on April 17, 2003
This is the most miserable attempt at writing in another's style I have ever experienced. I have loved books for the past 75 years, and have been submitted to [stuff] before, but this one takes the cake. It is a miserable attempt to make money - never mind all the good men who were in the path of that endeavor.
I grudgingly admit that Patersaon has produced a few well-written books, but this is certainly on the bottom if the pile.
It's all there: the crazed mass murderers who got their training in Viet Nam and now work for Heckler and Koch, the evil US Army general who once honchoed them and who now is the commander of West Point, the railroaded old US sergeant, the innocent victime (three Army wives).I wonder: was Patterson 86'd out of the US Army when he was a draftee, and for what. Barrack thief, [...]... the reasons seem endless.
Oh, I almost forgot: the Vietnamese gang members who work for Hanoi and take revenge for...what? Certainly not for the unbelievable crimes committed by the NVA cadres against their "brothers" in South Viet Nam, but the revenge killings by US Army Rangers. Come to think of it: when I was in RVN (1966 to 1968), I don't remember any Ranger outfit, but SOG and Special Forces guys.
Wanna save some money? Don't buy this [...]
on September 29, 2002
Dilemma: What do you do when you learn your younger brother, who had the reputation of being a border-line punk, has drowned off the coast of a tony community - on private property of his employer, who happens to be one of the most wealthy in America?
Solution: Why, you'd suspect foul play of course, and gather a few of your closest friends (who just happen to have access to incriminating evidence you're not supposed to know about)to expose the underbelly of the rich, powerful, and over-sexed, while bringing the corrupt police department and judicial system , which has served and protected this wealthy community for many years, to its knees, with your 'recently-graduated-law-school-knowledge'! That's what you'd do...
Well, that's what you'd do if you were the main character in this paint-by-number mystery/thriller by James Patterson and Peter DeJonge. Short on thrills, the only mystery here is why it took two authors to write such drub. John Grisham could have written this drivel on his lunch hour. As a matter of fact, he already has.
on August 22, 2002
Yow! This is not a good book. I admit to not having any appreciation for "mindless summer reading," but the flaws in this book seemed to be particularly glaring. Just to name a few:
* Completely one-dimensional characters.
* Implausible story line.
* Coming up with incredibly convoluted solutions to problems that would actually be very easy to solve (note: if someone changes her story on the witness stand, you should point out her inconsistincies, and ask her why she changed her mind; only if that fails to provide answers should you kidnap all the witnesses at gunpoint).
* Allowing characters who seemed really important to the story early on disappear without explanation, and relying on characters who were almost non-existent throughout the book to solve the major problems at the end.
* Along the same lines, pretending as though certain events have major significance for the story line, and then never referring back to them again.
* Repetitive writing style (whenever either of the main character's girlfriends says anything to him during a romantic or emotional moment, she whispers it to him: e.g., "Let's go to bed," she whispered; "I have to go to the bathroom," she whispered; "I have a dentist appointment tomorrow," she whispered.)
* Using violence and coercion to solve the most difficult problems (who among us couldn't write a book that resolves itself with mindless violence?).
* Hilariously inaccurate depiction of how the legal system works.
I could keep going, but you probably get my point. The only reason that this book might possibly keep you on the edge of your seat is because the authors constantly cheat. You never have all of the information that you would need to solve this mystery on your own until they give it all to you at the end. So what's the point? You might as well just skip all the silliness and read the last 20 pages. Better yet, just skip this one altogther.
on July 25, 2002
The cover proclaims: 'Patterson takes Grisham head on in a blockbusting Legal Thriller'. The Beach House though is neither a blockbuster, nor does it provide any thrills.
The unoriginal plot revolves around Jack Mullen, a rookie lawyer whos brother has died. The cops say his death was an accident,our hero disputes this and says he was murdered for no good reason except that he was a good swimmer. I know, I thought it was pretty stupid aswell.If the story couldn't get any worse, it does. Jack gets all his friends together to investigate the mystery (like Scooby Doo does). That leads them to a conclusion that's so ridiculous that I can't believe Patterson had it printed, Jack and his friends actually captured about 30 people to participate in a makeshift trial held at a secret location, and beamed to television sets around the country (note: I just gave the ending away).
Was he murdered? Was his death accidental? Will Jack fall in love, like the main character in all James Patterson novels do? Will there be any of those predictable plot twists? To find out read this incredibly short novel.
on July 8, 2002
It starts at a great pace with Peter "Rabbit" Mullen on his trendy new motorcycle on the way to the party of all parties at a $45 million Hamptons beach house. A brisk first person narrative captures Peter's free spirit and the opulence that surrounds him. He's not a guest but a valet parker who gets a perfumed note proposing a secret beach rendezvous. Peter describes his rush of anticipation then how he's ambushed and beaten to death.
From here it goes straight downhill. Older brother Jack, a Columbia Law student interning at a big time NY law firm, becomes the new narrator. A mixture of conspiracy, intimidation and cover up culminates when Peter's death is declared a drowning at an unlikely public inquest.
From time to time the authors awkwardly interrupt Jack's narrative to introduce scenes he could not be part of. First we get the Fixer, an intimidator / hitman hired to scare off anyone who thinks Peter's death was murder. Then the Fixer gets to Sammy the gay hairdresser, and a window on the darker side of Peter's life opens up.
Patterson's moral is that the system is corrupt and evil but vigilante justice is good. Jack and his friends swing into action with a totally absurd plan to bring the murderers to justice.
Stick with Alex Cross or the Number Books, but forget this airheaded nonsense!
on July 1, 2002
A good mystery thriller like this must answer three questions by the end of the novel: Who was/were the killer(s), Why did he/she/they committ the murder, and How did he/she committ the murder. This book TRULY answered one, of those questions. After Jack Mullen found out his brother's brutal death was being labeled a suicide/accident, he plunged into action. The middle of the book made me want to read more and more! By the end of the novel, however, we are only given a speculation. After reading the whole book, I wanted to know why Peter Mullen was killed. The reader knows how the murder happened because we are told from the victim's P.O.V. in the beginning of the story, and the reader can basically figure out who the killers were. However, we never find out why the murder happened. I actually looked at the last page of this book and said, "That's it?!?" Skip this one and try another. James Patterson, good try, but no luck in my book.
on November 11, 2003
Mr. Patterson, what happened???
James Patterson is one of my favorite writers but this doesn't even seem to be HIS work. Who is the co-author DeJonge? Wife? Child? It's as if someone else wrote the book but James Patterson put his name (and image) on it to get it to sell. Or, more likely, James Patterson wrote the first half of the book and let someone else write the second half. The writing is that ... disjointed.
The Beach House starts with interesting characters and (I'm assuming) the intention of weaving them into an interesting plot. However, midpoint, the book's writing slowly coasts into implausible events led by one-dimensional characters and concludes with an even more implausible ending. Yes it was short, easy read but I was left staring at the last page, thinking, "What in the world was THAT?"
James Patterson, stick to writing solo. For your fans. PLEASE!
on November 12, 2003
Reading "Beach House" is basically like ripping a band-aid off, you just want to get it over with. For beginners, as you progress through the book, the story line gradually becomes less & less believable.
And then there is the writing, which quite frankly, was written with the maturity of a 5th grader. The chapters' range from 1 page long to about 3 pages long. There's literally about 200 chapters in this book. And, for lack of a better word they're all pretty "silly," although this wasn't there intention. Mid-way through the book I was anticipating the words to be written in those big block letters that kids in kindergarten use when they're first learning penmanship. James Patterson should personally reimburse anyone who spent a dime on purchasing this novel.
on February 2, 2004
This book was on the best sellers list for a while on cnn.com, so decided to buy it once out in paperback....Big Mistake!!!! I read it about half way and just couldn't take it anymore. It took me about a mth to get that far. It normally takes me less than a week to read a book that size if it is captivating enough. I usually try to force myself to finish a book even if it turns out not to be too interesting, but I just couldn't do so this time. There was really nothing in it to captivate me and keep more coming back for more. I eventually had to just give up and move to more interesting book. In the process, I discovered Harlan Coben. The one book of his I've read was really good and I plan on reading the others. The book is "No Second Chance" by Harlan Coben.
on September 3, 2003
Patterson, what are you doing? Answer: coasting. This book was obviously written quickly and by and for the numbers. The first half is a page turner, but what could have been a decent mystery/thriller is ruined by the implausible and sloppy second half. Please stop reading here if you don't want to know an ending plot point (even though it's a dumb one): Two of the main characters turn out to be HIV positive, and both have slept with another main character (for one of them, this is implied, as they are blood-related)who has, in turn, slept with the narrator. Wouldn't it occur to the author to explain this, or for the narrator to worry a bit, or get tested? Just an example of how cardboard these characters are-- if the author doesn't care about them, why should we?