Title: The 9th Judgment
Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
When I read it: May, 2013
Genre: Thrillers, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime
I am currently reading the 17th installment of the Women’s Murder club. Since there were so many books ahead of the 17th one, I want to post a review of each one separately, instead of creating a monster post. Most of this post will be about the plot, so that when I get to the 17th installment, readers will be caught up, in case they did not read all the books.
You can read my review of the 1st book, 1st to Die, here.
You can read my review of the 2nd book, 2nd Chance, here.
You can read my review of the 3rd book, 3rd Degree here.
You can read my review of the 4th book, 4th of July here.
You can read my review of the 5th book, 5th Horseman here.
You can read my review of the 6th book, The 6th Target here.
You can read my review of the 7th book, 7th Heaven here.
You can read my review of the 8th book, The 8th Confession here.
The Writing: As with most of the James Patterson books, the writing is nothing special. Patterson’s books are classic beach reads. Quick and entertaining for a day at the beach.
The Audiobook Recording: Nothing to report.
Expectations/Recommendations: Since I have read many of Patterson’s books before, I knew what to expect, and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for a quick read, and aren’t expecting anything intellectual, this is the right book for you.
See below for the plot of the book, but be careful because there are several spoilers.
Summary of the Plot from Wikipedia: the Wikipedia language has been altered for clarity, as it didn’t sound right.
SFPD sergeant Lindsay Boxer and her squad are tracking down a man who approaches young mothers in shopping center parking garages and kills them and their infant children leaving behind a macabre writing spelling *WCF* with the blood of the victims. Later we’ll know that means *Women Children First*; the team calls him the *Lipstick Killer* and will finally discover he goes by the name of Pete Gordon. This happens several times and causes widespread panic. The man then makes contact and demands a $2 million ransom in exchange for stopping the killing. He strikes at such random places and times that, despite Boxer’s protests, the police decide to pay the ransom.
Boxer is selected to deliver the ransom and has the man guide her via cellphone. After forcing Boxer to strip to her panties to prove she is not wearing a wire, the man has her drive throughout San Francisco. The trek culminates on the Golden Gate Bridge where Boxer drops the suitcase with the ransom in it to a boat waiting below. The Coast Guard is able to apprehend the man in the boat, who turns out to be uninvolved in the killings—he had been told he was picking up the suitcase for a movie. Upset at having not gotten his ransom, the man kills another mother and child. While at that crime scene, however, he was noticed by the owner of a store on Fisherman’s Wharf. The owner recognized him as having bought a prepaid cellphone from his store earlier and gives Boxer and her team the surveillance tape from his store. From the tape, Boxer and her team identify the man and begin tracking him down. Before they can find him, however, the man strikes again. However, the woman he chose was armed with a 22 caliber pistol—carried in response to the general panic caused by the shootings. She shoots the man and he dies just as Boxer and her team arrive.
In the plot’s secondary case, a notorious female cat burglar dubbed ‘Hello Kitty’ breaks into the home of an aging movie star, Marcus Dowling and his wife Casey, whilst they are eating dinner; Casey happened to be law school classmates with Boxer’s friend Yuki Castellano. The star and his wife come upstairs unexpectedly and the burglar is forced to wait in the closet until they fall asleep before she can escape. She waits, but in the process of escaping, knocks over a table. Marcus Dowling pulls out a gun and searches for the intruder before coming up with the idea of shooting and killing his wife in the hope that he can blame it on the burglar, who escapes unnoticed before the killing occurs. Through their investigation, Boxer and her team discover that Marcus had a girlfriend and wanted out of his marriage and that murder was cheaper than divorce. When confronted with the evidence, he falsely claims that he shot his wife in self-defense after she attempted to shoot him. It is also revealed that the cat burglar is Sarah Wells, a school teacher in an unhappy marriage. She is also in love with a female colleague – Heidi – and is only burglarizing in order to get enough money so that she and Heidi can escape to another country and start a new life together. At the end, it is revealed that Heidi is also unhappily married to Pete Gordon, the man who was killing mothers and children whom Boxer was tracking.