Thursday, November 15, 2012
Confessions of a Murder Suspect: review
Author: James Patterson
Genres: mystery, suspense
Rating: 4 stars
Summary: 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?
When I picked this up from the library, I immediately went to Goodreads to see people's reviews...I don't usually do that, but I was on the fence about reading this, having only put it on hold upon reading about it in at the end of Nevermore.
I do not recommend doing that. The reviews range from "absolutely amazing!" to "what the hell did I just waste my time reading?" so it did not help me decide if I wanted to read it, whatsoever. So I just started it with an open mind, not sure what to expect. My opinions are somewhat in the middle, so I'll try to say a bit on both sides.
First of all, it's WEIRD. Yes, caps weird. That's really the only word I can say that makes sense. And once you start reading the confusing story, you'll get exactly what I mean. Otherwise it's hard to explain.
Tandy and her siblings, the Angels, (who are so ironically named) remind me a lot of....you guessed it, Max and her gang! Unnaturally enhanced (well, it's not that much of a spoiler, it's pretty obvious these kids are something more.) and working together against the evil "adults", there's nothing new there, but I do like that point of view.
I really liked the setting, a classic impossible murder in the famous Dakota building, NYC. Their apartment is described as really awesome, from bioluminescent-sharks in a tank for a coffee table, and some disturbing lifelike (seriously lifelike) statues literally hanging around. The way the kids, Tandy, tells you about each feature of their home, you can tell they don't realize how out of the norm their situation is.
Tandy has some (okay a lot) of suppressed memories, which makes her story so confusing. She's confiding in the reader, but not really sure of half the things she says. Memories have been taken from her and I'd like to see that theory expanded and explained as the series progresses; this may be the "series arc" I'm looking for. So they're equally interesting and annoying, these gaps.
Even though I'm a fan of James Patterson's books, I really despise his writing style...it reads like a fan fiction to me, something not quite completed, fast paced, shallow...not quality, just something to lose yourself in. But he (and whoever he co-authors with) sure does have a way of pulling you into an interesting plot. And that's what gets me, why I couldn't really put it down.
About the ending, when the climax comes, and the murder may or may not have been solved...well I'm sad to say I guessed it. It didn't make reading the book any less enjoyable, I just had an idea of what happened to Tandy's parents, and I was right. There are possible subtle clues now and then, but you're really not given enough information from Tandy herself to actually piece together
So I guess this is the first book in the "Teen Mystery Series" but it's a weird introduction to a series. Tandy wants to become a detective someday, so I guess these will be her adventures? I'm interested to see what comes next.
If you like James Patterson's books, or Confessions of a Murder Suspect, I recommend the Virals series by Kathy Reichs. It reads the same way, and Reichs is an equally prolific writer. They're fast paced adventure books set in everyday contemporary life, but have just a touch of something else, scientific and unexplainable.