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2nd Chance
by James Patterson
Book Review by Amy Coffin
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It's been three months since Lindsay Boxer's world was turned upside down. The Honeymoon Murders were solved in 1st to Die, but Lindsay paid a terrible price with the loss of a friend and colleague.

Now the San Francisco policewoman is back with a new title: Lieutenant Boxer. Lindsay barely has a chance to enjoy her elevated position before she's called on another case. A young girl has been gunned down in front of a church. It isn't a random attack. The girl was targeted. Quick police sleuthing determines that this murder is connected to a brutal killing in Oakland.

Just as the department is gathering clues, another man, a cop no less, is gunned down. High-profile civic leaders want to call the homicides racial hate crimes, but Lindsay sees something else--a gang-type symbol called a Chimera, which represents the lowest criminal element within the state's prison system.

When the very heart of the city's police department is shattered, Lindsay becomes more determined than ever to get the Chimera. However, the usual office politics prevent her from getting the support she needs. She calls on her best friends to identify the killer and bring him to justice. Can they do it before more lives are lost?

2nd Chance details Lindsay Boxer's second big case. In 1st to Die, she assembled her friends to form an off-the-record group known as the "Women's Murder Club." In the Chimera case, Lindsay (the cop), Cindy (the reporter), Claire (the medical examiner), and Jill (the lawyer) meet over margaritas to compare notes and develop leads.

2nd Chance is packed with suspense and unpredictability at every turn. In true Patterson form, the chapters are fast-paced and short, making it VERY hard to put the book down. There are some hokey moments, but nothing that distracts from the story line. Lindsay's bouts of bad judgment result in many of the book's more exciting scenes.

While hunting the Chimera, Lindsay is reunited with her father. Marty Boxer left his family long ago and now he's back trying to make amends. Marty was once a member of the SFPD. Could he have a connection to the current case? I'll never tell.

There is similarity between Lindsay Boxer and her fictional colleague Alex Cross. Both work with a renegade urgency and put themselves in unnecessary (and unrealistic) danger to find the killer. Hopefully, Patterson won't let his two best characters mesh into one supercop. Lindsay is a clever individual and she deserves her own distinguishing traits. Only time (and future installments) will tell if Lt. Boxer is more than just a female version of Alex Cross.

2nd Chance is a thoroughly enjoyable and exciting tale. The members of the Women's Murder Club are intelligent and down-to-earth, making this a very enjoyable series to read. Patterson knows what his readers want and gives it to them every time.

Also in this Series:
1st to Die
1st to Die
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Pop Goes the Weasel

Roses are Red

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas

Violets Are Blue