MY PARTNER, RICH CONKLIN, was at the wheel of our unmarked car and I was sugaring my coffee when I felt the concussion.
The dashboard shook. Hot coffee slopped over my hand. I shouted, "What the hell?" A few moments later the radio sputtered, the dispatcher calling out, "Reports of an explosion at Market and Fourth. Nearby units identify and respond."
I dumped my coffee out the window, grabbed the mic, and told Dispatch we were two blocks away as Conklin accelerated up the hill, then braked so that our car slewed across Fourth Street, blocking traffic.
We bolted from the car, Conklin yelling, "Lindsay, watch out. There could be secondary explosions!"
The air was opaque with roiling smoke, rank with burning rubber, plastic, and human flesh. I stopped running, wiped my sleeve across my stinging eyes, and fought against my gag reflex. I took in the hellish scene - and my hair literally lifted away from the back of my neck.
Market Street is a major artery. It should have been pulsing with commuter traffic, but instead it looked like Baghdad after a suicide bomb. People were screaming, running in circles, blinded by panic and a screen of smoky haze.
I called Chief Tracchio, reported that I was the first officer on the scene.
"What's happening, Sergeant?"
I told him what I saw: five dead on the street, two more at the bus stop. "Unknown number of victims alive or dead, still in their cars," I coughed into the phone.
"You okay, Boxer?"
I signed off as cruisers, fire rigs, and EMS units, their sirens whooping, streamed onto Market and formed a perimeter at Third and at Fifth, blocking off oncoming traffic. Moments later, the command vehicle rolled up, and the bomb squad, covered top to toe in gray protective suits, poured onto the debris field.
A bloodied woman of indeterminate age and race staggered toward me. I caught her as her knees buckled, and Conklin and I helped her to a gurney.
"I saw it," the victim whispered. She pointed to a blackened hulk at the intersection. "That school bus was a bomb."
"A school bus? Please, God, not kids!"
I looked everywhere but saw no children.
Had they all been burned alive?
(c) 2009 James Patterson
If you want to know why James Patterson has been called “America’s #1 storyteller” (Forbes), pick up his new page-turner. The 8th Confession returns us to the mean streets of San Francisco where the Women’s Murder Club reconvenes to sort out a situation that starts out complicated.
First, a meth lab on wheels explodes in the night, bringing Detective Lindsay Boxer rushing to a grisly scene. Sometime later, she and her lover, Joe Molinari, are interrupted by reporter Cindy Thomas, who has come upon the body of an intinerant preacher known for his kindness. Cindy wants Lindsay to know she’s committed to pursuing the story. It’s not until a glamorous, wealthy couple is brutally murdered in their home—with not a trace of evidence left behind—that Lindsay begins to wonder, crazy as it seems, whether all these deaths are connected. One connection that she doesn’t miss, though, is the one sizzling between Cindy and Lindsay’s rugged partner, Rich Conklin. Not that Lindsay has time to think about that. Right now, she needs her pals in the Women’s Murder Club to join in a hunt for a killer that has more twists and turns than a roller coaster. Better buckle up for a wild ride!
Hardcover Book : 304 pages
Publisher: Hachette Book Group USA ( April 27, 2009 )
Item #: 12-646347
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.72inches
Product Weight: 12.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I like the short chapters. They flow so easily into one another as one thought into another. I think this is one of the highlights of Patterson's writing.
I couldn't put the book down. If I did, I would pick it up to read as quickly as possible.
When I started reading 4th of July, I could tell immediately that JP was writing with a different writer. That's how different the writing style is. It is a good book, don't get me wrong, but it just took a little while to get used to the different feel of the writing.
Reviewer: Stephanie S
Loved this book, I love the series, can't wait to read more.
I did not find this book as good as the rest of the series. I was a little disappointed.
Is it me or does JP need to kick it up a notch on these WMC books? They just aren't as good as they used to be.
Reviewer: Stacey, O