The women who have all been part of the `Women's Murder Club' do all appear in the story but to varying degrees.
You have Lindsay Boxer the lead character who is meant to be a feisty detective and she works alongside Rich Conklin. Cindy is a reporter and not only does she cover the case of Hello Kitty she is also in a relatively new relationship with Rich Conklin. Yuki is a lawyer and isn't directly linked to the cases but appears in the story albeit briefly. Claire is a Medical Examiner and has a family of her own. She features more prominently in this story as she attends all the murder scenes.
The story itself is a vast improvement on the last one in the series. I have said before, and will say again, I wonder at the speed in which James Patterson produces books. They come out frequently and some books tend to have that slightly `unfinished' feel to them. This one had some great twists in it and like I said before the actual storyline was pretty captivating. It made a change to have two stories running parallel through the book that eventually intertwine at the end. The chapters were written in the classic Patterson style; short and sharp. I have personally found that this makes the book very edgy and easy to get pulled along with.
The characters themselves are another matter altogether. As I have read every single one of the series you find yourself knowing the characters that bit more than a stand alone novel. All I can say is WHAT HAPPENED? Our leading lady Lindsay Boxer has had a personality transplant, and not one that I like all that much. She has always been a very strong woman that has had to fight her way through the usual politics within law enforcement. Although she is involved in a long term relationship with Joe, she has always been fiercely independent. Suddenly she has become this wimpy woman with no backbone?!?
The other women characters are all pretty strong too but with the author and co-author suddenly `finding' Yuki a man it seemed ... well... just wrong. It didn't fit, as the relationship between Cindy and Rich just doesn't fit. I felt like the characters have changed too much and I can't see many fans of this particular series liking it all that much.
Overall I am glad that the story and writing itself was a vast improvement but the characters lost so much that it made the book that little bit less enjoyable for me. I would still recommend.