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

1st To Die notes; Chapters 117 to 126, Epilogue & my closing thoughts

cover for 1st To Die

Chapter 117

So Lindsay has her former partner on stakeout duty. From his report to D.I. Lindsay Boxer, it sounds like an awfully boring assignment, I pity the poor guy. The only thing worse than being bored is being bored, tired and hungry.

Lindsay’s increasing reliance on The Club is rearing it’s head again, this time mentioning the she wants Chris Raleigh to meet them.
She tells him that she thinks they’ve broken the case, but my opinion differs significantly as I still think Nick Jenks is at least partially responsible for the murders. Along with Chessy Jenks.

Chapter 118

An hour later, I got everyone together on the Jenks case, hopefully for the last time

The Club plus “token male” Chris go over the new evidence as a group.
I really do understand where the group think Joanna Wad may be the killer, but it just doesn’t sit well with me. The interview Lindsay had with Joanna revealed that she is still pretty scared of her ex-husband and I feel that although she may feel some resentment toward him, she has made a new life for herself.
She does not need him nor does she have anything to prove.
I also can’t understand why everyone has disregarded Chessy Jenks so completely as a possible suspect. Why latch onto Joanna and not Chessy?
Surely it would make more sense to watch both women? Especially as there is no solid evidence linking any particular female to any of the crimes, and at the moment all they have is evidence of female discharge in urine samples and no DNA test has been performed to eliminate Chessy as a suspect.
Illogical not to use forensic science to filter out the the identity of the female present at at least two of the crime scenes.

Chapter 119

News has spread of a sighting if Nicholas Jenks and it looks like everyone wants in on the collar. Trouble is, even Warren Jacobi has given chase. Meaning no one is currently at Joanna Wade’s. In my mind she isn’t the killer, but that doesn’t mean she may not be a target.
To top of the sudden mayhem, it appears Phillip Campbell wants to talk to Lindsay about the Jenks case.
At this point that person could be any one of two people, the person masquerading as Campbell, or the person who created and wrote the persona.

Chapter 120

Could have been either of them, and I wasn’t going to hazard a guess. Turns out it was Jenks, but he reckons he too knows who the killer is. He doesn’t tell Lindsay, as he wants some private justice, thinking that the police are too incompetent to find the killer themselves. Judging from the third part of this book, he may well have a point.

Chapter 121

Lindsay and Chris race over to where Joanna Wade lives.
What they find, is Jenks scurrying away from Wade’s apartment building. Only it isn’t Jenks. Lindsay immediately reckons it’s Joanna dressed up as Nick Jenks.
Then they do something that made me want to yell at them both.
They split up.
Lindsay to search the Wade residence and Chris to follow the Jenks look-a-like.
You can bloody bet that backup won’t arrive until it’s too late, and all of a sudden I don’t fancy Chris Raleigh’s chances of surviving the end of the book.
I thought maybe he’s end up in hospital, critical gunshot wound or something, but now … I don’t think he’s going to live at all.

Lindsay on the other-hand, being the principal character, is dumb enough to go into an apartment where a killer may or may not be in residence and will come out unscathed.
As she searches the apartment, the reader gets some minor details of Joanna Wade’s private life. Like the kind of magazines she likes to read, and what section of the newspapers she was last perusing.

No sign that I was in the home of a psycho. That bothered me.

It should. Wade isn’t the killer, she’s a victim.

Who is Chris following?
My money is still on Chessy Jenks.

Wonder if Warren Jacobi will be held partially responsible for Joanna’s untimely demise. He really shouldn’t have left his post, regardless of how dull the experience was, or how close reports of Jenks was putting him to Jacobi’s stakeout.

Chapter 122

Within minutes, two blue-and-whites screeched to a stop outside. I directed the patrol officers upstairs to the grisly body of Joanna, but my thoughts had turned to Chris. And whoever he was following.

Within minutes it says, so why couldn’t she have left the patrol officers and maybe another detective to handle the apartment instead of splitting up from Chris?
Whoever he was following … which, as the suspect was dressed and appeared to be Nicholas Jenks, surely following this unknown person would have taken precedence from searching Wade’s apartment?
Again, I can’t help feeling a bit uneasy with the way this book is turning out.

She asks herself all the expected questions at this point, now that her case against Joanna Wade has come crumbling down around her ankles and then there is Lindsay’s partner, who is now pursuing a killer and without backup.
Eventually, Chris contacts her to inform her of his current location, and what’s the bet that he hasn’t called in to Command Central to let them know what he’s up to.
I swear, this book feels like it’s falling apart at the seams!
Where the hell is police procedure?
Did Mr. James Patterson get bored of it and just decide he wasn’t going to write things “by the book” any-more?
I mean, come on!
Oh well, only a few more chapters to read now.

Chapter 123

I saw Chris’s blue Taurus pulled up diagonally across from the tip of the park and jackknifed the patrol car to a halt next to it. I didn’t see a sign of any other cops.
  Why hadn’t any backup arrived? What the hell was going on now?
  I clicked my gun off safety and made my way into the park underneath the giant rotunda. No way I was waiting.

Change scene to the “Palace of Fine Arts”, which sounds quite splendid and if I could be bothered I’d search the web for more information about. But since I can’t be bothered, I won’t.
See, I’ve only got a few more chapters to read, and I’m starting to think that whatever happens to either Lindsay or Chris at this point, they deserve it for being so utterly stupid.
Kind of like the stereotypical, teenage, unintelligent female, who runs upstairs where there’s no exit, from the “slasher maniac of the month”, in whatever is the latest nonsense, high-budget, no-script, pitiful excuse that dares to call itself a horror movie and is probably in “3D” which equates cash-cha-ching. Oh, and if see another trailer citing that yet another movie is in 3D, I’m gonna hurl rainbow drops.

Back to the book.
In this chapter, Chris is nowhere to be seen, gunshots are heard and the general public do what they do best in these situations. Panic and flee.
It’s the fight or flight idea. I don’t mind the flight, just don’t include the panic. At the speed that I can run at, I never want to run into a tree. Those things are solid, and I’m too fragile.

So, Nick Jenks is facing off with (wait ’till the end of the chapter for the “big reveal”, but it’s not very surprising really) and Chris has two holes in him that Nature did not intend for him to have.
Oh dear.
I’d feel sorry for him, and for Lindsay (who’s trying not to lose it and be all about the job & the training), but I don’t.
He followed a suspect into the “Palace of Fine Arts”, without backup, knowing that the suspect had likely killed Joanna Wade.
Don’t care if he did listen to “The Shipping News” audio book, guy may be a Captain but when it comes down to it, he’s obviously an idiot at heart.
Then there’s the reveal.
Colour me surprised.

Chapter 124

I can’t really find it in myself to be bothered any-more, especially after this chapter.
I’ve known about Chessy’s involvement for a while now, so it’s of little consequence to me. I don’t even feel that little tremor of pleasure in knowing I was right and that I’d solved the book.
Okay, so she gets killed by Lindsay, so what?
Chessy may have had an interesting motive, but so?
And then there’s Nick Jenks, who is proclaiming his innocence, but I just know he was involved. Being a controlling, dominating person who gets off on playing games, I can see how he might of persuaded Chessy to play his “Always A Bridesmaid” game, only for her to find her spine at the endgame. An interesting spin, if I’m right. But, do I really care any-more?
No. Not really.

Chapter 125

Cue the sob story music!
The token male has had his chips.
All told with the oh so tender and heartbreaking update of Lindsay getting the killer and Chris congratulating her.
Only when it’s too late, does she tell him that she’s beaten the Negli’s. Something she was supposed to tell him before the earthquake and Jenks’ escape.

Chapter 126

Remember the Prologue?
The scene set for a potential suicide?

(from the Prologue)
… none of them are up here getting ready to blow their brains out with their own guns.

Well, turns out her dog Sweet Martha, is the one who talked her out of it. So to speak.
Along with the memory of Chris.
I’d like to be sympathetic, but I don’t feel the character deserves it. Not after the behaviour shown in the last third of the book, by two supposedly experienced police detectives.

In the next few paragraphs, she neatly picks up her life and goes on. Even turning up at the funeral. Somehow, even the meeting with the former Mrs. Marion Raleigh becomes a compassionate paragraph or two. Not what I would imagine would happen in real life, but I suppose it ties in nicely.
Then there’s the Club members to lend a shoulder to cry on, *sigh*, and the silent vigil as she watches Chris’s name being carved into the stone memorial for the SFPD.

But tonight, I don’t want speeches or ceremonies.

That’s the first thing, in quite a few chapters, that I can relate to. When a loved one dies, sometimes you just have to pay your respects alone. A painful and some solitary experience, the memories can hurt as well as heal.

(Coup De Grace)

For once, I’m going to be good and not reveal the “surprise ending”.
I told you so! Bloody well knew it.

Closing Thoughts

Finding time to finish reading this book turned into something of an epic undertaking in itself.
I’ll have to endeavour to create some quality reading time and stick with it on my next book.

As for 1st To Die, my opinion is somewhat mixed.
It started out relatively well, but about mid-point the “Women” and the frequent Club meetings began to become rather boring. I thought the idea of these “Women In A Man’s World” were strong enough and talented enough, to just do their job regardless of what other people’s opinion of them were or how their peers regard them due to their gender.
The Club, started to feel more like a crutch than a support group.
As for the romance, it was tastefully done, but to be perfectly honest, I could have lived without it cluttering the narrative. Personally, I do not know of any women in my life who have a “romance” like Lindsay and Chris, but then this is a work of fiction and I can’t begrudge the author for trying to work in some minor steaminess for the Ladies who like steamy romantic novels. On the other hand, wasn’t this supposed to be Crime Fiction?
After finishing the book, I can’t honestly say that I’ll will not be continuing with the rest of The Women’s Murder Club Series, nor will I ever reconsidering that choice.
I’m not convinced that James Patterson as a good crime fiction writer, I may well pick up another of his books, perhaps the successful Alex Cross Series, at some point. Just not for a long while.
I’ll let the memory of this one fade first, before I try to tackle another of his works.

Until the next book, see ya!


Author: raven

Anonymous ;-)

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