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Publisher's Summary

Four women - four friends - share a determination to stop a killer who has been stalking newlyweds in San Francisco. Each one holds a piece of the puzzle: Lindsay Boxer is a homicide inspector in the San Francisco Police Department, Claire Washburn is a medical examiner, Jill Bernhardt is an assistant D.A., and Cindy Thomas just started working the crime desk of the San Francisco Chronicle.

But the usual procedures aren't bringing them any closer to stopping the killings. So these women form a Women's Murder Club to collaborate outside the box and pursue the case by sidestepping their bosses and giving one another a hand.

1st to Die is the start of a blazingly fast-paced and sensationally entertaining new series of crime thrillers.

©2001 by James Patterson (P)2001 by Time Warner AudioBooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Karl
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 07-07-07

Not so much with the narration....

I like the storyline, ABC is coming out with the Women's Murder Club drama this fall (2007 starring Angie Harmon as Lindsey Boxer). The characters are likable but the narration started to grate on me. I just didn't like how she read it especially when she was saying Jacobi's lines... I let it go after awhile and just concentrated on the storyline.

I'm glad I "read" it but I'm having a hard time wanting to download the rest of the series that I bought and only because of the narration.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Chuck
  • Union City, CA, USA
  • 01-11-05

Skip the Prologue

I really enjoyed listening to 1st to Die and found myself staying in my car to finish chapters many times after arriving at my destination. I recommend skipping over the prologue (maybe read it last). It was unnecessary, and it made it painfully obvious that in the end, Chris -- I'll stop now. The author can spoil it for you, but I won't. Trust me. Skip over the first four minutes. (She's an inspector with SFPD, the only woman, divorced, and looking back to the "honeymoon murders". Now you have not missed anything crucial.)

38 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • KP
  • Oakland, CA
  • 02-21-13

Not Very Impressive

This book was disappointing. I thought James Patterson would be a better writer than this. He has such a great reputation. I would say he was a step up from Harlan Coben… but it’s a small step. The characters and their relationships are not believable. Their dialogue is hackneyed and trite and sometimes laughable. The plot was bearable in the first half, but it started to take so many bizarre twists in the last half that I thought I might get whiplash. It seemed Patterson was almost trying too hard to make the plot exciting; instead it became ridiculous. One of the only things I did enjoy was the setting: San Francisco and the Bay Area where I live. Much of the action took place on streets I knew, places I've been, etc.... even Lake Tahoe and the Napa Valley played a part. That was fun.

It was easy reading, and I did want to find out “what happened,” so I kept reading. It wasn’t horrible, but I can’t say I’d recommend it. For the mystery genre, I’d go for Michael Connelly or James Lee Burke before I’d read another James Patterson.

I also found the narrator's voice to be annoying for some reason. I think her voice was overly melodramatic. Also, it somehow did NOT fit the main detective/character's personality, and I found this distracting. It is rare for me when a narrator's voice gets in the way, but this was one of the times. I think she did a good job, BUT I just couldn't appreciate it.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


The real mystery is why this author is so popular. I'm not difficult to please especially with mysteries. I nearly abandoned this one several times but instead left it playing while I did other stuff (like pump gas). Often while listening, I found myself repeating lines to my dog ("I melted into his arms") and just laughing. The dog agreed; There is no humor, no grace, no subtlety, no intelligence.

The narrator did her best.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • George
  • Vallejo, CA, USA
  • 07-21-08

1st to Die (Unabridged)

The book was great however the narrator could put you to sleep with that voice. They should of choosen a different narrator. But over all the book was great.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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This book would be rated R for language and PG-13 for subject matter and should get a big D- for character developement. The women were unrealistic in their relationship with one another. The relationships in the book were shallow. Overall disappointed in Mr. Patterson greatly disappointed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Narration bugs

Not even done with the book and may not finish. The narrator's inflections make the characters, especially the main character, seem wimpy and weak - and (they're)she's not. Also, the volume changes during those times(speaking softly - sometimes with a tremor that makes me want to turn this off)make this very difficult to follow. I'll avoid other books with this narrator.
Can't rate the book's content because I can't get past the narrator - and may not finish the book.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Barbara
  • Richmond, VA, USA
  • 08-23-05

Boring, unrealistic and predictable

1/2 star for a good start, but it didn't last. I've never felt compelled to write a review, as most books I choose are right on the money regarding the previous reviews. This one though. Maybe it was the unabridged version, maybe it was the narrator, maybe it was the plot. No, it was all of these. No plot, narration terrible, book too, too long. Stick with Alex Cross. Patterson's attempt at female bonding is unrealistic and the plot, what little there is, is very predictable. Gave up at 5 hours, and I don't care who did it.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

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I really wanted to like it

I've heard so much about James Patterson and this is my first book to listen to from helm. For some reason it just did not capture my interest at all. I'm not giving up on him but I do believe I'm giving up on this series. I love the Harry Bosch series and the Jack Reacher series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eileen
  • Tinley Park, IL, United States
  • 04-29-04

I LOVE the Women's Murder Club

Being a fan of James Patterson, I was delighted to come across this book which was much different than the Alex Cross stories. The whole idea of a successful group of women coming together as friends to solve murders was great. I thought the story had just the right amount of twists in it, and it kept me on edge most of the time - which is mandatory for a good mystery novel. I liked it enough to listen to it twice. The narrator was ok as well - not distracting like some books I've listened to. I recommend this for any mystery/suspense fans.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful