My LibriVox recordings & my reading journal (solo Litblog).

1st To Die notes; Chapters 42 to 50

cover for 1st To Die

Chapter 42

And now, an intermission, of sorts.
Well, less of an intermission, and more of a roundabout way of meeting Claire’s husband.
Seems he may also be a friend of Lindsay’s, he seems to be sympathetic enough, and not just as the best friend’s husband.
Claire’s still smarting from being told after such a considerable amount of time. It’s not that Lindsay didn’t trust her, but I can understand why Claire thinks that way, something that Lindsay obviously didn’t think about. However, it’s the other reaction that’s got Claire brooding.

Claire finally spoke. “I’m a doctor. I see death every day. I know the causes and symptoms, the science inside out. But I can’t heal.

I just hope she doesn’t regret the medical path she has taken. Lindsay needs her input on this case, her job is an important element in catching Phillip Campbell and I think she’ll be instrumental in identifying him, something I’m sure she is well aware of.
It’s just that feeling helpless to help the people we care about, sucks on a monumental scale.

Chapter 43

“I thought it best to keep this quiet,” she said. “Only the local M.E. and I know.”

Without trying to sound too melodramatic – What The Hell?!
I don’t think I want to know where the author got this idea from, or even if this new evidence Claire has found is related to an actual police case file. If it is the latter, I can’t help but wonder what Mr. Patterson’s initial reaction was. Was it “That’s seriously disturbing”? or “Ooh that’s a neat idea, I have to use that in my next book”?

Chapter 44

Despite now having a clue to the killer, all of the leads are proving fruitless. It doesn’t help that the detective in Napa is unwilling to cooperate, he seems to be more concerned with local politics rather than stepping on a few toes to catch a killer. Maybe he’s looking to pull up the ladder or planning on running for office. Either way or whatever his reasons, his priorities are whacked.
I would imagine all of this is extremely frustrating, not just for Lindsay, but also for Chris and the rest of the task force.
I’m still left wondering why Lindsay hasn’t included the bridal gown boutiques. She thought of everything else, but then, I suppose the author needs The Women’s Murder Club to full-fill it’s role.

The Brandts and the DeGeorges had lived in two separate worlds. However the killer was identifying the victims, I hadn’t found a clue.

Chapter 45

Looks like The Women’s Murder Club has paid off for Cindy already, Lindsay and Claire, as her friends, will keep her feet on the ground though.

She tossed us a new business card with the bright red logo of the Chronicle on it. I read the card, Cindy Thomas, Reporter, Metro Crime Desk.
We toasted her with warm congratulations, then we roasted her a little, just to keep her ego in check. What else were friends for?

As for the case, Lindsay herself must have had a simple wedding if she’s not all that familiar with all this “bride business”. If that is the case, it would explain a few things, perhaps she didn’t go through the rigmarole of choosing a fancy and expensive dress. Claire is the one to provide the dress boutique idea via Cindy’s train of thought.

“If he’s living in this twisted dream world,” said Cindy, thinking aloud, “he would go to where the fantasy was the strongest, the most vivid.”
Then Claire looked at us with a spark in her eye.

I also believe Lindsay is right, the killer is too smart to “accidentally” leave behind clues, he may indeed, want to be caught. But not just yet. First I think Mr. Campbell wants to instil a considerable measure of fear into the good people of California. Unless, who knows, maybe he has plans to go nationwide as his current location is in Las Vegas, eyeing up a potential target.

Chapter 46

At the bridal boutique. There is some pertinent questioning to be done, but the lady running the department has no issues with cooperation. She sounds very pleasant, even maternal. Certainly she is shocked, almost overwhelmed, to hear of the DeGeorges.
Lindsay gets to guts of the investigation, and her line of inquiry is successful. It seems Phillip Campbell was noticed as he spied on Becky, now the detectives have more of a description to work with.
Only one snag, it seems he may have acquired a list of potential victims from the boutique.

“About a month ago, after inventory, we noticed that our folder on the brides was missing.”

Doesn’t anyone take security seriously any-more?! Whatever happened to data protection?
Although, it doesn’t really surprise me. People, and a few businesses/governments, can be so callous and carefree with personal details, usually only until it’s too late. It’s been said that, hindsight is always 20/20.

Chapter 47

Oh Hell-fire.
That’s all Lindsay needs, more bureaucrats trying to maintain “damage control”.

Then Chris shared something important with me. Roth and Mercer had handed over our case files to the FBI.
I felt a knifing pain deep in my chest.

At least Chris was straight forward enough to tell her as soon as he could, but evidentially the police department heads have little faith in their detectives. If all this sounds like righteous indignation, it’s because I’ve grown up watching lazy “coppers” getting the promotions and fat pay-checks, while the honest, hard working members of the police force get reposted because they’re too diligent and show the slackers up. Seems to be the same in every profession these days. An unfortunate state of affairs really.

Lindsay has managed to crowbar her way into this case and after all that hard work, she now has a lead, only to find out about Mercer & Roth’s decision.
She seems to have a low opinion of the investigative powers of the F.B.I. too, which makes me think she may have witnessed them in action before, and it couldn’t have been impressive. It’s also smacks that both Mercer & Roth have so little faith in her personally, so it’s little wonder the news feels like a stab in the chest.

The Negli’s picked a fine time to remind her of it’s existence, but again, I’m surprised at the support Raleigh is willing to give. Lindsay won’t cave and let him know about her condition, it took her long enough just to tell her best friend, so he’ll just have to wait and keep guessing. At which point, I’m starting to feel a little sorry for him. He’s clearly on her side, unlike the powers that be who assigned him as her partner in the first place.

Chapter 48

The killer is planning his next move, and he’s proving to be a most cunning and manipulating sob.
Lindsay was right about him. Even in this short chapter, he’s leaving his trail of breadcrumbs.
It appears he wants the attention of the F.B.I., he may even crave it.

One day, when some diligent FBI agent came by with a drawing or photograph, he wanted this chirpy little squirrel to think back and recall this moment in a close and chilling way. He wanted her to remember everything.

In my mind’s eye, he is evolving into a very narcissistic personality. But as he strokes his beard and talks to the pretty hotel receptionist, I’m starting to consider that perhaps the beard may be a ruse and that Phillip is laughing at his pursuers. Beards, like all hair, can be dyed or cut and who’s to say that red is his natural colour, or even that the beard he clearly wants the woman to remember, is even made of his own hair. So many possibilities, wigs and beards made from real hair are surprisingly commonplace and easily procured. Is it really so difficult to change your appearance these days? Of course not, and it can be achieved within moments.

Chapter 49

It’s telling when work invades your dreams, and Lindsay also has her treatments to contend with. A strain on her mental state, and her emotions.

Only an hour ago, I had had tubes and IV lines sticking out of me. My heart had kept pace to the metronome like rhythm of a monitor’s steady beep.

This case is hitting her quite hard, I may be misinterpreting, but I’m under the impression that Lindsay feels she’s being mocked. She doesn’t realise yet, how close to the the truth that is.
That the killers’ need to leave behind clues is his way of taunting his pursuers and it seems to be disturbing her, even in sleep. Hardly surprising though, considering the manner in which he defiles the corpses of the brides. Taking their lives just isn’t enough.

Oops. Her quick dodge with Raleigh only worked at the station, he isn’t letting her off the hook just yet.

Chapter 50

Raleigh you smooth bugger, making moves on your partner. Although I think his concern for Lindsay is genuine, as is his attraction, he presumes much when he shows up at her apartment, bottle of wine in hand. It’s a good job the attraction is mutual, otherwise his suggestion to dance could have ended somewhat less amicably.

… but a soft, surrendering voice inside me said, Just go with it, Lindsay. He’s okay. You know you trust him.

Slowly dancing with him, Lindsay knows just how tender he can be, how soft his hands are.
I am most grateful to the author for not making this moment too sickly or mushy. Which would’ve put me right off this book. I hope the remainder of the novel keeps it’s characters integrity. Obviously not counting the villain of the piece, who by plot device & definition must remain a loathsome monster to be caught and brought to justice.

Author: raven

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