Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: Confessions of a Murder Suspect

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Confessions of a Murder Suspect
James Patterson
Series: Teen Detective Series, #1
Publication date: September 24th 2012
by Little, Brown and Company


On the night Malcolm and Maud Angel are murdered, Tandy Angel knows just three things: 1) She was the last person to see her parents alive. 2) The police have no suspects besides Tandy and her three siblings. 3) She can’t trust anyone–maybe not even herself. Having grown up under Malcolm and Maud’s intense perfectionist demands, no child comes away undamaged. Tandy decides that she will have to clear the family name, but digging deeper into her powerful parents’ affairs is a dangerous-and revealing-game. Who knows what the Angels are truly capable of?

*A copy was provided by Hachette Book Group Canada for review purposes*

As an avid reader I’ve obviously been familiar with James Patterson, but I had yet to try one of his books. I decided to take the plunge with this new one of his that lured with me talks of dark secrets, murders, and teen detectives. While I can’t compare it with his other works, I ended up feeling very satisfied with it. He has an easy to read writing style with incredibly short chapters that makes it almost impossible to put it down since “Just one more chapter” would only take another few minutes (or seconds in some cases).

What I noticed and found uniquely compelling right away, is how the narrator –Tandy–talks directly to us–the reader. It feel very personal; she’s addressing me and telling me her story. I understood and cared for her more than I would have otherwise, I’m certain, seeing how eccentric she is. Because this family, they’re… special. In every sense of the word. Their parents–before they were found dead, that is–brings discipline to a whole new level; punishments take the form of standing on one’s head reciting landmarks in Bhutan… in the Dzongkha national language. Yeah… anyone? Then, we have a whole troupe of brothers and sisters who seem to be a little too smart, too strong, too robotic, adding in a mystery of what the heck they are. Anger issues also makes appearances, turning every single one of these family members a suspect. If this isn’t enough, the drama they’re involved in belongs on some mutated Jerry Springer episode. Entertainment? Check!

Entertainment and mystery goes hand in hand in James Patterson’s newest series. Confessions of a Murder Suspect, as the name entails, deals with a murder first hand, but it also involves mysteries regarding the family’s past, their parents dealings, in addition to a few others that makes its appearance within this novel, to be looked into further in the next installments. I had a great time making up theories, trying to figure out what kind of freaky skeletons were in their closets. While I found some parts fascinating, I can’t say the big reveal at the end was especially mind blowing. After speculating wildly on their parents murders, what actually happened is a little… unexciting, but I can’t say it was a complete let down either. For a quick, fun read, I was kept thoroughly entertained from start to finish and that’s exactly what I was hoping for when I turned the first page of this novel. After everything, an astonishing ending would have simply been the icing on the cake, so it’s a little unfortunate, but it’s not a deal breaker.

Peculiar family dynamics, unusual characters, and intriguing mysteries turn this book into a fun filled, exceptionally quick read. I am off to order James’ first Maximum Ride novel as we speak!

4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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27 Responses to “Review: Confessions of a Murder Suspect”

  1. Jenea Whittington

    Family dynamics are interesting to me and this does sounds like it might be something I would like. Since I haven’t read anything from Patterson, I wasn’t sure, but I think I will give it a try. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  2. Amy

    This sounds like a great book!! I have read some of his adult books, but none of his YA books. I have heard that The Maximum Ride series takes a major nosedive after the first 3 books. Thanks for the fab review. I will have to check this one out sometime.

  3. Book Sp(l)ot

    I haven’t ever read one his books, either (though a few of his adult series have caught my eye) but this one looks like one I’ll read.

    …standing on one’s head reciting landmarks in Bhutan… in the Dzongkha national language.
    Sounds interesting to say the least.

    Thanks for reviewing this one – I hadn’t heard about it before.

  4. Annette

    I didn’t know about this one! My kids are gonna LOVE this! They read James Patterson all the time — his adult books — so they will be looking forward to this one!

  5. Danny

    I’m actually not entirly sure if I ever read something from James Patterson. I strongly believe that yes – but I’d have to go through all his books to figure out which exactly. Needless to say this book sounds amazing and there has to be a reason people LOVE James Patterson!

  6. Camille Picott

    I’m intrigued by the POV you described, with the character talking directly to the reader. Very interesting. I’ve never read any Patterson books, but I know I should one of these days!

  7. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Ah, James Patterson. He’s brilliant for the way he “writes” so many books (or, in reality, passes his outlines to his cadre of writers). Still, I’m all for a book with enough drama for a mutated Jerry Springer episode!

  8. russell1200

    As Mary noted, Patterson develops a very detailed story outline, and it is the co-auther (Maxine Paetro here) who generally fills in the words. Page design – thick book with few words per page – gives people the sence they are flying through the book.

    He is very upfront about he writes, and he is not the first to use this method. To some degree it is a method copied from the great painter’s studios. Get the understudy to block it out, and the “artist” will do the fine tuning.

  9. Lauren

    Great Review! I just picked this one up today and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s also going to be my first James Patterson novel as well!

  10. Jenn Renee

    Great review, I am so excited to read this one. I have read quite a few of James Patterson and a few of his other books have the same type of narration. I am a fan of it too.

  11. Lena

    This book sounds good. i like the maximum ride series the first 4 books…
    haha as many people have just said.. the first three are the best.

  12. Christina

    James Patterson’s books are really fun. They’re not my favorites and I don’t go out of my way to get them, but I have had a good times with all of the ones I’ve read. A nice, fun adventure.

  13. Candace

    I haven’t read anything by him either but this sounds really good so maybe this will be where I start. Its too bad about the lack of epicness at the end but it still sounds good.

  14. Elodie

    Thanks for the great review Giselle :). I don’t read enough mystery books and this one sounds like something I could enjoy.
    I don’t think I’ve ever read a YA book in which the narrator talks to the reader, this seems pretty unique 🙂

  15. Jesse Burgoyne

    This sounds really interesting. I haven’t really read James Patterson before either. I picked up the first Maximum Ride book, but didn’t find it all that special and ended up not reading it. Maybe I’ll have to give him another try!

  16. Jenn@OwlReadIt

    I’m glad you enjoyed your first experience with James Patterson. One of the reasons I like his books is because I find them so easy to read!

    I’m not sure if this one is for me though. I really want to read Maximum Ride though, it sounds like the characters are similar to his book series, When the Wind Blows, which I loved!

    Thanks for the review!

  17. Alexa

    This sounds really interesting! I love the idea of the entire book, plus I must say that this family certainly sounds… different. I think it’s great that we sort of get a chance to explore the family’s past and history and sort of try to put all the clues together to figure things out!