Wednesday, November 18, 2009

25. The 8th Confession by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

I used to work at Caribou Coffee when I lived in Columbus. I loved the coffee, the discount and most of the people that I worked with. For months, I always worked on Thursday nights with my friend Denise. It was always slow, so we had a lot of time to chat about books, movies, TV shows. She made a killer observation about me one night that I've never forgotten. I think we were talking about the fact that I was super excited when Colin gave me the new Ashlee Simpson CD for no particular occasion, and how shocked she was that I was that excited, seeing as how Ashlee Simpson is really lame. She remarked that I mainly enjoy things that could be classified as guilty pleasures -- for me, it was the rule rather than the exception. Truer words were never spoken. While I'm intelligent and can appreciate more high-brow culture, I am all about the guilty pleasures.

Which leads me to James Patterson. I love him. I have reads countless books by him, and am always entertained. His books are like comfort food, and I'm not embarrassed to admit that I think they're great. I even like how short the chapters are, because it makes me feel like I'm reading really fast. I've been reading a lot of book blogs and book reviews online lately, and I notice that Patterson gets a lot of flak for co-authoring most of his books nowadays and cranking them out so fast. Well, to that I say whatever. You read what you want to read, and I'll be over here trying to figure out how Alex Cross is going to catch the bad guy for the umpteenth time.

The 8th Confession is the eighth installment in Patterson's Women's Murder Club series. Lindsay and her partner are assigned a high-profile case that's seemingly impossible to solve. Someone is killing the wealthy elite in a way that leaves no trace, and Lindsay is under tremendous pressure from her boss and the mayor to put a stop to it. Claire is stumped by the murders, determined to figure out the cause of death. Cindy is investigating the murder of a homeless man, using his story to shine a spotlight on the issue of homelessness in San Francisco. She convinces Lindsay to help her identify the dead man and find out who killed him and why. Yuki is awaiting the verdict in a tense trial, and meets a charming doctor who may or may not be perfect for her.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I was home sick on Friday, feeling weak and nauseated with only Monty for company, and I settled on the couch with a blanket and read this one start to finish. It was the perfect day for a fun, non-challenging read and it really helped me not feel overly miserable and sorry for myself.

It was a good installment in the series. The four ladies seemed to be working independently of each other, I don't think all four of them gathered for drinks until two-thirds through, and it was interesting to discover how interwoven their stories actually were. I also liked the continuing character development, particularly how Lindsay is finally ready to commit to Joe by the end of the book.

And finally, it was refreshing to read a mystery that didn't really have any violent scenes. I feel like I've read a lot of depictions of violence lately, some more graphic or gratuitous than others, and it was a relief to read a book with a good mystery without detailed descriptions of violent acts. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but suffice it to say that the killer's ingenious method was basically painless when administered and fairly creative at that.


Hyacinth said...

I remember that conversation; you were very excited about that CD...LOL. We had such good times at the Bou. Miss you. Hope you are feeling better. By the way, I like Patterson too. He always has been a fun fast read.

Magnolia said...

Good to know you're in Team Patterson with me! I agree, fun fast reads done well.

I have always remembered that conversation, I think it's so funny how shocked you were at my excitement. :)