Country United States
Series Women's Murder Club
Preceded by 3rd Degree
Media type Print (hardcover)
Originally published 2 May 2005
Followed by The 5th Horseman
Genres Mystery, Legal thriller
|Pages 392 pp (first edition, hardback)|
Similar Maxine Paetro books, Works by James Patterson, Women's Murder Club books
4th of July is a mystery and legal thriller by James Patterson.
Police lieutenant Lindsay Boxer takes leave from the force after being sued for wrongful death after a recent shootout. She stays at her sister’s house in Half Moon Bay, and reads about murders that resemble one that haunted her for 10 years. She joins with the local police to solve the murders, while dreading her awaiting trial.
When Lindsay Boxer gets a lead on a recent murder of a teenager, she responds to the call and joins Warren Jacobi on a stakeout of a Mercedes. When the car takes off, a high speed chase ends in a crash. The officers discover two teenagers in their father’s car, who are scared and have been hurt. They help them out, but the teens pull guns and both officers are shot. After being hit in the shoulder and thigh, and seeing Jacobi shot twice, Boxer returns fire. The girl is killed, and the boy is paralyzed for life. As Boxer and Jacobi are recovering in the hospital, they are told that everything is legally good, that it was a case of self-defense. Then, Boxer receives a notice she is being sued by the teenagers' father for wrongful death.
Taking a vacation before the trial starts, Boxer housesits for her sister in Half Moon Bay. While there she reads about recent murders in which the victims’ throats were cut and they were whipped. This resembles an unsolved case from before, so Boxer begins to investigate informally. After a few days, the Half Moon Bay police chief tells her to mind her own business, but reconsiders when the next bodies are found. Boxer meets with her friends to try to determine a link between victims as her trial date approaches.
Boxer is found not guilty, and instead of returning to work right away, goes back to Half Moon Bay, determined to solve the recent murders. She is only there a day when the killers leave her a message by shooting up the house. She gets out and follows more clues, then finally catches up with a guy who has been following her. He is arrested and confesses to the killings. It is not until Alison Brown, her friend’s daughter, shows up at her house that Boxer catches the other two killers. They are part of a vigilante group of former victims who take the law into their own hands, playing the role of The Seeker, The Watcher, and The Truth. After they are all arrested, Boxer returns to San Francisco a double hero, for winning the trial and solving the murders.