Someone is killing the richest people in the city—and it's the Women's Murder Club's scariest investigation ever.
APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEIVING
At the party of the year, San Francisco's most glamorous millionaires mingle...while someone is watching—waiting for a chance to take vengeance on Isa and Ethan Bailey, the city's most celebrated couple. Finally, the killer pinpoints the ideal moment, and it's the perfect murder.
BUT THE TRUTH CAN BE DEADLY
While Detective Lindsay Boxer investigates the high-profile killings, someone else is found brutally executed—a preacher with a message of hope for the homeless. His death nearly falls through the cracks, but reporter Cindy Thomas hears about it and soon discovers the victim may not have been quite as saintly as everyone thought.
LET THE CONFESSIONS BEGIN
As the hunt for two criminals tests the limits of the Women's Murder Club, Lindsay sees sparks fly between Cindy and Lindsay's partner, Detective Rich Conklin. The Women's Murder Club now faces its toughest challenge: Will love destroy all that four friends have built? James Patterson serves up a double dose of speed-charged twists and shocking revelations. And remember, this is the only Murder Club episode of the year.
Part One | BAGMAN JESUS
"DON'T BE MAD," I said, tucking the blanket under Joe's chin, patting his stubbly cheeks, planting a PG-13-rated kiss on his mouth, careful not to get him going again because I just didn't have enough time to get back in the mood.
"I'm not mad," he said, eyes closed. "But I am going to be seeking retribution tonight, so prepare yourself."
I laughed at my big, handsome guy, said, "Actually, I can't wait."
"Cindy's a bad influence."
I laughed some more.
Cindy is a pit bull in disguise. She's all girlie-girl on the outside but tenacious through and through, which is how she pushed her way into my gory crime scene six years back and wouldn't give up until she'd nailed her story and I'd solved my case. I wished all of my cops were like Cindy.
"Cindy's a peach," I said to my lover. "She grows on you."
"Yeah? I'll have to take your word for it." Joe smirked.
"Honey, would you mind—?"
"Will I walk Martha? Yes. Because I work at home and you have a real job."
"Thanks, Joe," I said. "Will you do it soon? Because I think she's got to go."
Joe looked at me deadpan, his big blue eyes giving me the business. I blew him a kiss, then I made a run for the shower.
Several months had blown by since my cozy apartment on Potrero Hill had burned out to the walls—and I was still getting used to living with Joe in his new crib in the high-rent district.
Not that I didn't enjoy his travertine shower stall with the dual heads and a gizmo that dispensed gel, shampoo, and moisturizer, plus the hotel-style bath sheets folded over a heated brass rack.
I mean, yeah. Things could be worse!
I turned the water up hot and high, soaked and lathered my hair, my mind going to Cindy's phone call, wondering what she was so charged up about.
Last I heard, dead bums didn't make headlines. But Cindy was telling me this was some kind of special bum with a special name. And she was asking me to check out the scene as a favor to her.
I dried my hair, padded down the carpeted hallway to my own walk-in closet, which was still mostly empty. I stepped into clean work pants, shrugged on an aqua-colored pullover, checked my gun, buckled my shoulder holster, and topped it all off with my second-best blue blazer.
I bent to ruffle the silky ears of my lovely border collie, Sweet Martha, and called out, "Bye, honey," to Joe.
Then I headed out to meet Cindy's newest passion: a dead bum with a certifiably crazy name.
Copyright © 2009 by James Patterson
Carolyn McCormick has appeared in the films A Simple Twist of Fate and Enemy Mine. She has starred as Dr. Olivet on television's Law & Order for the past twelve years, and as a guest on The Practice and Star Trek. Her Broadway credits include roles in The Dinner Party and Private Lives. She read 7th Heaven by James Patterson for Hachette Audio.