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The 5th Horseman, but my 1st Womens Murder Club!
on 12 February 2010
This was my second attempt at reading James Paterson. My first was the awful 'Hide and Seek' which I didn't like, never finished and nearly stopped me reading this fab book.
'The 5th Horseman' is the fifth book in the Women's Murder Club series. The book and evidently its predecessors, focuses on four very different, successful and capable female characters - Lyndsey (the high ranking, no nonsense policewoman); Claire (the city Medical Examiner); Cindy (the tough news reporter) and finally Yuki (making a name for herself as a top lawyer).
The story carefully and successfully weaves these four women together in a plot focused on the mysterious deaths of patients at a local hospital and the murders of young girls in a seemingly 'serial killer'-esque fashion.
The are some wonderful insights in to 'hospital death symdrome' (where hospital staff blunders, mistakes and errors can and do cost lives) as well as the concept of suing hospitals for compensation - which is worse, the odd error (resulting in an unnecessary death) or having no hospital at all (because its been litergated out of existence). Some food for thought, which I found especailly appealling as it challenged the reader to stop, think and wonder 'what would I do?'. It also nicely ties courtroom and street police action together well, keeping both stories current and yet running seperately alongside.
My only gripe would be that the story is told from the aspect of Lyndsey Boxer, the (too butch) policewoman. She is the least interesting of the four principle leads and her overly aggressive 'we must stop the bag guy' routine is particually grating, especially when she is shown struggling to balance her work and personal life. Hopefully other novels in this series may switch and swap around between the leads, giving different viewpoints.
Anyway, that complaint aside, I highly recommend this book - its a great thriller, easy to read (short snappy chapters) and a damn good story to boot!! Enjoy!!