5th Horseman – James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

5th Horseman – James Patterson & Maxine Paetro


An angel of death is stalking the halls of a San Francisco hospital. Recuperating patients on the verge of release are suddenly stricken and die. Nobody can identify the cause — or the culprit. In their most gripping case yet, James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club convenes to track down a killer who hides among healers. A powerful hospital and courtroom thriller.

My Thoughts

While I’m enjoying the notion of having a team of women solve crime and kick ass, sometimes the whole “girl power” theme falls by the wayside in this series. Unfortunately, this is the case with this book. This book us much less about “let’s solve this together” and more about “Lindsay will only call you when she needs to get ahead in her own career,” which is incredibly disheartening.

We still see the plot develop from the perspective of all four characters, there is a disconnect in this instalment of the Women’s Murder Club series. Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer seems to call on her friends when she needs them to help her solve her case – yet, she’s not as present or involved if they require her support. Of course, she’s there for Yuki when she needs her, but, other than an emotional few scenes and a traumatic experience for Yuki, Lindsay all but forgets she’s around.

There’s this expectation from Lindsay that her girlfriends will help her at all costs, but she can’t extend the same courtesy to the others. While I understand that her job makes if very difficult to be candid with the others, they’re all in this position to some extent. She forgets this, frequently, and expects full transparency while not being able to extend the same in return. This level of selfish, and incredibly indulgent, behaviour really made this book irritating for me to read.

Despite what I feel is a self-centred protagonist, the main criminal activities time around were of a far darker nature. We see a methodical series of murders – something worthy of a Criminal Minds episode – shock the SFPD. With no clues, no leads, and victims who are near impossible to identify, Lieutenant Boxer goes to the extreme to catch the perpetrator, while breaking a bunch of rules in the process, which everyone rather dutifully ignores.

Not only that, but Lindsay’s good friend Yuki is going through her own personal crisis, while keeping up with an ongoing civil suit against a renowned hospital for malpractice and negligence. The two events end up trying in far too closely together for comfort, exacerbating an incredibly awkward plot line. It really did the series few favours, as the situation felt like it was used as a device to create brutal, bloody, imagery.

This book is a whirlwind of emotions, and sometimes convoluted and confusing trains of thought which make solving the main case quite complicated. Getting involved in the civil suit makes things even more complicated, which felt terribly unnecessary. Even after re-reading many sections and chapters, I still don’t quite understand how the pieces are supposed to fit together – or where some of the pieces even came from. At one point, I had to tell myself to stop thinking and move on, just to make it end.

Honestly, since the first book, I haven’t been super impressed with this series. However, I’m stubborn as all hell, and will probably keep going.


~ by Aubrey Smith on September 23, 2015.

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