Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Publication Date: September 12th, 2012
Hachette Audio | Narrated by: Emma Galvin
Source: Sync
Young Adult | Suspense | Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

The Angel family is one of the most prominent lineage in New York City. With their successful pharmaceutical empire, and seemingly gifted children, the name is synonymous to wealth and societal hierarchy. So when Malcolm and Maud were found dead in their sleep, it was a big deal.

With no evidence of force entry, the police suspects the children responsible for the murder of their own parents. What happens next is the slow unravelling of secrets behind the children’s gifts; extra-marital relationships; an influential family on the brink of demise, and the real culprits of the crime.

My first foray into the world of audio books decimated my initial abhorrence to them. I thought that I would not be able to enjoy having read the story out loud to me, and thought I would be easily distracted. I was wrong. Once I got used to the voice of the narrator, I was swept in the tide of the story. It is a bit weird, at first, to not be able to decipher voices between characters, and Emma Galvin certainly did her best. However, once I got past the idea that this is not an attempt to re-enact the drama unfolding in the novel, but simply another way to tell the story, I’ve learned to appreciate the hard work involved in giving the novel justice.

Incidentally, this is also my first Patterson book. I know investigative mysteries are his forte, so what I got is simply that. This tells the story of the genesis of Tandy Angel’s career as a young detective. She certainly has the right mind set for it; she’s intuitive, detail-oriented, and intelligent. The best characteristic of a suspenseful mystery is its ability to keep the reader guessing, while relatively being kept in the dark. This book accomplished that. I have the patience of a four-year-old toddler when it comes to revelations, so I had to practice great restraints with this one. I had to resist the urge to break open my physical copy just to find out who really killed the Angel parental units.

There is so much more to this story than what the first book offered. There is a mystery behind the death of Tandy’s older sister; a boy who got tangled in the Angel family, and have consequently disappeared; and the older Angel, Matt, is currently in prison suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend who was pregnant when she was killed. All of these story arches comprised the single reason why I wanted to continue on with the series. I am absolutely salivating.

My Two Cents:

Buy it. The writing duo of James Patterson and Maxine Paetra created a novel cloaked in a multitude of mysteries. Readers will be riding shotgun as Tandy and her siblings unravel all the secrets behind closed-doors of a prominent family. This was quite a ride, indeed!


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Crusher by Niall Leonard

Publication Date: September 13th, 2012
Random House
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars
To catch a killer,Finn Maguire may have to become one….

Everything changed the day Finn found his father in a pool of blood, bludgeoned to death. His dull, dreary life is turned upside down as he become’s the prime suspect. How can he clear his name and find out who hated his dad enough to kill him?

Facing danger at every turn, uncovering dark family secrets and braving the seedy London underworld,Finn is about to discover that only the people you trust can really hurt you….

Though my collection of crime/suspense books is pathetically sparse, I can say with utmost confidence that this one was one of the better ones I’ve read.
The novel introduces us to Finn Maguire – a dyslexic drop out with little prospects for the future. He’s not unhappy for the most part; he’s just one of those kids who roll with the punches. Abandoned by his own mother to the care of his stepfather, he’d had to make do with whatever he can to survive. He just didn’t expect his life to be at a constant peril when his stepfather was murdered – especially when the cops suspected him to doing the job himself.
With street-smarts and a passable boxing talent, Finn sets out to solve the murder. What he uncovers is a tangled web of greed, blackmail, crime of passion and family dark secrets he wasn’t at all ready for.
Let’s give credit where credit is due. This book will make you think, will make you guess and second-guess your instincts and anticipate the divine satisfaction of a crime solved. It has all the elements you’d want for a great mystery book. And while I can praise the author for successfully penning a got-you-by-the-nose story, it all comes down to a reader’s preference. I, for one am not a fan of mystery novels. I think the last time I got caught into the whirlwind of a good book in this genre was I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga.
In some ways, Finn was a realistic character. But I couldn’t get reach him at times. He was cold and stoic, emotionally unavailable and perpetually impassive. I don’t know about you but for me, a good book typically has characters that incite empathy. I couldn’t feel a thing for Finn. He’s so detached from the story – from whatever’s happening in the book. It’s as if he’s telling somebody else’s story and not his. This boy got beat to within an inch of his life but I couldn’t remember an instance when he actually felt like he’s been through a meat grinder. I mean, come on now. What are you? An android? He was unable to show grief over the death of the only father he’s ever known; the only person in his life who cared enough to stick around. Chalk it up to Finn being a strong male character and all, but heck, just because you showed a glimmer of sadness doesn’t mean you’re weak. 
And forget about the romance. Actually, Finn and Zoe are perfect for each other. They’re both as unfeeling as a couple of statues.
I did like the intricate weaving of clues and mysteries surrounding the novel. And the eventual revelation was so much more than I’d expected. Throughout the story, I never felt had a definite inkling as to whodunnit; Niall did a marvelous job of not making it so obvious.
VERDICT: If you’re looking for a nice mystery novel in the YA genre, this is a book that might tickle your fancy. I just couldn’t fully enjoy a book with characters as bland and one-dimensional. Oddly enough, this is a one-sitting book and I can’t figure out why.  It could be because it was fast-paced or that Niall knew how to entice a reader – even one like me who’s generally an emotional reader. 
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