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Unlucky 13

The Women's Murder Club is stalked by a killer with nothing to lose.

San Francisco Detective Lindsay Boxer is loving her life as a new mother. With an attentive husband, a job she loves, plus best friends who can talk about anything from sex to murder, things couldn't be better.

Then the FBI sends Lindsay a photo of a killer from her past, and her happy world is shattered. The picture captures a beautiful woman at a stoplight. But all Lindsay sees is the psychopath behind those seductive eyes: Mackie Morales, the most deranged and dangerous mind the Women's Murder Club has ever encountered.

In this pulse-racing, emotionally charged novel by James Patterson, the Women's Murder Club must find a killer—before she finds them first.


Chapter 3

I WAS STILL wrapping my mind around bombs you can eat when Claire picked up her ringing phone and got into something long and windy with a lawyer who wanted her as an expert witness.

While I waited for Claire’s attention, I stared at the picture on her desk of the four of us in what we cheerfully call the Women’s Murder Club. The four members are Claire, Cindy, Yuki, and me.

Claire was the bosomy African-American stalwart in the middle of our group, a mom three times over, my best buddy for the past dozen years, a woman with a heart big enough to move into and set up housekeeping.

To her right was Cindy, a sweet-looking bulldog of a reporter, working the crime desk at the Chronicle, who’d helped me bust a few criminals in her search for an exclusive story. Cindy and I have fought at times. Lots of times. She doesn’t back down until she’s tried every possible way around me and a few impossible ones. But I know her well and love her fiercely.

To Claire’s left was Yuki Castellano, who had given up private law to prosecute bad guys for the DA’s Office. She’s a bird-size beauty, a high-speed talker, a brilliant woman who has caught some bad breaks and still never says die.

I was the tall blonde on the end of the line, wearing my working-cop clothes and a sour expression. Bah. I don’t know what was bothering me the day that picture was taken. Well, taking a guess, maybe our new lieutenant, Jackson Brady, had stepped on my toes.

In front of me in real life, Claire picked up her intercom line and yelled into her phone, “Debbie, tell Inspector Orson to cool his giant heels and I’ll be with him in ten minutes. Hey, tell him to get coffee. I like mine with a lot of sugar.”

Claire slammed the phone down and said, “No peace for the weary.”

“I think you mean ‘No rest for the wicked.’ ”

“That, too.”

The phone on her desk rang.

“Don’t take that, okay?” I said. “What do you make of this ingestible bomb?”

“Well,” said Claire. She uncapped a bottle of water and took a really long pull. Then she said, “Since you ask, I believe this belly bomb was as personal as a knife.”


“It was a micro-bomb so it was easy to disguise. Limited impact because it was only meant to kill one person at a time.”

“So these kids were targeted?”

“Not necessarily. Could have been random. Remember the psycho who put cyanide inside Tylenol capsules.”

“So those one-person bombs were a kind of message?”

“My thoughts exactly,” said Claire. “Both of us go to the head of the class.”

Copyright © 2014 by James Patterson

Read by January LaVoy

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