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The Beach House [Mass Market Paperback]

James Patterson , Peter de Jonge
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (313 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 2003
Jack Mullen is a driven student of the law. His brother Peter is a servant of the rich, parking the cars of the Hamptons' elite-and perhaps satisfying their more intimate needs as well. Then Peter's body is found on the beach. Jack knows the drowning was no accident, but someone's unlimited power and money have bought the cops, the judges, the system. Now Jack is learning a lesson in justice he never got in law school ... and his astonishing plan to beat the billionaires will have you reeling-and cheering-to the very last page.

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From Amazon

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Let Down May 29 2003
Format:Hardcover
I will preface my review by saying this is the first James Patterson book I have read. As I started the book, I found myself wondering why I would care about the fate of the victim, not because I'm cold, but because there was such little substance. Along the way, I started to care simply because murder is not pretty but mostly because I'd bought the book and started it. The characters were slowly built up with lots of fluff thrown in, as well as choppy new chapters that didn't seem like they had to be new chapters at all, and seemed like they occurred almost every other page. I found myself gawking at how the book could go from page 123 to page 127, with exactly ONE page of actual text between the pages. There was no gripping pace, or 'need to read 'til you drop' feeling until VERY close to the end. Even then, I walked away wondering why I'd bothered finishing the book. I also wondered how this book could be a New York Times Bestseller...but then again, I bought it too! I much prefer the rapid pace of John Grisham and Greg Iles.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Was Patterson Thinking Of The Movie Deal? May 17 2003
Format:Hardcover
A law student investigates the murder of his younger brother, a murder that is being covered up as suicide, because those likely involved are the richest of the rich with considerable influence and power.
Everything the rich in this story do is over the top, but unfortunately so is the writing of author James Patterson ( and Peter De Jonge). The book starts out with a promising premise, but it evolves into an unrealistic revenge fantasy that reads more like a bad movie script, with little character development, and action that stretches credibility more than just a bit.
With characters filing in and out of each short chapter, there's little chance to get to know them as anything more than plot devices. The hero's grandfather and investigator-girlfriend are the most interesting and deeply written (Patterson obviously had an affection for them), while the numerous villains are predictable and so darkly written they become boring. As for the hero, Jack Mullen, he's bland and not nearly as developed as one would expect for the main character. Patterson's plot really falls apart once Mullen begins to avenge his sleazy brother's murder. Moments of dialogue are overwritten or stretching to be too clever.
Yes, with its short chapters Beach House is a quick, easy read. But I kept getting the feeling as I read it that Patterson was already looking ahead to the movie deal as he wrote it, with lots of short, choppy scenes instead of a flowing narrative that wouldn't require the charisma of multi-million dollar leading man to pull it off.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great! April 29 2003
Format:Hardcover
This novel has the distinction of being the best James Patterson novel since ALONG CAME A SPIDER. I have read about five other Patterson books and they were not very impressive. However, THE BEACH HOUSE was fast-paced and entertaining. I really liked the main character and most of the characters were interesting.
This is the ultimate BEACH book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Co-Authoring suits Mr. Patterson June 10 2002
Format:Hardcover
Not that he's not a competent writer of great murder mysteries in his own right, of course.
The formula of this book is no different than any other by this author or any in the genre. Someone's murdered, someone's going to investigate it, the person investigating it is going to have an edgy flirtation with the person who comes along to help with the investigation (usually a cop or PI) and using creative and completely illegal means, the original crime will be solved.
In this case, the victim is the brother of the main character, the "bad guy" is richer than words can describe, the love interest a female PI, and, as always, the police are inept and can't see a crime where one exists.
It's all about as formulaic as most of the reviews (seriously - how many book endings have literally "shocked" you?) but it's what Patterson does best. I've found these are great books to read on flights and while waiting in airports - great way to capture your attention, kill a few hours of time, and enjoy a storyteller's ability to draw you into their world where good eventually wins.
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1.0 out of 5 stars What's happened to James Patterson?! June 29 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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! The character development and believability of his story lines kept me interested and on the edge of my seat. The last few novels, however, have become more and more mundane and lack imagination. The Beach House will be the last book I buy or read. The characters are boring and contrived as is the plot. Actually I find it downright silly! Why is James Patterson writing so poorly these days? What happened?
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1.0 out of 5 stars VERY Disappointed June 3 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. I made myself finish the book, even though I really didn't care what happened to the characters. The book is VERY choppy, the plot is a bit ridiculous, and the ending is... well, I expected better of Mr. Patterson. Maybe because it's jointly written it's not quite as good as his regular stuff. Hoping that the next one I read meets my expectations.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The Blech House June 2 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. The plot is as predictable and formulaic as words in a dictionary and the ending is off the chart ludicrous.
Sigh, that's 3 hours worth of reading I'll never get back.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars For Patterson fans only
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 more
Published on May 28 2004 by J. Naft
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Story
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 more
Published on May 20 2004 by A. Vegan
3.0 out of 5 stars Unrealistically dramatic outcome
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 more
Published on May 16 2004 by Paul Skinner
4.0 out of 5 stars A good suspensful thriller!
The Beach House, a summer thriller written by James Patterson and Peter de Jonge. This is an unstoppable story of love and vengeance among superrich and super ruthless. Read more
Published on May 9 2004 by "maur072"
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun book of triumphant vigilante justice - nice quick read!
My biggest problem with a book like this is not knowing who really wrote it - did Patterson & De Jonge really co-write the book or did Patterson give De Jonge the idea and did... Read more
Published on May 3 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Lame
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 more
Published on April 17 2004 by Janie A. Koehler
1.0 out of 5 stars I got a prize for finishing this book
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
Published on March 23 2004 by L. Gildart
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a deep thiller but an entertaining life like read
I'm a true Patterson fan and I find this book really entertaining. To be honest, I feel this book isn't a big thriller but I can actually see this happening in real life. Read more
Published on March 21 2004 by Jimi Dracutt
1.0 out of 5 stars The Title was the only good thing about this book!
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 more
Published on Feb. 22 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder in the Hamptons
Re: The audio-cassette version:

In James Patterson's The Beach House, intrepid law student Jack Mullen seeks revenge for the death of his beloved younger brother,... Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2004 by Kona
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