March 25, 2009

1st to Die and 2nd Chance by James Patterson

BOOK #s: 20 and 21

CHALLENGES: Triple 999 (x2), Genre Challenge (1st to Die)

RATINGS: Keepers! (5 stars)

James Patterson is just one talented suspense writer. I first fell in like with Patterson after reading The Beach House, which he co-wrote with Peter De Jonge. I had, of course, heard wonderful things about his Women’s Murder Club Series, of which these two books are the first two, but like any book you never know how you will personally feel about the story.

I LOVED 1st to Die. I think I read it in 2 days, which is not typical of me. I loved the character of Lindsey Boxer and her 3 friends who form the Women’s Murder Club during the book. The plot of a serial bride and groom killer was so original. I thought I had figured out who the murderer was and then Patterson threw such a twist at the end that I almost felt smacked! I did not see it coming. It made sense in retrospect, but he definitely had me fooled. That is the defining characteristic of a good mystery writer is if they can make you think you’ve figured out the twist they are going to throw in, only to throw in a different one! Loved it!

In fact, I loved it so much I went online to BookMooch and ordered the next in the series, 2nd Chance.. The end of 1st to Die was kind of bittersweet and so I wanted to know how Boxer would react to the events. Cleverly, the first two chapters of 2nd Chance were at the end of 1st to Die. I was hooked on the second book before I even closed the first one! 2nd Chance shows that Boxer is a survivor and is able to bounce back to take care of the next crazy serial killer let loose on San Francisco. This killer hits a little too close to home for Boxer and so taking down this criminal becomes personal.

The story lines were both original and creative, the characters are rich and well-developed (and fun!), and Patterson's twists will made me appreciate the genre of the mystery novel. I am already looking for the next book in the series, 3rd Degree, in the library!

Other Reviews of 1st to Die:
Other Reviews of 2nd Chance:


  1. Sounds sooooooo good! I could use a good suspense story! Great review :)

  2. I started with book 8! I reviewed it and it's posted today. I liked it.

  3. James Patterson is currently co-writing an online thriller with 28 new writers called "Airborne". He wrote the first chapter, they write the next 28 (one each) and he writes the final chapter. One new chapter is published online each day for 30 days (free to download).

    The link to the "Airborne" website is:

    (Sorry, I know that there is probably a better way of putting that link in, but I am tech-disabled).

    They are up to chapter 7 so far.

  4. I loved both books, still didn't read the third but I do love his writing.. one of my favorite authors :)

  5. Patterson is one of my favorite authors, too. Thanks for telling me about Airborne, I will have to check that out. I will be getting to your review, Sheri, I promise!

  6. Rebecca. I love Patterson too, and have made it up to the 6th book in this series. I haven't been disappointed in one yet. Enjoy the rest.

  7. I love reading these Women's Murder Club books, even though I started as an Alex Cross fan.


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