The Women's Murder Club is stalked by a murderer looking for revenge while they struggle to solve a mysterious case of exploding burgers. Lindsay Boxer is not just a new mother. She's also a San Francisco detective and a member of the unofficial "Women's Murder Club." The club, comprised of four women in law enforcement and the legal system, often find themselves working together to solve cases. The week begins with Boxer being sent to the scene of a traffic accident which pretty quickly turns into a murder investigation. Two teens look as if something exploded inside their stomachs and since their last meal was at the local burger chain Chuck's, that becomes the target of the investigation. Other people are killed and the SFPD and the FBI determine the nearly microscopic bomb have been placed inside meat and are set off by stomach acid. There is a ransom demand, but what is the real agenda at work here?
Yuki Castellano is a district attorney and another member of the club. She's also been dating Boxer's boss, and they decide to get married in a civil ceremony and honeymoon on an Alaskan cruise. The timing could have been better for Boxer, as well as for fellow club member Cindy, who is a well-known local investigative reporter. Cindy is tracking the movements of Mackie Morales, who used to be an intern at the SFPD, but later fell in love with a serial killer. He's dead, but she's taken up his cause and she seems to be targeting Boxer. And then there's Claire, the medical examiner and fourth member of the club, who is trying to use her skills to provide the SFPD leads on the bombing case.
Boxer and her partner track the bomber and manage to come up with a suspect, a man who works for Chuck's as a delivery man. But where is he now and why has he been doing this? Cindy travels to Wisconsin in search of Morales, who spots her and emails her a warning that she's headed to SF for some payback. They all find time for Yuki's civil wedding and then the happy couple are off on their honeymoon. But a band of hijackers board their cruise ship and begin shooting passengers and demanding a hefty ransom.
Boxer arrests the man and his partner, but they refuse to admit anything or if there are any bombs still left in the restauarants. Like it or not, they have to close every Chuck in the Bay Area. Yuki's husband Brady leads a passenger revolt and while some people are killed, they kill many of the bad guys and give a SEAL team time to gain control of the boat. Brady is shot, but not seriously and the couple return home. Morales comes after Boxer and her baby and Cindy shoots Morales just as she's targeting Boxer. She kills Morales, but is wounded in the process. In the end, all members of the club are safe, but they have some more great stories to tell.
Best part of story, including ending:
I'm a big fan of all the Women's Murder Club books and even though Patterson probably left most of the writing to a ghostwriter, the plot is just as intricate and unpredictable as the best books in the series. There are a number of unexpected twists, including the resolution of the cruise ship takeover.
Best scene in story:
The scene in which Cindy gets in a shootout with Morales. The reporter has struggled throughout the book with a number of personal problems. But when she was needed most, she stepped up and saved Boxer's life.
Opinion about the main character:
Lindsay Boxer is a complex mix of tender mom and wife and typically cynical and jaded cop. She probably accurately reflects the personality of a lot of real-life police officers who are trying to juggle a lot of different things every day.