The Women's Murder Club has become one of the most reliable series currently being published. In THE 6th TARGET, the latest of these fine books co-written by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, San Francisco Police Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer and the other members of her team deal with not one, but three bizarre crimes.
Boxer is heavily involved in the investigation of a senseless mass murder on a tourist-laden ferry, which leaves her best friend and fellow Women's Murder Club member, Claire Washburn, clinging to life and gives newbie Yuki Castellano the opportunity to try her first murder case. Boxer is also investigating the kidnapping of the small child of an important and influential San Francisco couple, a crime seemingly without motive. Meanwhile, reporter Cindy Thomas finds that her apartment building apparently is under siege by a vandal whose pattern of violence is escalating to new and deadly heights.
One case solves itself fairly rapidly, though the fallout from it has the potential to affect future events in this series. In the second case, only the reader knows the identity of the perpetrator, and the suspense increases as Boxer and Thomas slowly determine who is terrorizing Thomas's complex. And the third case --- well, that's the mystery of THE 6th TARGET.
Three investigations, one mystery, a courtroom thriller and some romance intertwined throughout the proceedings. It's difficult to reasonably ask for more in the newest installment of a series that keeps getting better and better.
Those who haven't read any of the novels in The Women's Murder Club series are cheating themselves. Fans can only hope that Patterson and Paetro will find a way to keep these books coming with greater frequency. Too much of a good thing, as has been said, is wonderful.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 7, 2011