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7th Heaven (Women's Murder Club), by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Read by Carolyn McCormick)

7th Heaven
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The Women's Murder Club is pulling double duty in this latest installment in the series. Not only are the ladies hoping to solve the mystery of the disappearance and apparent murder of Michael Campion, the Boy with the Broken Heart and son of a prominent politician, but the rate of arson-related homicides is escalating. While Assistant DA Yuki Castellano conducts her prosecution of Michael's killer, she discovers what she thought would be a slam-dunk is really the most challenging case of her career, one that could cost her her life. Lindsay Boxer, having wrapped up the Campion case, takes on the investigation of the murders of wealthy couples who are found bound, robbed and incinerated in their homes.

Early in the book, Patterson reveals the identities of the killers to the listener, so we follow their reign of mayhem, knowing who they are, but not what motivates them. This, and the fact that the story is told from both Lindsay's and the killers' points of view, makes the listener feel like an informed, if unwilling, co-conspirator in the murders. It adds a more intense degree of terror to an already spine-tingling thriller. Tempering the brutality of the crimes is a romantic storyline involving Lindsay and the two men to whom she is drawn. While she may be fearless when it comes to fighting criminals, she feels vulnerable and confused when it comes to trusting her ability to love or be loved.

Carolyn McCormick has narrated several of the books in this series and once again does a commendable job as she switches between characters and points of view. She is able to skillfully lead the listener from the scene of a crime to a bedroom with all the appropriate emotional tension and delight. 7th Heaven is a thoroughly satisfying addition to the Women's Murder Club series. The characters continue to intrigue and charm, and the plots remain unique, but plausible. Listeners are in for a special treat at the end of this book when the authors bring the rollercoaster action to a screeching halt with an unexpected development that ties everything together and invites personal reflection.

Ruth Mormon

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