Book report: James Patterson & Maxine Paetro ‘The eleventh hour’
The eleventh hour is the eleventh part of the Women’s Murder club series by the writer duo James Patterson & Maxine Paetro, starring friends Lindsay, Claire, Yuki and Cindy. Detective Lindsay Boxer should be enjoying her pregnancy, but two things are putting her private life in the background. She is confronted with Revenge, a man who wants to guarantee the safety of the city in his own way. And in the garden of a famous actor two heads are found. She hopes to find the perpetrators as soon as possible together with her friends, who together form the Women’s Murder club.
- Main characters
- Symbols and motifs
- Title statement and book cover
- Structure and perspective / way of telling
- Time and place
- Original title: 11th Hour
- Title: The eleventh hour
- Series: Women’s Murder Club (11)
- Authors: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
- First print: 2012
- First edition translated into Dutch: 2012
- Translation: Noë Wildmar
- Number of pages: 271
- ISBN: 978 90 234 7514 9
Detectives Lindsay and Rich are sent to the immense Eliisworth mansion complex after a report of two deaths. Once there, they find two severed heads on the patio. One head clearly belongs to a woman and the other is just a skull. The English couple Nigel and Kate Worley, who had come to the United States ten years ago and work in the mansion, had found the heads. Their daughter Nicole is a biologist, but was not present when the heads were found.
The Eliisworth complex is owned by Harry Chandler, a well-known actor. Several years ago, he was the prime suspect in his wife’s murder, but was eventually declared innocent for lack of evidence as her body was never found.
Earlier, Lindsay Boxer and her partner Rich Conklin had been informed by their boss Brady about Chaz Smith, an undercover cop, who had been professionally murdered. Now that she’s updating Brady over heads, she’s given the opportunity to work on both things, which she secretly hoped for. Brady also informs her that he is almost certain that the perpetrator, who has since been named Revenge, is a cop.
Lindsay learns from her friend Claire, who works as a pathologist, that more skulls have since been found in the garden of the Ellisworth complex. The seven skulls were all female, but there was no reference to Harry’s wife. They were buried over a number of years. But otherwise, Lindsay doesn’t know where they were killed or who they are. Since it is not clear whether Harry Chandler is behind his wife’s disappearance or not, it goes without saying that Lindsay is going to talk to him. But Harry has an alibi, which is immediately confirmed by his fiancé Kaye.
While everyone is in search of their identity, Revenge continues to kill criminals. A witness had described the man as an average white man, which could be anyone. But Brady is convinced that Jacobi is Revenge. Still, Lindsay can’t believe her ex-co-worker and boss is behind the murders. She has known Warren Jacobi for ten years and loved the time when he was her partner. They had shared joys and sorrows and Lindsay considers him family. But Brady doesn’t want to hear about it and forces Rich and Lindsay to keep an eye on Jacobi. When they are shadowing Jacobi, he sees them and immediately understands why Lindsay suddenly wanted to discuss the matter with him. He speaks to them to make it clear to them how great his disappointment is and especially in Lindsay.
They also learn more about Harry, for example he had a relationship with Janet a decade ago. Which now prevents her husband, Nigel and Harry from being the best of friends. But they find nothing to indicate that either of the two men committed the murders.
Through her old therapist, Lindsay receives a personal file from William Randall. She tells Brady and Rich the story of Randall’s obsession with drug dealers since his oldest son survived a heroin overdose but now has to live with badly damaged brains. Brady immediately agrees to follow Randall.
William Randall is stopped when he tries to kill Jimmy Lesko. But he refuses to cooperate and immediately shoots the officers, including Brady. He then shoots Jimmy Lesko twice in the chest. Lindsay has no choice but to fire back. Brady’s condition is stable after surgery and Randall dies not much later.
Lindsay, with the help of her friends, discovers that the women had all been murdered in the mansion. With some searching, she and Rich discover the place where the massacre had taken place. There they find anesthetics used by veterinarians. Lindsay immediately thinks of the lovable twenty-six-year-old Nicole Worley, whom she had briefly met and who works at Wildlife Rescue. Claire and her colleague find a freezer filled with body parts. They hope to find evidence of the culprit here, in order to avenge the victims.
When Rich and Lindsay arrest Nicole, her mother starts shouting that she did it and not her daughter. Nicole smiles and convinces her mother that the police can’t fix them. During the interrogation, Nicole denies having anything to do with the murders until Harry asks Chandler himself what happened. Nicole immediately admits that she killed the women. Cecily was the first woman she killed to avenge her mother after Harry broke off their relationship. Her mother Janet had helped her cut the body to pieces and bury it in the wilderness.
She forms the Women’s Murder Club with Lindsay, Cindy and Claire. Yuki is an assistant district attorney and is in a relationship with Brady, Lindsay’s boss.
He is Lindsay’s partner, who watches over her like a little brother. Rich is engaged to Cindy.
As an investigative reporter for the Chronicle, Cindy had spent six years in the crime editorial team. She is an honest and talented writer who has helped Lindsay solve crimes several times.
He is an Oscar-winning actor and legendary womanizer and womanizer. Harry has a son with whom he no longer has contact.
She’s Lindsay’s best friend.
She works as a homicide detective. Lindsay is married to Joe and they are expecting their first child together.
He is dark herring and tall. He had worked in the narcotics squad for five years and has been with sex workers for ten years.
Symbols and motifs
Lindsay wonders if Harry would have murdered women for years and casually buried them in the garden with the belief that no one would find them.
Lindsay hates that these innocent women have been murdered and that she is unable to identify them to notify their families and find the culprit.
While trying to resolve matters, Lindsay discovers that Joe is having an affair. She’d been on the phone with his mistress, June, who’d told her Joe loved her. Completely confused by the conversation, she throws her husband out and does not want to hear from him again. But Joe insists he is not having an affair with June. Although Lindsay hopes she can believe Joe, she fails.
As the police fail to get a grip on the drug crime, Revenge takes matters into his own hands and makes things safer for everyone.
Title statement and book cover
The eleventh hour is a reference to the title of the book that one of the characters is writing. It is a reference to the crime that is only solved at the last minute. The cover of the book shows a woman lying in the water and (probably) dead.
Structure and perspective / way of telling
The book consists of 271 pages, divided over a prologue, 119 chapters and 4 parts. The prologue is entitled Revenge and the four parts have the following titles: Part one: The house of the heads, Part two: Media circus, Part three: Friends and lovers and Part four: In safe arms. The story gives it Lindsay’s point of view, which is written in the first person and the positions of Revenge (Will Randall), Yuki, Rich, Jason Blayney (journalist) and Jimmy Lesko (drug dealer), which are written in the third person. .
Do we ever really get to know someone?
Time and place
The story is set in the present day is San Francisco.
The short pieces ensure that you can read quickly and move from one point of view to another. The 2 stories run together nicely without disturbing. It’s all in there: excitement, love, deceit, lies, so perfect for a thriller. This, combined with the talent of James Patterson, ensures that as a reader you quickly get into the story and have trouble putting the book next to you.