Sunday, July 18, 2010

1st to Die by James Patterson

Book Details
1st to Die by James Patterson
Paperback, 488 Pages
2002, Grand Central Publishing
ISBN: 0446610038
Series: Book 1 of Women's Murder Club

Four women--four friends--share a determination to stop a killer who has been stalking newlyweds in San Francisco. Each one holds a piece of the puzzle: Lindsay Boxer is a homicide inspector in the San Francisco Police Department, Claire Washburn is a medical examiner, Jill Bernhardt is an assistant D.A., and Cindy Thomas just started working the crime desk of the San Francisco Chronicle. But the usual procedures aren't bringing them any closer to stopping the killings. So these women form a Women's Murder Club to collaborate outside the box and pursue the case by sidestepping their bosses and giving each other a hand. The four women develop intense bonds as they pursue a killer whose crimes have stunned an entire city. Working together, they track down the most terrifying and unexpected killer they have ever encountered--before a shocking conclusion in which everything they knew turns out to be devastatingly wrong. Full of the breathtaking drama and unforgettable emotions for which James Patterson is famous, 1st to Die is the start of a blazingly fast-paced and sensationally entertaining series of crime thrillers.

I loved 1st to Die. It was the perfect beginning to a thrilling series. I thought the women's decision to join forces and work together to stop a serial killer was ingenious. I think it spoke to the true character of each of them, showing that their true goal was to protect the public from danger rather than be recognized personally for being the sole reason the killer was stopped.

The book works so well because of the differences each woman brings to the table. Lindsey works well as a main character because of the other women in her life. Had the book been Lindsey on her own, I don't think it would have been nearly as enjoyable.

1st to Die was a wonderful mystery that didn't hold back. The murders were shocking. The serial killer was targeting couples on their wedding nights. Just the concept alone is upsetting. The frenzied race to find the killer was easily felt and I found myself caught up in the momentum of the book. Once started, I couldn't put it down. I had to know who the killer was and how they would be stopped.

The first book in any mystery series can be hit or miss due to the necessity of laying groundwork and introducing background information. 1st to Die was definitely a hit for me. I honestly can't think of one thing that wasn't perfect in this book. If you haven't started this series yet, you are missing out.


James Patterson's website


  1. Great review. I absolutely love the Women's Murder Club Series, they're all fantastic.

  2. @Amanda - Thanks! The Women's Murder Club is definitely my favorite James Patterson mystery series.

  3. I really enjoyed this book as well. I haven't continued with the series yet, but I do plan to. Great review!

  4. I also loved this book, and the rest of the series as well. Your point about how it works better with all four women instead of just Lindsey was something I hadn't thought about before, but I think I agree with you.

  5. I love this series! It is almost as good as the Alex Cross Series :)

  6. I enjoy JamesP but don't read him, I think I will join the challenge next time just to force me to read his works, I only get to 1-2 a year.

  7. @Julie P - Thanks!

    @ksbooks - I think the other characters soften Lindsey a little. The other women seem to make her more relatable.

    @Felicia - I actually like this one better than Alex Cross.

    @Marce - Patterson is very hard to keep up with. He puts out something like 4 or 5 books a year. Even doing the challenge this year, I'm still about 2 years behind.