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The Beach House Hardcover – June 10, 2002

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Editorial Reviews Review

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 Peter's body, knows he 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

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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (June 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 187659084X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316969680
  • ASIN: 0316969680
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (527 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By M. Larsen on June 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
i just finished Patterson's new book, The Beach House. I breezed through it in a couple days and thought I'd post my initial feelings here.
I only recently came across Patterson's books and have only read 1st To Die (which I thought was a little far fetched, but a fast entertaining read), Pop Goes the Weasel, and Roses are Red. I enjoy his short, fast moving chapters and sustained energy.
That said, I was quite eager to be the first on my block to get a sneak peek at his new thriller. Unfortunately, this book is no blood and guts thriller. It*s more of a murder mystery... which isn't necessarily a bad thing, if it didn*t have a completely hoakie plot. I thought this book was a poor representation of what Patterson is capable of. It's still a fast paced read but the plot seemed to me to be completely unrealistic and loosely held together with random afterthoughts. Most of the characters seemed to have multiple personalities, doing things way out in left field with little or no explanation. I found myself scratching my head a lot, thinking "where's the logic in that?" or "what are the chances this would happen like this?" (no one sees a character in 5 months and then suddenly in the middle of nowhere group A stumbles across him/her and 10 minutes later in a different middle of nowhere group B finds him/her).
Many times when reading a good book, you remember peculiarities throughout the story and find them neatly tied together at the end. I didn't have that feeling with this book. As I stated earlier, it seemed to be patched together with afterthoughts.
If you don't care whatsoever about logic or realism, you might like this book. It moved along well enough and wasn't boring or hard to read... but there*s no way I would recommend paying hardcover price for it. I'm a big fan of the other Patterson books I've read but this one frustrated me. Wait for the paperback.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By JC on June 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I've read all of James Patterson's novels and have come to expect the sort of high quality, high entertainment stories that he is known for writing. That being said, many readers have been disappointed by some of his latest work, most notably 'Violets Are Blue', which received lukewarm reviews. It is important to understand, however, that Patterson is pumping out three books a year and each has made for a worthy read. Not many other novelists can make that claim. As for 'The Beach House,' as long as readers begin knowing what to expect, they should finish feeling satisfied.
Patterson's rapid-fire prose and lightning quick 2 to 3 page chapters are present, which makes the story pass quickly. The main character, Jack, is an admirable protagonist who draws the reader's affection. The surrounding cast helping Jack to find justice for his murdered brother may remind some of the Women's Murder Club of 1st to Die and 2nd Chance. Perhaps the best character is Macklin, Jack's aging but still fiesty grandfather who weighs in with his strong opinions on just about everything.
Basically, this book is typical Patterson. Those looking for a deeply involved plot or courtroom scenes that rival those of Lescroart or early Grisham will surely leave negative reviews here. However, those looking for an entertaining story to pass a day at the beach or by the pool will get their money's worth. The book is even called 'The Beach House' - an apt title for the perfect summer read.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Michael T. Rognlien VINE VOICE on 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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mark F. Weber on July 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Peter Mullen, a mere townie among the Hampton wealthy, is found murdered near the beach house of a local billionaire. The rich not only own the golden Long Island sands, but also the judges and juries. Jack Mullen, a law student, seeks justice for his brother. Politics, threats and violence block his quest. Jack and friends pursue a more creative means of gaining vengeance.
James Patterson & Peter De Jonge have spun a very creative yarn. There are several surprises and some fun twists and turns. The book breaks the speed limits with Patterson's traditional 100+ chapters.
Two key characters blunt total satisfaction with this tale. The victim is a true bum - a dropout with a number of unethical characteristics. His only redeeming value is the love of his brother. Jack - both the protagonist and narrator - has a whiney and self-serving voice. It actually becomes irritating as the action plot intensifies. It is challenging the reader to mourn the victim or root for the heroic brother, the plot is only enjoyable at a very high level - class warfare between the rich and poor.
Yes, "The Beach House" is a good summer read as you bake at the pool or seashore. However, it crashes on the reef on emotion and satisfaction
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