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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Plot with Weak Character Development, 22 July 2004
This review is from: 2nd Chance (Paragon Softcover Large Print Books) (Paperback)
You if enjoyed 1st to Die, you should definitely read 2nd Chance. The plot is even better this time, and you will probably be kept fascinated by this police procedural along the way. Even the patented Patterson "switcheroos" are not as annoying in this book as they are in many of his others.
The book is a quick read. Most chapters are 2-3 pages so there's a lot of white space.
Those who like action and fast-moving stories will find this book especially attractive. Those who like complex, constantly evolving characters will be disappointed. If you read 1st to Die, you know that the book has four female characters are part of its lead. I think it's hard for many male writers to tell stories that are convincing about female characters. I kept imagining how Sue Grafton would have handled the same story, and I missed the nuance and texture that her novels provide.
Lindsay Boxer from 1st to Die is now a homicide detective who's having a hard time adjusting to "normal" life after the events in 1st to Die. When a horrible shooting at a ghetto church happens, her old partner, Jacobi, asks her if she wants to take it on again. She decides to go ahead. Soon, there's a second death and Lindsay begins to suspect that their might be a serial killer involved . . . but she cannot make sense of the pattern except that it may be racially motivated.
The book uses a tried-and-true technique for stories about serial killers. The narration alternates between what the serial killer is doing and the police investigation. That leaves you comfortably ahead of the police, but not quite up to the serial killer. The story unwinds in a complexity and intimacy that are a rewarding variation on the usual "psycho" serial killer scenario found in so many books.
Mr. Patterson and Mr. Gross also manage to raise some good questions along the way about what the balance should be between one's commitment to work and to one's family and friends. Think about that as you read this story.
Be sure to start early in the evening . . . or you may miss some sleep due to this page-turner.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Donald Mitchell
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