All is not well in the city of San Francisco. Michael Campion, the teenage son of a former California governor, has disappeared. Homicide detectives Lindsay Boxer and Rich Conklin are assigned to the case. The police department has information that Michael, who had a potentially fatal heart defect, was last seen entering the abode of a local prostitute. The prostitute, who calls herself Junie Moon, is a winsome, ethereal young woman with a “dewy freshness” and a “disarming, childlike” mien. Under questioning, she tells Lindsay and Rich that Michael suffered a heart attack while he was with her, and instead of calling for help as he had asked her to do, she allowed him to die in her arms. According to Junie Moon’s story, she then called her boyfriend and the two dismembered Michael’s body, stuffed the pieces in plastic bags, and disposed of them at a distant location. Junie Moon subsequently retracts her confession, and her case goes to trial. The trial is a media sensation with the notorious, “big-time feminist bone crusher” L. Diana Davis defending the young prostitute. The prosecuting attorney on the case is Yuki Castellano, Lindsay’s friend and fellow member of the Women’s Murder Club.
While these incidents are unfolding, a series of grisly murders plagues the area. The victims are wealthy, middle-aged couples who all have children in college. The work of serial killers is suspected because the victims are killed in a similar, particularly heinous manner: their affluent homes are set ablaze while they are unable to escape. The perpetrators, who the reader knows are two clean-cut, bright, but twisted young men who call themselves Hawk and Pidge, leave no evidence other than an unlikely calling card at each site in the form of a miscellaneous book with a random Latin phrase scrawled inside of it. Lindsay and Rich try desperately to crack the case before there are even more victims, but leads are virtually nonexistent, and it seems that it will be only a matter of time before the killers strike again.
Created in conjunction with Maxine Paetro, 7th Heaven (2008) is the seventh volume in prolific mystery writer James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series. Featuring Patterson’s trademark fast-moving, riveting plots, the series focuses on a group of women involved in various aspects of law enforcement who get together socially on occasion to share details about their work and their lives. Readers familiar with the series will enjoy reconnecting with Lindsay, Yuki, medical examiner Claire Washburn, and crime desk reporter Cindy Washburn as they collaborate in the pursuit of justice. 7th Heaven showcases Patterson at his best; the thriller is truly a page turner, and readers will be captivated with suspense as the complex mysteries unravel.