1st to Die (Women’s Murder Club, #1) by James Patterson

First Published: March 5th, 2000
2015 Popsugar RC Category: Book With A Number In The Title
My Star Rating: star_png1597star_png1578star_png1578star_png1578star_png1578

BLUF: While I did not like this book, I am likely to read the next in the series at some point in the distant future.

“We have been sort of working together,” I admitted, “outside of the investigation.” Over margaritas, I explained how we had originally gotten together. How we had come upon this case, trying to solve it, sharing what we knew freelance. How it had become a sort of bond. How things had just gotten a bit deeper. Jill arched her eyebrows. “I assume you’re sharing all this with the investigation?”.

The Women’s Murder Club, Book # 1, revolves around four professional women trying to understand, investigate, and solve a high-profile case. Each woman is involved with the case in their professional life, but at night, they take their information to each other in attempt to put together more pieces than they could alone or through their jobs. The main female characters include a journalist who just needs a break to prove her worth in the field, a DA who is as tough as nails, a coroner who is socially perceptive and outside the box, and our main character, Lindsay Boxer, a homicide inspector. Together, these women collaborate to create leads, find new clues, and, ultimately, solve the Newlywed Murders.

Honestly, I didn’t expect much from the age of the book and that it was a start of a series. What I did expect was a strong female lead, similar to the type we have in newer books.

All women involved in the Women’s Murder Club feel ‘held down by the man.’ Our main character shares her feelings of insecurities throughout most of the book. This would be okay, but she does it in very resentful and whiny fashion. On top of that, when she whines/smirks over the idea that the men will be appalled that the women solved the case instead of them, she fails to realize that her and her friends are actually causing more harm than good by withholding information from their partners. Overall, her whining was unbearable to me. So much so that when the officer from the out-of-state department called to share the case with her, I found myself thinking “See, the men have no problem sharing with you. Why are you so damn sensitive and selfish about sharing with them?”

I couldn’t relate to any of the characters. Most characters were uninteresting or unlikeable. The book was slow. Most discoveries were drawn out through the conversation. Ex, one character would lead another into the realization of a certain fact of the case. What is clear to the reader in two lines takes the narrator half a page or more to figure out.

I will admit, I did enjoy the story line from about the 50% to 75% mark of the book.

While I enjoyed the overall concept of the story and was drawn into certain parts, I could not get past the main character. Lindsay Boxer makes women look unstable and overly-emotional. My lasting impression is the reminder that sexism works both ways.

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