- Originally posted on February 5, 2019
When a series reaches book 17, often, it is time for the author to hang it up. The stories are getting tired, the plots are getting repeated. In this case, the novels are getting shorter.
There have been times, especially whilst reading 17th Suspect, where I believe that James Patterson should stop writing the Women’s Murder Club soon. I am aware of and 18th, and I don’t think he will miss out on the chance to make it to 20, like he did with the Alex Cross series, but for the sake of the characters I hope that he stops while it’s still fresh(ish).
On that note, the ending to 17th Suspect feels like it could be a very satisfactory conclusion to the whole series; multiple characters progressing in their lives, new situations arising, both of which point to the end of an era in the series. With the departure of a main character who has been around since the first novel in 2001, 18th Abduction could well turn out to be the changing of the guard when it comes to Lindsay, Yuki and Co.
This novel is passable, which is a far cry from the brilliance of books 12, 13, 14 and 16, and also from how terrible number 15 was. The novel focuses more on Yuki’s plot than any other, a controversial case involving a young woman being accused of raping a male colleague. Its very interesting, and at least in the court setting, I always feel like I am learning something new. Patterson introduces Arthur Baron, a new character who ends up working as Yuki’s assistant throughout the trial. He is very likeable, and hopefully he will return in book 18.
Lindsay covers a lot of ground, also, in this novel. She has an informant about a spree of murders targeting homeless people, and her information pulls Lindsay into an investigation where she herself is targeted, not after having to go over old wounds involving her father and nearly get suspended from her job. She also appears to be suffering from a mystery illness, which then could change the entire situation…
The plots are good, however the execution is weaker than in previous editions. The spree killer is known from the start; and one of the key components of the court drama is, to put it mildly, bloody obvious. Yuki also appears to be falling into the same trap which Lindsay did in 15th Affair, whereby she would spend several chapters dithering about her husband and if she could trust him, although thankfully in nowhere near as much detail. And all is explained by the end, in another twist which, again, suggests that this would be a good finale to the long-running series.
However, 18th Abduction is coming in 2019. I will be waiting for the paperback to come out, as I am very picky when it comes to book styles. The only thing I am desperate to happen, is for Cindy Thomas to finally get a decent plot line. In my opinion, the series was much more enjoyable in the first five or six novels, when Cindy would have the role of second lead character, which Yuki now fills. Cindy, I’m crossing my fingers for you.