The Medical Examiner (Women’s Murder Club #16.5) – Maxine Paetro and James Patterson

The Medical Examiner by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
Also by this author: 1st to Die, 2nd Chance, 3rd Degree, The Horsewoman, 4th of July, The 5th Horseman, The 6th Target, 7th Heaven, The 8th Confession, The 9th Judgment, 10th Anniversary, 11th Hour, 12th of Never, Unlucky 13
Series: Women's Murder Club #16.5
Published by BookShots on August 1, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Short Form
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Two bodies arrived at the morgue--one was still breathing. A woman checks into a hotel room and entertains a man who is not her husband. A shooter blows away the lover and wounds the millionairess, leaving her for dead. Is it the perfect case for the Women's Murder Club--or just the most twisted?BookShotsLIGHTNING-FAST STORIES BY JAMES PATTERSON
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All thriller. No filler. James Patterson is known for his utilitarian writing style and blazingly fast plots. Many of his books have multiple plots all threaded together, and, at least in the case of the Women’s Murder Club series, they don’t always overlap. Write one plotline instead of three and you have yourself a self-contained novella that Patterson dubbed a Bookshot. Bookshots were around 150 pages and were all-new original stories. James Patterson’s vision was that these would be sold on magazine racks and be marketed toward people who said they didn’t have enough time to read. That vision ultimately failed, possibly because Patterson saturated the market, publishing over seventy volumes from 2016-2017.

The Medical Examiner wedges itself into the Women’s Murder Club between 16th Seduction and The 17th Suspect. Again, this book comes at a crucial time in the overarching series with Lindsay and Joe’s relationship on the rocks. These Bookshots seem like an effort to balance out the Lindsay/Joe drama with a storyline focusing on a different character. For the first time in a while, Medical Examiner Claire Washburn plays a prominent role. Claire has been woefully underused throughout the series and I’m giving Patterson and Paetro a star for simply giving her a story to herself—aaaaaand the story is more about Cindy and Rich than Claire. Nevermind.

The case follows Cindy and Rich Conklin as they get wrapped up in very confusing case where the murdered person isn’t fully dead. As in, she wakes up in Claire’s morgue dazed, confused, and obviously covering for someone. With Lindsay Boxer on a much-needed, marriage-healing vacation, can the Club solve the mystery?

The mystery is rather banal and probably would have been better set in the 1970s than present day. It’s about on par with your average Women’s Murder Club novel and it’s good to get a break from the Lindsay/Joe dramatics. I’m just mad that Claire doesn’t even take center stage in her own book. #JusticeForClaire