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Monday, July 16, 2012

Audiobook Review: 3rd Degree by James Patterson and Andrew Gross

TITLE: 3rd Degree
NARRATOR: Carolyn McCormick
PUBLISHER: Hachette Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: August 1, 2005 (first published January 1, 2004)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 6 hrs and 47 mins
GENRE: Mystery, Suspense
Detective Lindsay Boxer is jogging along a beautiful San Francisco street when a fiery explosion rips through the neighborhood. A town house owned by an Internet millionaire is immediately engulfed in flames, and when Lindsay plunges inside to search for survivors, she finds three people dead. An infant who lived in the house cannot be found; and a mysterious message at the scene leaves Lindsay and the San Francisco Police Department completely baffled.Then a prominent businessman is found murdered under bizarre circumstances, with another mysterious message left behind by the killer. Lindsay asks her friends Claire Washburn of the medical examiner's office, Assistant D.A. Jill Bernhardt, and Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas to help her figure out who is committing these murders, and why they are intent on killing someone every three days.Even more terrifying, the killer has targeted one of the four friends who call themselves the Women's Murder Club.

3rd Degree is the third book in Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series. For those who are unfamiliar with the series, the protagonist is Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer with the San Francisco Police Department, who solves crimes with the aid of her three friends: District Attorney Jill Bernhardt, Chief Medical Examiner Claire Washburn, and San Francisco Chronicle Reporter Cindy Thomas.

A group of people is targeting high-profile businessmen, and they have vowed to continue to kill someone every three days to mete out their own form of justice. As the body count rises, it is up to Lindsay and the girls to figure out who the perpetrators are, why they are doing it, and how to stop them.

I really enjoyed the crime aspect of the book, and I thought this installment was better than the last, 2nd Chance. There is a lot of drama in the lives of the girls, particularly with Jill and Lindsay: Jill is dealing with marital problems, and Lindsay is debating whether to enter the dating pool again. There are a couple of surprises in 3rd Degree that I didn’t expect, and I won’t give any spoilers! 

Despite the chick-lit drama (which is my least favourite part of the series and why I believe that I am probably better suited to Patterson’s Alex Cross series, which I plan to read after I finish this one), I really enjoyed the story! I also really like that Patterson’s books are fast reads for me and that the crime keeps me engaged in the story.

Narrator Carolyn McCormick is new-to-me, and her narration was fine. However, I dislike that a different narrator has been used for each book in the series so far. With a series, I prefer narrator continuity because I get used to the vocal characterizations of one narrator and then a different one might interpret the character’s voice in a completely different manner. It would be my preference to have the same person narrate the entire series.


  1. I haven't read any of the books in the series but it sounds intriguing.

    Do you thin Patterson actually writes himself or just lends his name?

    1. That's a good question, Man of la Book! All I know is that whoever is writing likes the word "clapboard" because that word was overused in 2nd Chance, the second book in the series, and it was mentioned at least once in 3rd Degree...and both books were co-written by Andrew Gross. I haven't read any books by Andrew Gross, so I don't know if that is favourite word of his or whether it is Patterson's!


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