Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

The 8th Confession, by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

The 8th Confession (Women's Murder Club Series #8) by Patterson Patterson: Book CoverFinished 7-8-09, rating 3/5, fiction, pub. 2009

Book 8 in the Women’s Murder Club series

“Cindy, you can’t work a homicide, okay?  Rich, tell her.”

“I don’t need your permission at all,” Cindy said.  Then, eyes brightening, “Here’s an idea.  Let’s go to Susie’s and map out a plan we can all live with-“

I rolled my eyes, but Conklin was shaking his head and grinning at Cindy.  He liked her!

Chapter 48

 The four ladies of San Francisco are back in a new novel and there are a whole lotta murderers running around town.  Lindsay and her partner Conklin are trying to make headway in the numerous cases involving very wealthy victims with  no known cause of death.  Claire is stumped and demands more police work.  Cindy is on the trail Bagman Jesus.  He’s a homeless man who was murdered and no one seems to care.  She also demands more police work, but finds she must do the heavy lifting herself.  Yuki is back in court trying to win her first case and she finds a love connection with a doctor who sees her at her worst.  She doesn’t demand more police work.

Once again Lindsay is waffling over Joe’s marriage proposal.  He is out of the country for a month and Lindsay is tempting fate and encouraging the sparks to ignite with Conklin.  Conklin, while still in love with Lindsay, is still a man and keeping his options open.  Cindy would like to be one of those options.

Another fast, easy read that is enjoyable, but not memorable.  Actually this one had so many storylines that it barely focused on any.  These books are great if you don’t want to read anything heavy or too time consuming.  It doesn’t come much lighter than this.  Great for summer vacations.


July 9, 2009 Posted by | 3 Star Books | , , , | 6 Comments

7th Heaven, by James Patterson

Cover ImageFinished 6-23-09, rating 3.5/5, mystery, pub. 2008

This is book 7 of the Women’s Murder Club series

“After a few hours, Ricky decided to cut up his body with a knife.  It was the most horrible thing I could ever imagine – and I grew up on a farm!  I was throwing up and crying,” Junie said, looking as though she might do it now.

I pulled out my chair again, put my butt in the seat, determined not to scare the little hooker even as she shocked me to the bone.

“But once we started cutting, there was no way back,” Junie said, pleading to Conklin with her eyes. “I helped Ricky put Michael’s body into about eight garbage bags, and then we piled the bags into Ricky’s truck.  It was was like five in the morning.  And no one was around.”

Chapter 7

I know I complain about this series every time I write about it, so I am taking this book off.  As a matter of fact, this was my favorite book of the series (so far).  I thought there was more mystery and surprise in this one than in the others and the relationships of the women moved along nicely.

A poster child for goodwill vanishes and after six months the police finally have a lead and they bring in an angelic looking prostitute for questioning.  Lindsay and Conklin are able to get a confession and Yuki, is awarded the case for the district attorney.  She thinks it is an open and shut case, but things start to go south in court and at home as she is stalked by a writer covering the story.

There is also a number of arson and murder cases that claim some of San Francisco’s wealthiest as victims.  Things turn personal when Conklin must tell an old flame that her parents have been burned to death. 

Lindsay is still conflicted about  her feelings for Joe and Conklin.  It makes you want to sit down and talk to her about what is going on in her head!  There is also a baby to one of the women in the club and a surprise in the plot at the end that left the book ending on a high note.

June 28, 2009 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | , , , , | 4 Comments

The 6th Target, by James Patterson

Cover ImageFinished 6-15-09, rating 3/5, mystery, pub. 2007

This is the 6th book in the Women’s Murder Club series

I dropped my eyes to the victim, a large African American woman, her face mostly covered with an oxygen mask, an IV line running into her arm,  Blood soaked the sheet tucked tightly over her body.

I felt a pain in my chest, my heart catching on a full second before my brain put it together.

The victim was Claire Washburn!

My best friend had been shot on the ferry!

Chapter 4

When a madman goes on a shooting rampage on the ferry Lindsay is called in and she finds Claire a victim.  So, begins another installment of these four friends tackling the bad guys of San Francisco.  While Claire fights for her life in the hospital and Lindsay is on a mission to find the ferry killer, Cindy is having trouble at her new apartment building.  Yuki is charged with the task of prosecuting the killer – a seemingly open and shut case.

On a personal level, Lindsey is back to her detective ways and teamed up with a new partner, the ladies man Conklin.  And she is having problems with Joe.  Problems I never really understood, but, oh well.

My complaint about this series hasn’t changed all that much.  The relationship between the women is off and that doesn’t really seem to get better.  But after reading the 5th book a day before this one, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised to find the writing not nearly so off putting.  I think the writing was better and yet I liked it less.  Go figure.  For me there were a few too many things going on in this one.  It was still a page turner, but I’m writing this two days later and I can barely remember it.  It was good, but not memorable.

June 18, 2009 Posted by | 3 Star Books | , , | 5 Comments

5th Horseman, by James Patterson

Cover ImageFinished 6-14-09, rating 3.5/5, mystery, pub. 2006

5th book in the Women’s Murder Club series

In the 1820’s, a couple of sweethearts named Burke and Hare were in the cadaver procurement business.  For a while, they dug up bodies for sale to Edinburgh’s medical schools – until they realized how easy it was to produce fresh corpses by grabbing live victims and sitting on their chests until they died.

Burking was still in good standing today.  Postpartum mommies do it to their kids more often than you’d ever want to know.  Slip the child between the mattress and box spring, sit on the bed.

If you can’t expand your chest, you can’t breathe.

Chapter 12

 Lindsay, Claire, Cindy, and Yuki are back in a drama that starts with patients dying in the hospital at an alarming rate and continues with young escorts being murdered, dressed up and left in fancy cars to be found.  Right from the beginning it turns personal, when Yuki’s mother is admitted into the hospital that is being sued for malpractice and becomes one of the victims of a hospital murderer.  If you are already scared of going to the hospital, this book will not help you.

Lindsay is having her own doubts about her promotion and asks to be put back on the street, but her boss says no.  Sexy Joe is back and more lovable than ever.  Considering we’ve had little time to get to know Yuki, it’s too bad this book did not show her in any other condition than mourning and depression. 

I liked the storylines and how the two big cases worked together.  This was more about the cases than the women.

This one did strike me as more poorly written than the others – and that’s saying something.  The language and banter were beyond cheesy and it was hard to find a sentence over 5 words or a paragraph with 5 sentences.  After a hundred pages or so I was able to laugh at the absurd conversations and lack of any depth and just enjoy the story. 

This series is not a favorite of mine, but they are page-turners and quick reads.  And summer is the perfect time for those.  Come back tomorrow for my review of The 6th Target.

June 17, 2009 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | , , , | 9 Comments

Free Books for January

I’m cleaning off my bookshelves again and am ready to offer these books I’ve already read to you, free of charge.

Leave a comment, tell me which book you want and I’ll get the book to you for FREE either by mail or personally if I’ll see you soon.  The first one to request each book wins.

Once you’ve ‘won’ the book I can get your shipping address if I need it.  Also, you can come back and get a free book every month if you want. 

1. Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, trade paperback, read once.  Read my review here.

2. Promise Me by Harlan Coben, oversize mass market paperback, read once.  Review here.  If you’ve never tried a Harlan Coben thriller, you should!  for Heather

3. Cloud Nine by Luanne Rice, mass market paperback, read a few times.  Review here.  This book convinced me never  to buy down pillows again.  for Sarah

4. Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati, mass market paperback, read a few times.  Review here.  This is one of my favorite books (it’s on my 100 list).  If you like epics, romances, native american culture, or early America.  You’ll get lost in its 876 pages.

5. 3rd Degree by James Patterson, mass market paperback, read a few times (cover has a water ring, must have used the book as a coaster once, sorry).  My review here.  for Katie

Happy Reading!

January 1, 2009 Posted by | FREE | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sundays at Tiffany’s, by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Cover ImageFinished 12-1-08, fiction, rating 3.5/5, pub. 2008

“Please don’t leave me, Michael.  I’m begging you.  You can’t – not now, not ever!  You don’t know how important you are to me!”

“You’ll see, Jane,” he promised her.  “You’ll forget me, and it won’t hurt tomorrow.  Besides, you said it yourself: Love means you can never be apart.  So we’ll never be apart, Jane, because Iove you so much.  I’ll always, always love you.”

And with those words, Michael began to fade out of the room, in imaginary friend-style…”     -Chapter 7

Jane was a lonely child with a successful but neglectful mother.  Jane’s imaginary friend, Michael, gave her friendship and love before he had to leave her on her 9th birthday.  Fast forward 23 years and Jane has never forgotten Michael, achieving her own success by putting their story on the Broadway stage.  Even with this success she is still a lonely girl who never feels good enough.  Michael is between assignments and sees Jane on the New York streets and decides to follow her.  Michael is shocked to find out that Jane remembers him, something that has never happened before.

This is a fast read (I finished it in a day) and one that will open your imagination.  Who doesn’t want to have an imaginary friend whose sole purpose is to make them happy?  I was prepared to put my disbelief out in the snow while I cozied up to a lighthearted read.  It did tickle my imagination in a light, if not superficial way.  Michael was the perfect man and Jane was a normal girl who had never stopped loving him.  I even got past the fact that somehow Michael never aged, so when he was friends with an 8 year old girl he was the same age as when he fell in love with the same girl 23 years later.

The ending ruined much of the magic, for me at least.  I won’t ruin it for you, but I was disappointed because it felt lazy.  It could have been powerful or poignant, but it was…boring and short on explanation.  I liked the book and maybe not everyone will have a problem with the ending.  Total romantics will love it.  I consider myself more of a romantic realist, so I was a bit disappointed.  Overall it was a fun read with lots of potential, but one I’ve already rewritten in my head a half dozen ways and liked better!


December 2, 2008 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Free books for December

Leave a comment, tell me which book you want and I’ll get the book to you for FREE either by mail or personally if I’ll see you soon.  The first one to request each book wins.

Once you’ve ‘won’ the book I can get your shipping address if I need it.  Also, you can come back and get a free book every month if you want. 

1. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice writing as A.N. Roquelaure – brand new hardcover book club copy for Bobbie

2. Comfort Woman by Nora Okja Keller trade paperback read once

3. Midnight on Julia Street by Ciji Ware – paperback read a few times

4. Over the Edge by Jonathan Kellerman – paperback read once for Satish

5. 1st To Die by James Patterson– like new paperback for Debby

Thanks for helping me clear my shelves!  Happy Reading 🙂

December 1, 2008 Posted by | FREE | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

4th of July, by James Patterson

Cover ImageFinished 9-22-08, rating 3/5, fiction, pub. 2006

This the the 4th installment of the Women’s Murder Club

Lindsay, Claire, and Cindy are back to work another murder case or cases as it happens.  Lindsay finds herself on trial and on administrative leave after a shooting that leaves one teen dead and the teen’s brother paralyzed.  She decides to head out of town to her sister’s empty house for some much needed relaxation.  While there she becomes embroiled in the local murders terrorizing the local beach community.

Claire and Cindy make small appearances, but this is really Lindsay’s story.  Boyfriend Joe is back and her faithful furry companion, Martha, is a welcome addition for this dog lover.  And by the end of the book a new member is admitted to the murder club.

Patterson knows how to build suspense, but the way he does it sometimes feels lazy.  I felt that this book was aimed at those who have ADD and because of it there were a lot more loose ends than in the past books.  It is a page turner and a great quick read and sometimes that is just what I need.  If you liked the first three in this series you will like the change of scenery this one offers.

September 22, 2008 Posted by | 3 Star Books | , , , | 2 Comments

3rd Degree, by James Patterson

Cover ImageFinished 8-6-08, rating 3/5, thriller, pub. 2004

“I have this very nice dog.  And my friends.  And this job.  And I’m good at it.  But I have no life.”   -Chapter 111

This is the third installment of the Women’s Murder Club.  The four women… homicide detective Lindsay, assistant DA Jill, medical examiner Claire, and reporter Cindy.

Lindsay witnesses a townhouse being blown to bits and rushes into the burning building and saves a child.  This begins the deadly terror that grips San Francisco at the hands of August Spies.  After the townhouse, a mall is blown up and ricin proves a bad end for a world renowned economist.  At the same time Jill comes clean about the abuse she’s suffered at the hands of her husband and Lindsay feels sparks around Joe, the point man from Homeland Security.  Then a shocking thing happens.  One of the four Murders Club women is murdered.

These books are so fast paced that I was almost done in no time at all, which was exactly what I wanted after Pillars of the Earth.  The problem is that nothing sticks.  The story was fast and kept me turning the pages, but I had no real emotional investment with the characters.  The death, while surprising, did not pack an emotional punch.  And I still think the relationship between the women feels off.  It is written by a man and you can tell.  For the page turner that it was it was good.  If you are looking to delve into the life of another character then you many need something more substantial.

August 6, 2008 Posted by | 3 Star Books | , , , , | 3 Comments

2nd Chance, by James Patterson

Cover ImageFinished 5-28-08, rating 3.5/5, fiction, pub. 2002

 I read the first of this series, 1st To Die, a few years ago because I had heard so many good things about it.  I did like it, but wasn’t blown away and didn’t read anymore even though my Mom passed them on to me.  I saw the first Women’s Murder Club on TV and didn’t think it was great either, but it grew on me.  So, I decided to see if the books would too.

The girls are all back and ready for murder.  Lindsay is tracking a serial killer whose victims seem to only be connected by race.  Claire uses her reporter smarts to help Lindsay look the right way.  Two of the girls are shot, one shot at, and one has a miscarriage.  This book is full of drama.

This was a very fast read and I enjoyed it more than the first one, but who can know if it because I was picturing the girls from TV in the roles.  My ambivalence with the first book and this one has something to do with the relationship between the four women.  Their interaction and conversation don’t ring quite true for me.  But, I will read more of the series because the action is swift, the mystery is good, and Lindsay is spunky.

May 29, 2008 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | , , , , , | Leave a comment