1st to Die
1st to Die
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Series: Women's Murder Club Vol. 1   

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Annotation: The Women's Murder Club investigates a serial killer who is stalking newlyweds in San Francisco.
Catalog Number: #5522302
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2001
Edition Date: 2007
Pages: 471 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-446-61003-8
ISBN 13: 978-0-446-61003-2
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 18 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Patterson, best known for his thrillers featuring Alex Cross, is banking on his legions of fans coming on board for this novel, the first in a new crime series. Don't be surprised if they come in droves. 1st to Die sets up the premise of the series--a group of four successful women coming together to solve murder cases--while offering a heinous killer and a fast-paced mystery. The story opens in San Francisco, with the gruesome murder of a bride and groom on their wedding night. Detective Lindsay Boxer is called to the scene, just after learning she is suffering from a rare and potentially life-threatening blood disease. For help with the case, she calls on her best friend, Claire, a medical examiner, and, reluctantly at first, Cindy, a newspaper reporter who is covering the story. Two more bride-and-groom killings lead them to the doorstep of Nicholas Jenks, a prominent writer who was having an affair with one of the murdered brides. Given Jenks' prestige, the assistant D.A., Jill Bernhardt, is reluctant to prosecute without substantial evidence. When Cindy gets a hold of a manuscript copy of Jenks' unpublished first novel, which details murders almost exactly like the bride-and-groom killings, the case starts to come together. Patterson keeps up the suspense until the very last page and will have readers looking forward to the second installment in the series.
Kirkus Reviews
Four women band together to catch the forgettable fiend who's murdering newlyweds. Even before she knows she's dealing with a serial killer, Inspector Lindsay Boxer is overcome with emotion at the beautiful young corpses of David and Melanie Brandt. Retreating to the ladies' room moments after tossing upstart reporter Cindy Thomas out of the crime scene, she runs into Cindy, who's sneaked inside to slip Lindsay her card and tell her to call her if she ever wants to talk about the case. There's no earthly reason for an experienced homicide cop to accept this invitation, so Lindsay naturally does, and soon after the killer scores a second double play, Lindsay's best friend Claire Washburn, San Francisco's chief medical examiner, and Jill Bernhardt, from the D.A.'s office, have joined the Women's Murder Club. The conceit here is that the quartet pool their skills to crack the case, but apart from sharing anecdotes about sex in public places and offering sympathetic shoulders to Lindsay, who's been diagnosed with life-threatening aplastic anemia, the others don't do much detection. Neither does Captain Chris Raleigh, Lindsay's new partner, whom Patterson ( Roses Are Red , 2000, etc.) has evidently provided his heroine for another purpose entirely. In fact, the crucial break in the case comes from an utterly unexpected source: Cleveland, where a third pair of bride-and-groom victims points a finger at a popular author who swears that although he's lied about the crime, and although the evidence against him is out to here, he's being set up. Is he or isn't he? Bargain-basement plotting, fewer thrills than a tax audit, and cardboard sleuths poised to return for a sequel. But the relentless velocity is guaranteed to hook fans of the bestselling Patterson, who'll presumably be hearing from the police the next time somebody declares war on young love.
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Word Count: 82,212
Reading Level: 4.5
Interest Level: 9+
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.5 / points: 12.0 / quiz: 72374 / grade: Upper Grades

Four crime-solving friends face off against a killer in San Francisco in the Women's Murder Club novel that started James Patterson's thrilling series.

Each one holds a piece of the puzzle: Lindsay Boxer is a homicide inspector in the San Francisco Police Department, Claire Washburn is a medical examiner, Jill Bernhardt is an assistant D.A., and Cindy Thomas just started working the crime desk of the San Francisco Chronicle.

But the usual procedures aren't bringing them any closer to stopping the killings. So these women form a Women's Murder Club to collaborate outside the box and pursue the case by sidestepping their bosses and giving each other a hand. The four women develop intense bonds as they pursue a killer whose crimes have stunned an entire city. Working together, they track down the most terrifying and unexpected killer they have ever encountered--before a shocking conclusion in which everything they knew turns out to be devastatingly wrong.

Full of the breathtaking drama and unforgettable emotions for which James Patterson is famous, 1st to Die is the start of the #1 New York Times bestselling series of crime thrillers.

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