The first of the Women's Murder Club pulled me in from the beginning, and it happens to be the first book by James Patterson that I've ever read. This is an easy book to listen to while I'm multitasking on other thoughtless activities because there aren't many details that absolutely have to be remembered to enjoy or understand the story as a whole. In other words, there isn't a lot of depth to the plot or the characters. It's a mindless story, which surprises me somewhat considering how popular James Patterson is as an author.
As James Tivendale, another Goodreads user and book reviewer, put it in his review, "I tend to read Patterson's books when I don't want my brain to work that hard. 1st to Die fits that bill perfectly." He is absolutely right.
While I loved the idea of a Murder Club, as opposed to the book clubs that typically catch my attention, and that the club consists of four women in jobs that typically work closely together on crimes, I was not keen on the fact that none of the women were all that "real." The journalist, Cindy Thomas from the San Francisco Chronicle, is portrayed as a stereotypical drama queen. Lindsay Boxer, a homicide detective for the San Francisco Police Department, had a health scare that seemed to only be included to give the character a personal crisis to handle while trying to track down a possible serial killer. The district attorney, Yuki Castellano (token Asian and Italian name/character?), was not memorable - perhaps those were the sections where my mind had wandered to something else. Claire Washburn, the medical examiner, is the token best friend and confidant for the main character. Why is it always the medical examiner that serves as the token confidant and wise person in crime dramas?
All the fluff of "you go girl" kind of attitudes left me cringing and wondering if Patterson just wrote this for the sake of writing this kind of story, or if he really does actually know how to write strong female characters.
I don't typically like reading the first book of a series because it's such a commitment if I end up liking them and there are so many other books I'd prefer to read. This particular series has 20 books, which is why I chose to read it because it fits the 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge Advanced prompt of "A book from a series with more than 20 books."
In the end, this book accomplished its purpose for me - checking off a reading prompt. I am 100% okay with not continuing to read the rest of the books.
I recommend this to those who enjoy mindless reads, shallow characters, and fluffy plots. This is perfect for a beach read.
Review: 1st to Die by James Patterson
Narrator: Suzanne Toren
Published: November 1, 2005 by Hachette Audio
Dates Read: August 12-17, 2020