1st to Die by James Patterson

This is the book that started it all.

The Women's Murder Club Book #1.

I had heard so much about this, and many readers who are dedicated to the Mystery genre spoke well of the series, so I decided to just dive in.

Patterson does a unique thing, creating chapters that are quite short, and gives you the impression you are accelerating your reading more than you likely are. The satisfaction of completing a chapter is always a good feeling, even if the chapter is only 3 pages long. I'll take my little pleasures where I can, thank you very much. His writing style is simple and not grandiose, full of unnecessary words and descriptions, rather, letting the pace of the investigation and the revelations of new clues suck you in appropriately. I wish more authors would excel at this... I digress.

The story focuses on 4 women, one an Investigator, one an ME, one a fledgling reporter and the 4th an Assistant DA. The case is intriguing: a series of newlyweds are killed immediately after their nuptials and the culprit is creatively elusive. The murder scenes are not overly grotesque or gratuitously descriptive, but just a little narrative of the scene is more than adequate and paints images in the reader's mind that is quite effective. Each woman seems to have her own unique character and the illness that one of them battles is an interesting addition to how she attempts to balance her life and priorities with this newlywed serial killer on the loose.

Yes, there is a romance element to it, but it is also not overbearing, although it does seem to just be thrown in there to appeal to a female romance-starved audience, and does not add anything critical to the story. I get the sense that if it was a book about a male investigative team, there would be sex but not necessarily a relationship like in this book. As if because it's a book about women, then of course she is going to paired with the ridiculously handsome, charming and single new partner - puh-leeze.

I liked the camaraderie of the 4 women, and I can see how as the series builds, so does their character development. I will likely read more books in this series, but I am not dying (haha pun) to continue to Book #2, 2nd Chance as soon as I close this book, like I felt when I read the Hunger Games series or Harry Potter. 

Ha! That may be the first time James Patterson has been compared to Suzanne Collins or J.K. Rowling! Oh my...



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