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by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Little, Brown, February 2008
384 pages
ISBN: 0316017701

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Fires are being set in wealthy San Francisco homes killing the couples who live there. Each couple is tied up before the blaze is set. Detective team Lindsay Boxer and Rich Conklin have to figure out who are killing these couples and why. The only clue they have is that each couple has a son in college.

Meanwhile, Michael Campion, the son of a very influential Californian, has been missing for a few months. His father has been after the police to find out what happened to him and if he is still alive. Michael has had heart problems since he was born and was never expected to live very long but he has insisted in living a full life, which included college. Now he cannot be located and his parents and all of California is frantic. The only clue the police have is that Michael was seen leaving the home of Junie Moon, a prostitute.

When Junie is arrested she tells police that Michael died in her arms and instead of calling 911 or his father while he was gasping for air, she called her boyfriend. When Michael died they took his body, cut him up in the bathtub, put the body parts in plastic garbage bags, and left the bags in another city.

The problem police have with her confession is that her boyfriend says this never happened and there is no trace of blood, hair, or anything else in the bathtub. Is she lying to get attention, does she really believe this happened, or is it the truth?

Detective Lindsay Boxer's friend, prosecuting lawyer Yuki Castellano is sure that Junie is telling the truth and plans to convict her in court.

7TH HEAVEN by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro is the newest book in Patterson's Women's Murder Club series. It combines the stories of the burning of the homes and the missing Michael Campion. As the reader gets involved with the story they start to see that the two stories are related and it's interesting how the authors unite them.

Of course there is lots of action. Not only are the homes torched and people are killed but Lindsay's life is also in danger. Yuki Castellano isn't exactly safe either since a popular writer of true crime is stalking her.

And there is a love story too. Lindsay is still trying to figure out if she should marry Joe, her boyfriend, who in order to be with Lindsay, pulled up stakes and changed his life. She just isn't sure if she loves Joe because she seems to be spending a lot of time thinking about her partner, Rich Conklin.

Lately, Patterson's books haven't been as good as his earlier ones with an exception here and there. This is one of the exceptions. 7TH HEAVEN was interesting and the ending was just as good as Patterson's previous novels. I do have a problem with the ladies of the Women's Murder Club. I don't find them sympathetic and really didn't care if Lindsay and Yuki found themselves in danger or not.

7TH HEAVEN is filled with very short chapters and is an easy read, but it's still a good mystery with new bad guys adding interest. If you're a James Patterson fan you won't be disappointed and new readers will enjoy the twists along the way.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, February 2008

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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