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

1st To Die notes; Chapters 96 to 116

cover for 1st To DieChapter 96
(Book Four – The Whole Truth)

At a celebratory baseball game, courtesy of Chief Mercer’s string pulling, Lindsay is literally having the ride of her life, which has nothing to with baseball and everything to do with Chris.

I was giggling like a damn fool. I was going to get us caught! “What’s so funny?” Chris whispered.
I was thinking of Claire and Cindy. And what we had just done.
“I think I just made the list,” I said.

They may as well ride high now, since the fallout about Jenks will be of gargantuan proportions.

Chapter 97

Jenks has another meeting with Lindsay and Jill to protest his innocence and declare that he is being set up.

“I’m being framed!” Jenks announced angrily.

Someone is trying to set me up. That’s the truth. Someone has done a brilliant job.

Considering all the lies he’s told, the backtracking and so on, how the hell does the guy expect to be taken seriously? Or that the authorities would even try to see if there’s even a possibility of a frame up.
Even I don’t believe he’s innocent at this point, but I do think he’s being lined up to take all of the blame for the murders. He is to take sole responsibility, the unpublished book will only help to nail that point home.

Chapter 98

Why is wife Chessy is so quick to jump to his defence?
I feel like I’m missing something still.

My first thought was that she was young and deluded. How had Jenks described it?

There feels like a large piece of the puzzle here, and this quote from Lindsay bothers me.
Is Chessy really that impressionable like her husband described her?
Back at their home, playing games was mentioned … oh balls, is this all some elaborate twisted game gone awry? Does this make the unknown female masquerading as Campbell, impressionable Chessy? Would that explain the mention of betrayal and why Jenks is saying he has been framed?
Has she bucked the trend and found a way to punish Jenks?

Chapter 99

Dr Medved drops a bombshell on poor Lindsay and gives her a time-frame that seems shockingly pessimistic, even to me.
So I’m actually glad that Chris has invited her to be whisked away to a solitary spot, just the two of them. She needs to tell him about the Negli’s, before her time runs out.

Chapter 100

We spent the next two days as if we were in a beautiful dream.

Two days of romantic bliss but it’s tastefully done, just like previous chapters, but still no word of Negli’s to Chris. She wants to prolong the feeling of fairy tale bliss,

I never wanted this to end, but I knew that it had to end. Reality always gets in the way, doesn’t it?

… which is asking for trouble.

Chapter 101

The Negli’s confession finally happens after Lindsay recounts the majority of her life story, and I do feel sorry for the lovestruck couple, but at least he is true to form and is there for her. He even understands why she held back for so long.

How could you know you could trust me?”
“I trusted you pretty quickly. I didn’t trust myself.”
“Well, now you do,” Chris whispered.

Chapter 102

Is this the beginning of the end?
Previous partner Warren Jacobi puts the cat amongst the pigeons with some choice comments about the evidence gathered and the book, Always A Bridesmaid.
Looks like the girls should have let Cindy skip to the end of the story after all.
I think I may have an answer, assuming my theory of a partner is correct, this might explain why Claire was certain the killer was right handed and that Jenks is left handed.

“Oh, no. Oh, Jesus, no,” I whispered.
When Jenks had lunged at me at his house, he had swung with his left hand.
When he’d offered me a drink, he’d picked up the pitcher with his left hand.
Impossible, I thought. This can’t be happening.
Claire was certain David Brandt’s killer had been right-handed.

That still doesn’t mean Jenks didn’t orchestrate the crimes, since he wrote the book and it seems to be something that chilled his ex publisher about the man, even before Chessy.

Chapter 103

And just like an apparition or will-o’-the-wisp, the case becomes less substantial than it did a few days ago, at least it does to Lindsay.
The others of the Club are hanging on to the evidence, especially the hair, to get Jenks convicted. At least two of them certain, no doubts at all.
Cindy at least, entertains the idea and decides it might be better for Lindsay to be certain once more, than to have a miscarriage of justice hanging over all their heads. She seems as certain as Claire and Jill, but I think she’s trusting Lindsay more than the evidence here. It seems their thinking differs from my own thoughts considerably.
Could I be on the wrong track?

No, my gut tells me that the first wife is a red herring.

Chapter 104

I couldn’t believe the bizarre transformation that was starting to take over my mind.

Joanna Wade. Wife number one.
Lindsay seems to suspect her now, since she lead the Club to the unpublished novel, didn’t really consider that she might be out for revenge. Damn it all, I’m being twisted around with all of this!
I’m not sold on it yet, Jenks has far too much venom spitting in Lindsay’s direction to be completely ruled out just now. That only leaves me wondering about Chessy. Between her and Joanna, I’m still more inclined to think that Chessy is “Philip Campbell”.

Chapter 105

Then, out of the blue, something came back to me, something I had filed away long ago.

Something a witness stated earlier in the book. Laurie Birnbaum, who was at the Brandt wedding and who is suspected of having talked to the murderer.

Something strange… The beard made him seem older, but the rest of him was young.

I see where Lindsay is going with her arguments, but there are two women in Jenks’ life, and both of them work out, and to be perfectly honest, what she describes is not only plausible but compelling enough to warrant further investigation.

Chapter 106

Looks like Lindsay’s body is fighting a good battle inside her, the Negli’s hasn’t won just yet but obviously it’s taking it’s toll on her.

I could feel the color in my face reviving, the strength in my limbs returning. Chris held me, cuddled me tenderly. We must’ve looked like two lovers trying to find privacy in a very public place.

As far as the case is concerned, looks like Chris is uncertain. I’ve little doubt that she is right,

“I think the killer is still out there,” I said.

… but the question remains about whether she is correct about Joanna.
It could be her, I’m not discounting her as the new suspect, but it just feels too simple, too easy at this point.

Chapter 107

Lindsay is taking a chance here.

I didn’t want to convey my true intent and end up feeding their defence arguments if I was wrong.

Strange when she has such a strong feeling about him already. If he’s such a manipulative b*stard, she knows to be careful, but why bother in the first place? He has already openly lied, bare faced to all police questioning, how can anything from this man be even remotely credible or useful.

What I do find strange is his, apparent, conviction that Joanna can’t be the one plotting against him, even as he drops a small bombshell concerning his ex and her previous employment at Saks.
That remark may fire Lindsay on her new direction of investigation, but I’m suspicious of Jenks motives of this little reveal. It also makes me think that Chessy really is the one to chase after now.

Chapter 108

Lindsay’s newest hunch is putting a strain on The Club, especially Jill. But that is to be expected, she has all the evidence she needs to convict Nicholas Jenks and if she does not need any doubt hindering her at this point. I can only imagine that she is utterly dismayed at Lindsay, who was the one to convince Jill that Jenks was guilty in the first place.
And even though the doubt is clearly there, and needs to be checked out, I still believe that they have the right suspect in Jenks.

Chapter 109

Well this chapter was a bit surprising.
I had expected to follow Lindsay on her quest for evidence against Joanna Wade, instead Lindsay (and I) get the unexpected news update that she’s beating the Negli’s.

I stood up, my whole body shaking, tingling with disbelief. For a moment, all the joys that I had suppressed – a chance at my career, running on Marina Green, a life with Chris – came tumbling through my brain. For so long, I had been so scared to let them free. Now, they seemed to burst out of me.

Not a surprising reaction, but I still maintain that something untoward is going to happen to Chris and I only hope it doesn’t kill stone dead, her dreams and aspirations.

Something crept back into my life that had been away, something I never thought I would embrace again.

Chapter 110

Ooo, Lindsay’s caved and has ditched her responsibilities in order to be with Chris.

I have something to tell you,” I said to Chris on the phone, my voice ringing with urgency. “Can you meet me for lunch?

It took him barely fifteen minutes to arrive at the door.

Can’t honestly blame her, and she’s kind of following doctors orders too.
Must have been fun for Chris though, Lindsay answering the door, wrapped up in a bed sheet and practically panting for him. Not surprised he thought it was somebody’s birthday 😉

“Tell me that you love me.”
  “I do love you,” he said.
  “Tell me again, like you did at Heavenly. Tell me that you won’t ever leave me.”

Pity an earthquake and her boss had to go and spoil their moment.

Oh and Nick Jenks, who has ruined everyone’s day by “doing a runner” (he has escaped custody, how extraordinarily inconsiderate of him).
What is his agenda now that he is free?
I reckon he’s heading for Chessy.

Chapter 111

Now to Jenks, locked up snugly in a police transport van. Old phrases like “paddy-wagon” and “black maria” come to mind. (note. the maria is pronounced ma-rye-a in this instance.)
Now, there is a reason why I can’t shake my conviction of his guilt, and it’s thoughts like …

Sometime, he’d like to lock her in the law library and show her what he was really capable of.

… that solidify that belief.
In the aforementioned quote, Jenks is merely thinking to himself, and even though the tone is menacing, it’s something everyone on this planet has thought about for a moment, nothing strange in that, but the author, James Patterson, writes him in such a way as to make me believe that Jenks wouldn’t hesitate to hurt someone other than his wives, and that it would both amuse and satisfy the character immensely.
Even when the quake hits the police transport …

I am going to die here, Nicholas Jenks thought. Die here, without anyone ever knowing the whole truth.

… and even though Jenks eventually regains his freedom, I can’t help but wonder what this s.o.b.’s idea of truth can be.

Chapter 112

A fairly nondescript chapter that just seems to be a way of bridging the romantic interlude bit of the previous chapters, back to the core subject of the novel. The serial killer.

Chapter 113

Club regroup!

… and in five minutes we were sitting around a table at a coffee shop just down the block.

I’m beginning to believe the idea of this Club was somewhat malformed. It seems to have gone wrong somewhere.
I know Lindsay isn’t a stereotypical butch type of cop, what with her penchant for cooking while listening to soft girly type music, but at least she had a reasonable IQ at the beginning of the book and a level of independence. Where then, has this new co-dependant, wimpy Lindsay come from?
The Club seems to gone from a support to a crutch at some point, and now Lindsay seems incapable of doing her job without relying almost exclusively on the advice of “The Girls”.
I find myself at odds with the character now, perhaps all the recent sex and romance with Chris has altered her brain chemistry. It doesn’t help that she is still thinking that Joanna Wade could be the killer, it’s starting to annoy me a bit.
I mean, it is entirely conceivable that I’m wrong about Joanna (not that I’m having doubts about my opinion concerning Chessy’s guilt), but Lindsay is a Police Detective. She made the grade to this stage in her career, why should she so suddenly need so much outside help?
And now I wonder how much she leaned on former partner Warren Jacobi in earlier cases. In any case, I do not like the direction that this character is taking, and don’t forget that Lindsay is supposed to be the “central character”.
Why, Mr. James Patterson, did you change your mind about Lindsay mid-book?

Or is it just me?

Chapter 114

As if to prove I’m wrong, the author presents an image of a blonde female made-up to look exactly like Nicholas Jenks.
No name is volunteered but I’ve already made up my mind who it is and I won’t be swayed so easily.
Nope! Uh-uh!

Chapter 115

So Claire finally has more to do than just sit on the sidelines and cheer the other club members on. I was wondering where her voice had disappeared to!
I kind of liked her at the beginning of the book, but she’s stayed in the background quite a bit since the Brandts were killed, only occasionally volunteering an opinion, even at crime scenes.
Now she gets to do her job and provide some key evidence.
What surprises me is that, surely all these extra tests should’ve been done right at the beginning? Forensic science shouldn’t be about assumptions and I feel this new evidence really should have been discovered sooner. Does the author really want me to think Claire is incapable of doing her job?

Chapter 116

While all that is sinking in about the new evidence, Lindsay tells Claire her personal good news about the Negli’s.
Not much else in the chapter to write about really.
I don’t understand why Mr. James Patterson couldn’t have included this short chapter at the end of chapter 115, why did he split it into two chapters? Doesn’t make sense.
At least, not to me.

Author: raven

Anonymous ;-)

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