The Beach House Hardcover – Jun 10 2002
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James Patterson and Peter de Jonge's The Beach House opens with the death of a handsome townie on Memorial Day weekend in the Hamptons, where being a single-digit millionaire is laughable and being poor is unthinkable. Peter Mullen is a high-school dropout who parks cars at the private bashes of the superwealthy Barry and Campion Neubauer. When Peter is found dead on the beach, the Neubauers and their friends insist that he drowned; but his brother Jack, a law student who saw his brother's body, knows Peter was beaten to death. As Jack uncovers evidence of his brother's secret life, he begins to realize that the very rich are indeed different from the rest of us. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and Jack's patiently plotted payback for Peter's death is one that the Hamptons will not soon forget.
There are no big surprises in The Beach House, but it's vintage Patterson, with plenty of action, villains with hearts blacker than obsidian, and a working-class hero who pulls himself up by the bootstraps. Patterson and de Jonge previously coauthored the inspirational golf romance Miracle on the 17th Green, but this new game of money, mayhem, and murder clearly suits them to a tee. --Barrie Trinkle
From Publishers Weekly
atterson's second coauthored novel of the year (after the current bestseller 2nd Chance, written with Andrew Gross) is a relatively rare stand-alone for this immensely popular writer. Unlike some of Patterson's stand-alones, however, including the most recent, Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, this doesn't move Patterson into new territory: it's a slick, vastly enjoyable yet far-fetched thriller i.e., typical Patterson. Its hero is a Columbia University law student, Jack Mullen, who's out to avenge the death of his younger brother, Peter, found dead on the Amagansett, L.I., property of the immensely wealthy Neubauer family, a few miles from Jack and Peter's Montauk home. The cops say Peter drowned; a glance at the corpse tells Jack that his brother was beaten to death. The rest of the novel traces Jack's efforts, with the help of a female private eye/love interest, plus his elderly grandfather and a band of Montauk locals, to prove that Peter was murdered and that billionaire Barry Neubauer played a role in his demise. Arrayed against Jack are a tough cop, high-placed lawyers and a sadistic killer all owned by Neubauer money. Jack's diggings lead to evidence not only of Peter's murder but of its part in a coverup involving sexual scandal and blackmail; to get the justice that's denied them, Jack and his friends take the law into their own hands, kidnapping Neubauer and his cohorts and trying them in a kangaroo court whose proceedings they broadcast on TV. Smooth as a vanilla milk shake and no more sophisticated, written in 113 short chapters that won't tax anyone's attention span, this is smart, market-savvy, populist entertainment. (On sale June 10)
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Jack Mullen, the main character in this thriller is the law student in New York City, and grandson of a County Clare emigrant. Jack's grandfather moved to the east coast of America to find a better life. The story begins with the drowning of Jack's younger brother, Peter in the ocean off of East Hampton. Not convinced that his brother died due to a drowning accident, because he pretty much grew up in the water. Jack sets out to prove his fears and face the fact that someone wanted his brother dead. This turns out to be the toughest job of his young life. With the police saying that this is a suicide not a murder. This throws Jack for even more of a twist.
This story is wound very firmly with crime and corruption. The rich and the powerful in this novel will do anything to stop Jack from finding out the truth. In the process of discovering the murder, he discovers Peter's secret life and exposes some of the most powerful social groups in the Hamptons as the ruthless killers they are.
This novel is filled with many short chapters to keep your curiosity stirring. For a great summer read and a book that you can't put down The Beach House is the book for you.
That being said, this book helped me through some rough times as I began it while was in the hospital being fed intravenous antibiotics for a massive infection. It kept me busy without having to worry about complexity of plot while being interrupted often for blood tests and other things that go on in the hospital. It is a fast-paced, easy read about triumphant vigilante justice...and, of course, they all "live happily ever after" (sort of). Having lived my entire life on Long Island, I especially enjoyed the setting. Whoever did actually write the book, spent a great deal of time delving into the Long Island experience - from life out on the South Fork (Montauk/ Amagansett), to places such as Ronkonkoma, Manhattan and the Long Island commuter's experience. Very realistic in that respect.
...And I guess public access TV is more than just for stuff like "Wayne's World" :-)! This would probably make an entertaining movie with the right cast (at least a made-for-tv movie).
Peter Mullen is killed while relaxing on the beach. He is working as a valet, and this particular night, he is parking cars for the wealthy Neubauer-family at their annual May-party. On the very first pages, we also learn, that Peter had other talents, serving the rich and the famous. There is no hint, though, as to why it was necessary to kill him.
Needless to say, the rich and influential people want to call Peter's death and accident or a suicide. His brother, the law-student Jack and his grandfather, the 87 year old paralegal Mack, plus a circle of friends surrounding Jack, decides to take matters in to their own hands, and prove that Peter's death certainly was no accident. Shortly after they make their decision, funny things starts to happen, and soon they realise that perhaps it is not going to be as easy to prove as they first thought. They not only have to fight against the rich (bad) people, but also local authorities, shopkeepers, employers and such, seems to be very reluctant to say anything that could help solving the case. Even the law firm in New York, where Jack works, seems to be involved somehow.
The Beach House is written in a very easy language, it is entertaining, and it holds a few minor surprises as well. Good entertainment value for a vacation or if you have to spend a day or two in bed with a cold, but not a book that makes a lasting impression on you
Most recent customer reviews
Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls, Cradle and All, some of James Patterson's first books (or least the first ones I read) were all excellent! I was hooked! Read morePublished on June 29 2004 by V. Lichac
I've really enjoyed James Patterson's other books, esp. the Alex Cross series, so I was looking forward to cracking this one open. I am so disappointed. Read morePublished on June 3 2004 by J. Dunlap
This is my first Patterson novel and I will have to say, probably my last. This story could have been written by an aspiring high school writer. Read morePublished on June 2 2004
Some close friends of mine gave me very stong reviews of this book and encouraged me to read it. I finally got around to borrowing a copy from the library, and I was excited to... Read morePublished on May 28 2004 by J. Naft
I had actually started reading this book but found that I couldn't seem to get into it. Then I mistakenly picked it up on CD at the library and I was hooked right away. Read morePublished on May 20 2004 by A. Vegan
A young man dies while working a party at a millionaires house in the Hamptons, and his brother knows it was murder, rather than the suicide the police rush to judge. But why? Read morePublished on May 16 2004 by Paul Skinner
I agree that this book is a total soap opera. There is very little character development and you just really don't care about the characters. Read morePublished on April 17 2004 by Janie A. Koehler
I got the pleasure of kicking it around the room while yelling, (...)
The characters are cartoons, the plot trite and contrived, the shocking wind-up so lame that General... Read more
As many have warned don't waste your money or your time on this book - it was my first Patterson Book and frankly I am scared to try any others!! Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2004