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)
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