Jerry's Reviews > The Beach House

The Beach House by James Patterson
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's review
Jul 23, 2010

really liked it
Read in July, 2002

Very Entertaining (short) Beach Book, Grisham-esque!

The dust jacket leads off with the claim that the authors have "written THE beach read of the season...", so let's start by acknowledging this is an entry in fun summertime reading, not classic literature. That said, Patterson and de Jonge have collaborated to amuse and entertain for a most pleasant afternoon read. Take out the blank and half-blank pages, and what's left barely extends beyond page 200, so it is a fast run through. The short (typically 3-page) chapters add to the hustle of the pace; and the story per se kept our attention to the very last page. So you should find your pages turning in a pretty big hurry.

The plot is essentially a mystery, though not one about who got killed (Peter Mullen, a likable 20-year old who spends much of his time in bed, with company); nor who did it (we find that out pretty quickly); nor will the police catch the bad guys. Rather, it's almost a morality tale where the older brother, Jack Mullen, a recent law school graduate, devotes a year or so to solving the whole crime, proving the finding of the original coroner's inquest to be faulty (bought and paid for); and then pursuing justice as best he can with a little help from his friends and relatives. A little romance along the way just helps our feet curl up more sand.

We find as good a plot as Patterson has dreamed up in a little while, and before it's all over, we get bowls full of corruption, greed, big money parties and mansions, lust and illicit sex, romance, justice and injustice. The ending should satisfy just about everybody's idea of what's fair, but the suspense that leads us there makes the book tough to put down.

What more can one ask for fun at the seashore?!?!

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