Sunday, 22 March 2009

8th Confession by James Patterson

Okay, going to try and write a review of 8th Confession by James Patterson with Maxine Paetro without it turning in to a single run-on rant.

"Behind the closed doors of San Fransisco’s grandest mansions, beautiful people party the nights away in a heady mix of money, drugs, drink and sex. But the rich and famous aren’t the only ones with the keys to these most exclusive of addresses, someone else is intent on crashing the party.
A rock star, a fashion designer, a software tycoon and a millionaire heiress. Each is glamourous, stunningly attractive and incredibly rich, but their similarities don’t end there, they have something else in common too. They are all dead.

Just as the rich and famous are the talk of the town when they’re alive, interest in them certainly doesn’t die when they do. In stark contrast, few people seem as interested when a local hero, Bagman Jesus, is brutally murdered. Reporter Cindy soon becomes interested in his story: his work with the homeless of San Fransisco was admirable. He was loved by so many – who would want to kill him? Could the down-and-out Samaritan have been hiding a dark secret?

And of course it isn’t just Lindsey who has questions to answer, she fiercely depends on Claire’s help to crack her case. Meanwhile, as Cindy tries to solve a mystery of her own, she seeks guidance from her friends, but in doing so, both Cindy and Lindsey are forced to confront feelings they’d buried away and Yuki falls quite literally head over heels in love but the man of her dreams isn’t quite who he seems.

The Women’s Murder Club need each other more than ever but with tensions running high will the friends be strong enough to stick together or will the strain tear them apart?"

This series is hardly flawless, there are simple mistakes made constantly. Surnames of two leading secondary characters change almost constantly, and on a bigger scale, book three, 3rd Degree, mentions that Joe Molinari (Lindsay's boyfriend) has a daughter, but she is never mentioned again. These are really stupid mistakes that should have been picked up by someone before publishing, but I guess the rate at which Mr. Patterson churns his books out, means that they don't get the attention they need. Quantity = quality. And here, that quality is seriously lacking.

Overall, it's an okay book. There are a couple bits that I really like, but there is a lot I don't. I'm not sure what happened with this book, but the entire tone of the book is lighter than the rest, and not in a good way, in a way that makes you think the characters are constantly laughing at themselves, or maybe just high. There are phrases and words used by the characters that they've never used in the pervious 7 books, and they're ones that don't feel right. They don't fit the characters voices. It feels more like something written because it has to be, than because the writers had an idea they really liked. The two crime plots are just about interesting enough to keep reading, but they are far from the best.

Characters: Lindsay finally chooses between her partner and her boyfriend. This is something that needed to happen, and although I would have prefered the other guy, it works. It's not flawless. There are bits around how it all came to be that I don't think are right and don't make a whole lot of sense, but it's not as bad as other parts, so I shall put up with it.

Claire is hardly seen, apart from bits at work and being sat at the table with her friends. She doesn't have a lot of dialouge in this one, and it was very dissapointing not to see her talking the relationship stuff over with Lindsay, when they've been so close for 15 years and she has always been the one Lindsay turns too.

Yuki meets a guy who she falls for really quickly, a guy who seems great, but he's keeping a big secret. The secret is revealed towards the end of the book, but it's one I'll not mention here. It's going to have consequenses for her in the next book, should the writers decide to not simply forget about him. It was good to see her and Lindsay talking about her relationship problems, even if she's not the most natural choice. I really like her character, so its fine by me.

Cindy. Here the problems start. First off I should point out that I don't like her character a whole lot, she just annoys me a bit. I can buy her interest in Richie Conklin (Lindsay's partner) but without her having even mentioned thinking he's cute in previous books, it's a touch annoying to be told 'she's always liked him'. She's more annoying in this book than any other, and there is more of her in this book than any other as well. She's an idiot. She walks in to a building with drugged up squatters, ahead of the cop, Richie, ignoring him when he tells her to wait for him and does a lot of other stupid things as well. I mean, come on, have some common sense!! Another problem I have is her not having a clue as to why Lindsay would have a problem with her sleeping with Richie. She didn't know Lindsay had feelings for him, fine, but they're still partners and close. She knew that much so there is no reason she should expect Lindsay to simply be okay with it. She even tells Richie to not tell Lindsay cause 'she'll ruin it' then snaps at Lindsay when she's not okay with it, and with them hiding it from her.

Richie Conklin. Ah, I love this guy. Or I did. I liked his character from when we first met him in The 5th Horseman. He's sensible, down to earth, fun and a really nice guy. He has made it clear on many occations that he's in love with Lindsay and yet respects her decision to be with Joe enough to not actually do anything, like trying to kiss her or anything. There is a heated kiss in here between them though. And one I'd hoped for. They have really great chemistry that's been developed well in the past couple of books. But in this book, Richie seems almost like a different guy. He's still clearly in love with Lindsay, all good and well, but he's being really stupid about it. Calling her 'Sarge-of-my-heart' at one point, which is so ridiculous I blinked and stared at it for several moments before continuing. Then, in agreeing to help Cindy out with something, has dinner with her (not a date) to hand over some files, and becomes 'mesmerised' with her. Apparently she's now too cute to ignore. Even though she's the best friend of the woman he's got serious feelings for. He apparently isn't bothered about hurting Lindsay with it either, which doesn't fit with him from previous books at all. And yet, his attraction to Lindsay is still there. He invites her back to his for a drink when they've been working til the early hours, and is joking with her about her 'getting naked' comment. And there is something there when she's at his. But he's already sleeping with Cindy. We're given the impression he intends to sleep with her, if she wants it, and this doesn't fit with everything we've been told about him being a really good guy until this book. Then we're given the impression that he's falling for Cindy and isn't interested in Lindsay at all anymore. Which, once again, makes no sense. Why he and Lindsay couldn't get over each other not involving a best friend, I don't know.

Can you see where I'm going with all this? Basically, Richie's character has been turned a little upside down, Cindy has become the cute bubbly one who any guy with sleep with cause she's so cute and innocent, and Lindsay is going to marry Joe, therefore cancelling out the chemistry with Richie. Right. Cause that's how it works.

So like I said at the start, there are a couple bits I like, but there is a lot that is wrong with this book. A real let down. Hopefully the next one will be better.

Okay, so it turned a little in to a rant. Sorry about that. But there ya go.


Laughingcorpse said...

WOW, sound good. I can't wait till get these

Cem said...

Personally, I love books 1-3, 5-7. 4 I really hated and this one is just okay. But yeah, worth checking out.