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The 9th Judgment

Detective Lindsay Boxer chases a jewel thief, a murderous movie star, and a killer with a vendetta against women and children.

The most personal
A young mother and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down while returning to their car in the garage of a shopping mall. There are no witnesses, and Detective Lindsay Boxer is left with only one shred of evidence: a cryptic message scrawled across the windshield in blood red lipstick.

The most dangerous
The same night, the wife of A-list actor Marcus Dowling walks in on a cat burglar who is about to steal millions of dollars worth of precious jewels. In just seconds there is an empty safe, a lifeless body, and another mystery that throws San Francisco into hysteria.

The most exciting Women's Murder Club novel ever
Lindsay spends every waking hour working with her partner Rich—and her desire for him threatens to tear apart both her relationship with her fiancé and the Women's Murder Club. Before Lindsay and her friends can piece together either case, one of the killers forces Lindsay to put her own life on the line—but is it enough to save the city? With unparalleled danger and explosive action, The 9th Judgment is James Patterson at his compelling, unstoppable best!

Part One | SNEAKY PETE

Chapter 4

YUKI CASTELLANO STEPPED out of her office and called down the line of cubicles to Nicky Gaines, "You ready, Wonder Boy? or do you want to meet me downstairs?"

"I'm coming," Gaines said. "Who said I wasn't coming?"

"How do I look?" she asked him, already moving toward the elevator that would take them from the DA's office to the courtroom.

"You look fierce, Batwoman. Miss Hot Multicultural USA."

"Shut up." She laughed at her protégé. "Just be ready to prompt me if I blank, God forbid."

"You're not going to blank. you're going to send Jo-Jo to the big house."

"Ya think?"

"I know. Don't you?"

"Uh-huh. I just have to make sure the jury knows it, too."

Nicky stabbed the elevator button, and Yuki went back to her thoughts. in about twenty minutes, she was going to make her closing argument in the state's case against Adam "Jo-Jo" Johnson.

Since she'd been with the DA's office, she'd taken on more than a few crappy cases that the DA was determined to try: she'd work eighteen-hour days, earning "atta girls" from her boss, Leonard "red Dog" Parisi, and score points with the jury, all of which would give her high expectations.

And then she'd lose.

Yuki was becoming famous for losing—and that stank because she was a fighter and a winner. And she just frickin' hated to lose. But she never thought she'd lose—and this time was no different.

Her case was solid. She'd laid it out like a hand of solitaire. The jury had an easy job. The defendant wasn't just guilty, he was guilty as sin.

Nicky held open the studded leather door to the courtroom, and Yuki walked smartly down the center aisle of the oak-paneled chamber. She noticed that the gallery was filling up with spectators, mostly press and law students. And as she approached the prosecution table, she saw that Jo-Jo Johnson and his attorney, Jeff Asher, were in their seats.

The stage was set.

She nodded to her opponent and noted the defendant's appearance. Jo-Jo's hair was combed and he was wearing a nice suit, but he looked dazed as only a mope who'd fried his brain on drugs could look. She hoped that very soon he would look worse, once she nailed him on manslaughter in the first degree.

"Jo-Jo looks like he's been smoking ganja," Nicky murmured to Yuki as he pulled out her chair.

"Or else he believes his lawyer's bull," Yuki said loud enough for her opponent to hear. "Jo-Jo may think he's going to walk, but he'll be busing it to Pelican Bay."

Asher looked at her and smirked, showing Yuki with his body language that he thought he was going to whip her.

It was an act.

Yuki hadn't gone up against Asher before, but after less than a year in the public defender's office, Asher had gotten a reputation as a "bomb"—a killer attorney who blew up the prosecution's case and got his client off. Asher was formidable because he had it all: charisma, boyish good looks, and a Harvard Law degree. And he had his father, a top-notch litigator who was coaching his son from the sidelines.

But none of that mattered today.

The evidence, the witnesses, and the confession were all on her side. Jo-Jo Johnson was hers.

Copyright © 2010 by James Patterson

Read by Carolyn McCormick

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 The 8th Confession by James Patterson for Hachette Audio.

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