will keep reading Patterson, but probably skip the Lindsey novels.
The_Iceman More than 1 year ago
Patterson and Paetro gave it away on the dust jacket blurb, "The Women's Murder Club faces an unspeakable horror in an irresistible hospital and courtroom thriller ...". The problem is, they weren't talking about one novel being two things at once. They were talking about two separate novellas that had nothing to do with one another being tossed into a blender and combined into a single novel.

The bad news first! The first story is a typical and seriously overused hospital plot - a series of inexplicable hospital deaths that ultimately and not particularly surprisingly come down to the runaway serial murderer roaming the halls of a creepy hospital. The other is an uninspired police procedural about the apprehension of a kinky serial killer who liked to kill young girls and dress them up a little after they were already dead.

The good news is that, unlike "You've Been Warned" which was a complete waste of even the energy needed to turn the pages, the writing in "The 5th Horseman" manages to be snappy, entertaining and actually quite compelling. The novel is diverting and enjoyable despite its obvious shortcomings. At the same time as I was aware of the weaknesses in the plot's originality, I was definitely hooked and unwilling to put the book down and let it go. I can't help but admit that's a good thing!

Despite the fact that Patterson's reputation as a novelist is hanging by the thinnest of threads, I recommend "The 5th Horseman" as a thoroughly enjoyable, if entirely forgettable piece of literary brain candy. Take it on the plane or to the beach by all means.

Paul Weiss
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've tried to stick with James Patterson for far too long now. I used to relish his novels, and waited anxiously when they would be released. He has taken a great idea, the Women's Murder Club, and driven it into the ground. 5th Horseman is the work of an author more concerned about the quantity, and not the quality of his books. The ending makes hardly any sense, and there really seems to be no reason to his twists anymore other than to keep the reader going. Another thing that I found to be disappointing is his new knack for dropping brand names into his novels. Forgive me, but I have never heard of anyone calling their cellphone a Nextel. Nor do I see Crest when someone flashes a great smile. It makes me wonder if there is another, cheap, reason to these odd brand name plugs. The only good thing about this book and series is that now I have the opportunity to pick up something new that will, hopefully, not disappoint as much as this poor excuse of a bestseller.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
When it comes to talking about actress Carolyn McCormick one hardly knows where to begin. She's made her mark in films and appeared on TV as Dr. Olivit on Law and Order for some 12 years. Her Broadway credits include The Dinner Party and Private Lives. Many will remember her outstanding reading of James Patterson's 4th of July, and she delivers one more stellar narration of The 5th Horseman. With this story there's a new member of The Women's Murder Club - Yuki Castellano, an attorney. She and her mother, Keiko, are out enjoying a walk when Keiko is suddenly taken ill. She's rushed to the San Francisco Medical Center. Yuki is told that her mother will be fine. Not so. She dies. When Yuki and Lindsay Boxer begin looking into this death that has mystified the doctors, they find other frightening cases - patients who have been declared healthy, ready to go home never leave. They suddenly die. Could all of these fatalities be bizarre coincidences or is there some unknown evil at work? Perhaps not evil maybe just gross neglect as the Medical Center has been named in a lawsuit. Combined with the unexplained deaths in what is supposed to be a place of healing is a serial killer who leaves his victims in cars. The courtroom scenes in The 5th Horseman are explosive and real. Once you turn it on, you can't stop listening - enjoy! - Gail Cooke
harstan More than 1 year ago
Keiko, the mother of the newest member of the Women¿s Murder Club, Attorney Yuki Castellano collapses and is rushed to San Francisco Municipal Hospital. Apparently, Keiko has had a Transient Ischemic Attack, but seems to be recovering. After accompanying Yuki to the hospital, Police detective Lindsay Boxer goes home only to learn later that Keiko suddenly and unexpectedly died. --- A stunned Lindsay soon learns that the municipal hospital has been a place where too many recent deaths have occurred due to incorrect medication given to patients. Keiko apparently is the latest lethal mistake. Lindsay thinks a warped ¿angel¿ of not mercy is killing people just prior to their leaving the hospital. Though her plate is filled with an investigation into the ¿Car Girls¿ serial murders, she vows with the help of her Women¿s Murder Club members to take down the hospital killer. --- THE 5TH HORSEMAN is a terrific suspense chiller that starts off at hyperspeed with Keiko¿s collapse and subsequent death and picks up speed as beleaguered cop Lindsay struggles to stop two apparent serial killers. The story line is action packed as is the trademark of the series (and any work including collaborations that James Paterson writes) while the female members of the Women¿s Murder Club retain their individual personalities that make them seem genuine even while being super crime stoppers. ---Harriet Klausner
virginiahomeschooler on LibraryThing 4 days ago
Having read a great many of James Patterson's previous novels, I went into this one not expecting great literature, but rather a story that would keep me turning the pages. I guess I can't say that I was disappointed in that regard, but I do feel like Patterson (or whoever did the bulk of the writing on this one) wasn't up to form. It was basically two non-cohesive stories jammed together to form one mediocre novel. The constant flipping from first to third person was distracting, and there was no character development. I did feel compelled to finish the book to find out 'who done it?', but it was very anticlimactic in the end. Not his best work by a long shot.
cjthomas on LibraryThing 4 days ago
333 pages, 139 chapters -- perhaps that is telling enough about the plot development. Made for TV literature... OK, far from great
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
The women's murder club take on two cases. The first involves either murder or medical malpractice at a hospital. The second involves murdered women being left in expensive cars. Both were good stories, although the climax was so bad it killed much of the enjoyment for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Awesome Read
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down towards the end!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book and also the series so far!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book had a pretty good storyline to it and had me at the edge of my seat a lot and I didn't want to put the book down. It also has some surprises. The next installment, the 6th target, is probably my least favorite of the series so far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cmchampion More than 1 year ago
Makes you think twice going to the ER