The 6th Target by James Patterson

August 20, 2010

6th target-1 Plot summary (with spoilers): San Francisco detective Lindsay Boxer never seems to have a chance to catch her breath, as she’s forever tracking down killers and other criminals in the city by the Bay. This time, Lindsay has to work on three different cases simultaneously — and none of them are even connected. Must be a personnel shortage at the SFPD.

The first case involves a man named Arthur Brinkley, who one day listens to the voices inside his head and opens fire on a crowded ferry. He ends up killing or injuring five people, including Chief Medical Examiner Claire Washburn. Claire takes a bullet to the chest, and while she suffers a collapsed lung and loses a lot of blood, she ends up surviving. Meanwhile, Brinkley turns himself in by showing up at Boxer’s doorstep one night, making this one of the easiest arrests in her career. Of course, putting Brinkley away will be tough, as he’ll clearly use the insanity defense. But Lindsay leaves that to Yuki the prosecutor.

The second case involves a series of kidnappings taking place in San Francisco and Los Angeles. It seems that someone is after child prodigies, but, surprisingly enough, the kidnappers don’t bother making ransom demands of the parents. What’s happening to the kids? Lindsay and her crew soon get to the bottom of that mystery as well after tracking down leads through a nanny service that all of the victims’ families had in common.

The third case had to do with a string of brutal attacks at Cindy Thomas’ new apartment building. A dog was bludgeoned to death, and then two residents were murdered. The only common link is that all of the victims were known to make excessive noise during the daytime. Boxer and Co. of course come through in finding the killer here as well.

Liked:

  • Honestly I’m finding less and less to like about these Women’s Murder Club books. I’m going to finish the series (or at least get caught up to #9, which is the most current book), but I doubt I’ll go any further. The only reason I’ll continue is that I already have the audiobook versions loaded onto my iPod.

Disliked:

  • Why were there so many damn storylines? It was hard to keep them all straight, and having three main plots just made each seem less important. Could it be that Maxine Paetro (let’s face it, she must be the one who’s really writing here) simply couldn’t puff up a single storyline enough to meet the minimum page requirements? It certainly seems so.
  • I used to like Lindsay Boxer as a character, but I don’t anymore. She was so damned wishy-washy in this one regarding her personal life that it made me cringe. She was forever crying and going back and forth about whether or not she loved Joe. She hated being without him, but then when he moved to SF for her, that still wasn’t enough? WTF?? Women like that give us all a bad name!
  • Again, this is not so much the Women’s Murder Club anymore as it is the Lindsay Boxer Show. I got hooked on these books because of the special club dynamic. If it’s just going to be Lindsay… well, that sucks.

Rating:

The 6th Target by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro suffers significantly from several problems that the writers simply weren’t able to overcome. There were too many plots to follow, there weren’t any “club” meetings or activities that led to the solutions of the crimes, and the characters are becoming less and less likable with each installment. I give this book 2 stars out of 5.

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