Reviewer Harold Walters is not famous yet though he has been
writing for half a life time. Over the years his short stories have
appeared in a number of local magazines. Presently, and for more than a
decade, he has written a column forÂ DownhomeÂ magazine. He
writes a humour column (My Imperfect Slant) for a local
weekly,Â The Charter, Â www.thecharter.ca. Â He
writes a bi-weekly book column (Book ReMarks) that is
carried by several local papers.Â He has also done book
reviews for a number of magazines and newspapers. Harold is almost a
dinosaur, but he is not famous yet.
Authors: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Publishers: Little, Brown and Company
“The killing of a street person has zero to no priority in Homicide,” says San Francisco detective Lindsay Boxer. Therefore, when Lindsay’s friend, journalists Cindy Thomas, discovers a murdered homeless man—Bagman Jesus—she takes it upon herself to investigate the killing and to persuade the San Francisco Police Department to pursue the case as well.
Lindsay and her partner Rich “Inspector Hottie” Conklin have already officially been assigned to investigate the deaths of Ethan and Isa Bailey, deaths which might, or might not, be homicides—forensic evidence is scarce. Even medical examiner, Dr. Claire Washburn, is stumped. Any time Lindsay and Rich use to explore Bagman Jesus’ killing must be off the clock.
As more mysterious deaths occur—all victims members of San Francisco’s “upper crust”—Lindsay and Rich are able to devote less and less time to tracking down the perpetrator of Bagman Jesus’ demise. Relentlessly though, Cindy, believing she is avenging a “street saint,” continues to probe into Bagman’s brutal killing and to place herself in harm’s way.
Subplots entwine. Assistant District Attorney, Yuki Castellano is prosecuting the case of Stacey Glenn who is alleged to have bludgeoned her parents with a crowbar. A school bus being used as a mobile meth lab explodes on a busy street. A dog-walker dubbed Pet Girl nurtures hatred stemming from her being slighted in high school.
The action in this latest installment of the Women’s Murder Club is as fast-paced as usual. Patterson’s characteristic short chapters advance the narrative movement with the speed of a car chase. And like a car chase the action revs and roars and ricochets with catastrophic results.
There’s plenty of sexual tension and relationship uncertainty in The 8th Confession. Lindsay vacillates between her love for Joe Molinari who has already proposed, and the urge to respond to the crackling chemistry binding her and Rich Conklin. Tension increases when Cindy also feels the catalytic effects of Conklin’s charisma. Yuki has tensions of her own, caused by an attraction to a person with “ambiguous genitalia.”
Ultimately, the intricate and snarled events—explosions, shootings, and, oh yes, snake bites—are untangled and their connections become satisfyingly clear. And confessions abound. Ordinarily a single confession is sufficient to bring closure to a criminal investigation. In The 8th Confession the number of confessions, perhaps only confuses the issue.