The 3rd Woman. Finished 7-15-15, rating 4/5, thriller, 480 pages, pub. 2015
The first two murders went unnoticed. The third will change everything. . . .
She can’t save her sister.
Journalist Madison Webb is obsessed with exposing lies and corruption. But she never thought she’d be investigating her own sister’s murder.
She can’t trust the police.
Madison refuses to accept the official line that Abigail’s death was an isolated crime. She uncovers evidence that suggests her sister was the third victim in a series of killings hushed up as part of a major conspiracy.
She can expose the truth.
In a United States that now bows before the People’s Republic of China, corruption is rife—the government dictates what the “truth” is. With her life on the line, Madison must give up her quest for justice—or face the consequences. . . .
Los Angeles and the rest of California has become a dark, dreary place thanks to the smog and Chinese military bases along the coast, placed there after The U.S. defaulted on its debt. Maddy, award winning journalist, publishes a expose at the same time her little sister is murdered and the already high-wired writer starts an immediate investigation. She knows her sister did not do heroin but she’s having a difficult time convincing the police of this and when she finds a connection to other murders her life starts to spin out of control.
It was around this point in the story that Maddy, as a real person, lost me. She took maybe five minutes out of her life to tell her distant sister and then check in with her sick mom. Finding Abigail’s killer was all she could focus on, with little regard for the family she had left, and it made her seem cold.
Now, aside from Maddy not being a character I understood or much liked, the story of the murders of young blond women, the Chinese takeover, and the political intrigue made this an exciting thriller. The internet could bring people together to stand up to the powers that be, even of the all of the things that are wrong with politics now are still wrong in this new world.
I liked the premise since I can see a version of it happening and there were so many twists and turns that I was always excited when I found time to read it. Maddy was a kick-ass lead character and the end did not temper her, but she remained true to herself and I can respect that.
Jonathan Freedland is an award-winning journalist, a number one bestselling author, and a broadcaster. He is the Guardian’s executive editor for Opinion and also writes a weekly column. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times and the New York Review of Books, and presents BBC Radio 4’s contemporary history series The Long View. In 2014 he won the Orwell special prize for journalism.