The 17th Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The 17th SuspectI have to assume the title The 17th Suspect refers to this book’s place in a series of books by Patterson. Probably the 17th Women’s Murder Club novel since I know he has written a batch of them (usually with help and often with Maxine Patterson). There is nothing in this story about a bunch of murder suspects but there is lots of good reading.

It is two stories (kind of usual for the Murder Club series) in one of which Yuki Castellano, the Assistant District Attorney, is involved with attempting to find a woman guilty of (a) first raping a man while holding him captive and (b) of attempting to find her also guilty of shooting the same man in the leg.

The second story involving the second member of the Murder Club is about San Francisco Police Sergeant Lindsay Boxer as she not only is battling to find who is shooting vagrants and street people but also battling her own physical condition which appears to be deteriorating rapidly.

Both stories are well worth the reader’s attention as they unfold quickly and show how the in-side portion of the criminal justice system works but also shows how the “on the street” portion of the system plays out.

Yuki fought hard to get her case into Criminal Court and worked even harder to figure out what actually went on as two co-workers entwined themselves in not only sexual adventures but then it appears one of them took it even further. The female player supposedly tied up the male participant and raped him (while he unbeknownst to her recorded it all on tape.) He claims she raped him though they had been having sex for some time together willingly on both behalves.

However as Yuki is in the midst of her trial she discovers some other strange happenings that pretty well mess everything up for everyone except perhaps the reader. It is involved but still interesting all the way to the end.

Sergeant Boxer or Lindsay as she is known in the story becomes quite involved in some vagrant shootings even though they are not in her district. She attempts to try to solve the numerous shootings because she had become friendly with one of the vagrants who had told her that the police are not doing anything to solve the puzzle. Since it isn’t in Lindsay’s territory or jurisdiction she immediately runs into trouble with some of the higher-ups who are trying to keep peace within the police department.

Lindsay however is determined to do whatever she can as the case becomes even more involved with the latest shooting. She plods on, getting the right clues, and answers, and then suffers her own physical setbacks due to a recurrence of a previous medical condition that she resolved.

Either standing alone or somewhat attached at the hip these two stories are pretty much Patterson style. Fast moving with plenty of dialogue, personal problems, and good story telling that keeps the reader’s interest to the end.

Give it a try. You will either continue being a Women’s Murder Club reader or else you will become one for sure!