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The 8th Confession : Women's Murder Club Series : Book 8 - James Patterson

The 8th Confession

Women's Murder Club Series : Book 8

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Someone is killing the richest people in the city—and it's the Women's Murder Club's scariest investigation ever.

APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEIVING

At the party of the year, San Francisco's most glamorous millionaires mingle...while someone is watching—waiting for a chance to take vengeance on Isa and Ethan Bailey, the city's most celebrated couple. Finally, the killer pinpoints the ideal moment, and it's the perfect murder.

BUT THE TRUTH CAN BE DEADLY

While Detective Lindsay Boxer investigates the high-profile killings, someone else is found brutally executed—a preacher with a message of hope for the homeless. His death nearly falls through the cracks, but reporter Cindy Thomas hears about it and soon discovers the victim may not have been quite as saintly as everyone thought.

LET THE CONFESSIONS BEGIN

As the hunt for two criminals tests the limits of the Women's Murder Club, Lindsay sees sparks fly between Cindy and Lindsay's partner, Detective Rich Conklin. The Women's Murder Club now faces its toughest challenge: Will love destroy all that four friends have built? James Patterson serves up a double dose of speed-charged twists and shocking revelations. And remember, this is the only Murder Club episode of the year.

About The Author

JAMES PATTERSON is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. He is the author of some of the most popular series of the past decade - the Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Detective Michael Bennett novels - and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers. He lives in Florida with his wife and son. James is passionate about encouraging children to read. Inspired by his own son who was a reluctant reader, he also writes a range of books specifically for young readers. James has formed a partnership with the National Literacy Trust, an independent, UK-based charity that changes lives through literacy.

Prologue | BUS STOP

One

THE OLD CHROME-YELLOW school bus crawled south on Market Street at half past seven that May morning. Its side and back windows were blacked out, and a hip-hop hit throbbed into the low-lying mist that floated like a silk veil between the sun and San Francisco.

Got my ice

Got my smoke

Got my ride

Ain't got no hope

Hold ya heads up high

Don't know when

Ya gonna die....

The traffic light changed to yellow at the intersection of Fourth and Market. The stop-sign arm at the driver's side of

the school bus swung out, the four- way hazard lights burned amber, and the vehicle came to a halt.

To the right of the bus was a shopping mall, a huge one: Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, the windows papered with large Abercrombie posters of provocative half-naked teens in black and white.

To the left of the bus was a blue Ford van and then one of two islands splitting the road—a staging area for bus passengers and tourists.

Two cars behind the school bus, Louise Lindenmeyer, office manager, late for work, braked her old gray Volvo. She buzzed down her window and glared at that goddamned school bus.

She'd been stuck on its tailpipe since Buena Vista Park, then watched it pull away from her at the light at Fifth and Market as a stream of traffic took the turn and pulled in front of her.

And now that bus had stuck her at a light...again.

Louise heard a shout. 'Hey, asshole!'

A man in his shirtsleeves, tie flapping, face bunched up, dried shaving cream under his left ear, walked past her car to give the bus driver hell.

A horn honked, and another, and then a cacophony of horns.

The light was green.

Louise took her foot off the brake and at that instant felt a concussive shock, her ears ringing as she saw the roof of the school bus explode violently upward.

Chunks of burning metal, steel-and-glass shrapnel, shot out in all directions faster than gunfire. A mushroom cloud

like that of a small A-bomb formed above the bus, and the box-shaped vehicle became a fireball. Oily smoke colored the air.

Louise saw the blue van in the lane to the left of the bus bloom with flame, then blacken in front of her eyes.

No one got out of the van!

And now the blaze rushed at the silver Camry directly in front of her. The gas tank blew, and fire danced over the car, consuming it in vivid, leaping flames.

The bunch-faced man pulled himself up off the pavement to the hole where her passenger-side window had been. His shirt was gone. His hair was black frizz. The skin of his face was draped over his collarbone like tissue paper.

Louise recoiled in horror, grappled with her door handle as fire lapped at the hood of her Volvo. The car door opened and the heat rushed in.

That's when she saw the skin of her own arm still on the steering wheel, as if it were a glove turned inside out. Louise couldn't hear the businessman's horrified screams or her own. It was as though her ears had been plugged with wax. Her vision was all dancing spots and blurry shapes.

And then she was sucked down into a well of black.



Two

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?'

'Yes, sir.'

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?

ISBN: 9780099538943
ISBN-10: 9780316043588
Series: Women's Murder Club Ser.
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 268
Published: April 2010
Dimensions (cm): 17.8 x 11.1  x 3.1
Weight (kg): 0.25

James Patterson

JAMES PATTERSON is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. He is the author of two other popular series for young adults: Daniel X and Witch & Wizard. This is as well as writing three of the top detective series around – the Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club and Detective Michael Bennett novels – and many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers.

He lives in Florida with his wife and son. James is passionate about encouraging both adults and children alike to read.

James Patterson was the subject of a Time magazine feature called, "The Man Who Can't Miss." In 2007, one of every fifteen hardcover fiction books sold was a Patterson title. In the past three years, James has sold more books than any other author (according to Bookscan), and in total, James's books have sold an estimated 170 million copies worldwide. He is the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on The New York Times adult and children's lists and is the only author to have five new hardcover novels debut at #1 on the list in one year—a record-breaking feat he’s accomplished every year since 2005.

To date, James Patterson has had nineteen consecutive #1 New York Times bestselling novels, and holds the New York Times record for most Hardcover Fiction bestselling titles by a single author (46 total), which is also a Guinness World Record.

In September 2009, it has been reported that James Patterson signed a book deal to write or co-write 11 books for adults and six for young adults by the end of 2012. Forbes reported the deal was worth at least $150 million!

Visit James Patterson's Booktopia Author Page