Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Review: Second Chance by James Patterson

2nd Chance (2005)
James Patterson with Andrew Gross

As you might surmise from the title, this is James Patterson's second novel in the Women's Murder Club series.  He has a coauthor credited here, but the writing, if anything, has gotten worse since 1st to Die.  Now, I like a good novel about a deranged serial killer as much as anyone, but Patterson's facile writing and plotting skills have seriously impeded my ability to enjoy his books.  Every emotion experienced by police lieutenant Lindsay Boxer is rendered as a tired cliché.  There isn't an interesting turn of phrase anywhere.  His descriptions of police procedure seem wholly uninformed.

Look, on the plus side, Patterson's an easy read, and he generally takes care to make a few contemporary literary references that sound intelligent.  His serial killers are truly despicable creatures, and hence the not very interesting members of his Women's Murder Club are, by default, who we have to cheer for.  His very popular books leave me very unsatisfied, but that doesn't mean I won't try a few more of them.  I can still wish they were better.


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