Monday, May 12, 2008

Books: Women's Murder Club

Just recently I managed to get a couple of copies of books from the Patterson series Women's Murder Club. The books all have numbers in the titles, 1st to Die, 2nd Chance, 3rd Degree, 4th of July, The 5th Horseman, The 6th Target, and 7th Heaven. The last book just came out in hardback in February.

I like Patterson's material. One year I somehow, through purchase and library, read every book he had with Alex Cross as the main character. Two Cross books, Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider, were made into movies. I love the thriller in thriller books. Patterson was really good at creating a lot of twists and turns into his novels. By the end though I was starting to feel a little ambivalent about Cross' character. I haven't read Patterson's most recent Cross books.

Which brings me back to the Women's Murder Club. I really liked the first couple of books. Starting to read them when they first came out, I got the excitement of seeing the characters grow. I cried when I read 3rd Degree! But after that the books didn't quite feel the same. I noticed a second author was listed on the book. The 4th of July was the last book I purchased. I wondered then if I was wrong to abandon the series.

Now I've read the 5th and 6th book, with the option of reading the 7th as soon as B's mom is done. I've come to the conclusion that I didn't miss anything by not reading them. They were just okay - not awful or disappointing and not spectacular - just okay. I went online to see what others thought and the ratings were all over. Most of those who disliked the books felt the way that I did. They were okay to read, but the characters seemed hollow and undeveloped. I can't blame the other author, as I've seen others do, but it makes me wonder what's going on with Patterson. Did he start a series he really shouldn't have? Did he run out of ideas? Did he give up on the Women's Murder Club?

Reading the series listings in Patterson's wiki I can't help but notice that the book year I stopped reading Cross is the same year I stopped reading Murder Club.

So have you read the books from the beginning? What do you think?

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