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‘The Trial’ by James Patterson



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Photo Collage: MOA Staff; (Book Cover: BookShots; Background: Anson Chan)

Dear Reader,

I wrote The Trial because, as is often the case with Women’s Murder Club thrillers, Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends told me to. Some writers say you should let your characters have free rein, and who am I to argue? Especially when I have ones that get into as many thrilling situations as Lindsay, Claire, Cindy and Yuki.

In The Trial, a man called Kingfisher is about to go before a judge for murder. But — just as the court date comes up — a wave of violence comes crashing down on the lawyers, jurors and police in the case.

And guess who has to get the wheels of justice back on track? 

I hope you enjoy your time with the Women’s Murder Club.

All my best,


P.S. Watch a special video message and get a sneak preview of  23½ Liesthe next installment in the series, which comes out in September.

Best-selling author James Patterson's gripping novella The Trial is available here online exclusively for AARP members, and it's a quick read you can devour in a few hours.

Click on the table of contents below to access the chapters, or scroll down the page to find our  interview with the author and brief chapter introductions illustrated by Anson Chan.

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Meet James Patterson

Get to know the all-time best-selling author in our exclusive interview, and find out why he’s a proponent of collaboration and fast-paced writing, and what he’s got in store for the Women’s Murder Club series

Chapters 1-4

It was that crazy period between Thanksgiving and Christmas when work overflowed, time raced, and there wasn’t enough light between dawn and dusk to get everything done.... Continue reading

Chapters 5-8

Conklin and I joined the patrol cops who were talking to the Vault’s freaked-out customers, now milling nervously in the taped-off section of the street. We wanted an eyewitness description.. Continue reading


Chapters 9-12

The king looked common as dirt in his orange jumpsuit and chrome-plated bracelets. But he wasn’t ordinary at all. I thought through my opening approach. I could play up to him ... Continue reading

Chapters 13-16

Early Friday morning Conklin and I met with ADA Barry Schein in his office on the second floor of the Hall. He paced and flexed his hands. He was gunning his engines, which was.... Continue reading

Chapters 17-20

From the look of it, the Scheins lived in a classic American dream home, a lovely Cape Cod on Pachecho Street in Golden Gate Heights with a princely view, two ... Continue reading


Chapters 21-24

Chief of police Warren Jacobi’s corner office was on the fifth floor of the Hall, overlooking Bryant. Jacobi and I had once been partners, and over the ten years we had worked together... Continue reading

Chapters 25-28

Claire came through my door bringing hope, love, warmth, and the scent of tea roses. All good things. She said, “I have to crash here, Lindsay. I drove to the office. It’s closed off... Continue reading

Chapters 29-34

Conklin and I were at our desks at eight, filling out the incident report and watching the time. Kingfisher’s trial was due to start at nine, but would the trial actually begin?... Continue reading


More Mysteries

Free for AARP members and available in their entirety online.