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Friday, October 25, 2013

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson

Title: Confessions of a Murder Suspect
Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
ISBN: 9781619695146
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Released: September 25, 2012 
Series: Teen Detective #1
Duration: 6 hours, 4 minutes
Source: Audiobook from my public library

"Tandy Angel isn't a normal girl, and she knows it. For one thing, her family is magnificently wealthy and lives in a massive apartment in the famous Dakota building in New York City. Her parents are the head of a prominent hedge fund and the CEO of a large pharmaceutical company. She has been told from a very young age that her detachment from any kind of emotion is a superb trait. In fact, her parents have tried to cultivate a lack of emotion in all four of their children in order to encourage perfection of the highest level. But now the four siblings are tested in a way they never imagined—their parents have been murdered, and the kids are the number one suspect. Tandy decides that she'll have to solve the crime and clear their names, but digging deeper into her parent's affairs is a dangerous—and revealing—game. Spurred by her findings, Tandy begins to remember flashes of past events that were long ago buried in her memory, and she's suddenly unable to trust anyone, not even her siblings to tell her the truth. She might not even be able to trust herself. Who knows what the Angel children are truly capable of?"
First Lines:

"I have some really bad secrets to share with someone, and it might as well be you - a stranger, a reader of books, but most of all, a person who can't hurt me. So here goes nothing, or maybe everything. I'm not sure if I can tell the difference anymore." 
Page 1

This is the story of a crazy family who lives in New York City - their lives aren't normal by far. But when Tandy's parents are discovered dead in their apartment, it is up to her to figure out what happened. She was trained to be emotionless and clinical from a young age, so this is something she should be able to do. Soon, she starts to uncover some secrets that make her rethink everything she knows about her parents. And her family. She just has to solve the mystery and everything can go back to normal.

I've read plenty of other YA books from Patterson (and his team), and they all sort of have the same feel. The main voice in the story is talking directly to the reader, the plot is laid out very cleanly, and things wrap up pretty effectively by the end of the book. I do think it's a pretty good formula, and this book fits in it perfectly. Tandy and her siblings feel a lot like the kids in the Maximum Ride books... in a good way. It's all very formulaic, but it's a recipe that works.

As a mystery, I think they did a really good job. You are truly kept guessing throughout the whole story. I didn't expect the answer that I got, for sure. Tandy goes through the entire family and their staff to attempt to rule them out one by one. It's not a small thing to accuse your brothers of murdering their parents, but this family is anything but normal. They were taught to be cruel and calculating to become the best adults they could be. So it wasn't far-fetched to think they could do something that horrible.

There were some parts of the story that I would have liked to see fleshed out a little bit more. There's a whole saga about her parent's lives and how they have treated their children. I would have loved to find out more about the life before. I'm sure some of that will come in future books. As you can imagine. I'll definitely be looking out for the second one.  

Also: Shout out to the audiobook version - it was really well done. The reader did an awesome job. I'll definitely be listening to #2.

I have thought that true mysteries for teens have been lacking in the past few years, and this book fits perfectly in the genre. It's definitely growing right now and I think this will be a great addition to those collections. Any fans of Patterson's YA stuff will love this book as well. It's an easy read with a satisfying conclusion. I'm also sure this book will be good for middle grade collections as well - which is a plus. Definitely give this one a try if you're looking for an easy mystery.
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