"Second Chance" is No. 2 in James Patterson's series, Women's Murder Club. The lead protagonist, Lindsay Boxer, is a seasoned police woman. The other members of the Club are Claire, Cindy and Jill. Claire is a coroner, Cindy a reporter and Jill a lawyer. The four of them solved the mystery in "First to Die," in which a serial killer is stalking and killing newlyweds.
The Opening Scene
Aaron Winslow is shepherding his choir out of La Salle Heights Church when they are suddenly strafed by an unseen shooter. The youngest singer, a little black girl, is the only causality. Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer is called to the scene. As she searches the area for clues, a 6-year-old witness tells her he saw a white van with a lion--a Mufasa--on the back of it, pulling away.
Searching for the Lion
With only a child's description of the getaway car and two way-too-accurately fired bullets dug out of the little girl's body, by way of clues, Lindsay begins the search for the killer. It leads her to a biker gang, a prison inmate and an ex-cop, and causes her long-absent father to come calling. Is the responsible party the gang member, the inmate, the cop or her father, or is it some other player she has missed?
The case begins affecting Lindsay's friends. Claire is creased across the throat by a bullet, Jill miscarries her baby, Cindy starts dating a man named Aaron Winslow. Lindsay is being stalked by her father, and winds up inviting him to sleep on the couch. As she follows up on the prison inmate's statement that it was an "inside job," she learns more about her father's disappearance from her life and events surrounding his partner's trial for killing a black youth than she really wants to know.
Whose Case Is This?
As Lindsay pursues the clues, she is sure she is on the trail of a serial killer. Others have identified the shootings as hate crimes. The distinction determines whether the investigation stays with the San Francisco Police Department or if it goes to the FBI. The more clues that turn up, the more personal the case becomes to Lindsay. She is also fighting to remain in the loop as her male colleagues begin to decide that she is losing touch with reality and begin to exclude her from communication about the case. Can she stay on the case? Can she solve it before she or one of her friends is killed?
- James Patterson Website: Biography
- James Patterson; "Second Chance"; 2002
- James Patterson Website: Women's Murder Club; 2011
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