The Private School Murders [Confessions, #2] by James Patterson and Maxine Paetra

Little, Brown & Company BYR | Hardcover, 448 pages
Publication Date: October 7th, 2013
Young Adult | Suspense | Mystery
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

The Private School Murders continues the story of Tandy and her siblings. Recently orphaned, and soon-to-be destitute, the Angel kids didn’t really know how they’re to survived a world where they are held with equal parts contempt and awe by the public. Especially when Matt Angel, the oldest of the siblings, remains incarcerated for the double murder of his ex-girlfriend and their unborn child.

In the meantime, a lot of things are happening all at once: their uncle handed his guardianship title to a virtual stranger; there’s a mysterious infestation of exotic, venomous reptiles, spiders, and snakes in The Dakota, and a serial killer on the loose bent on killing rich teens. At the same time, James Rampling continues to plagued her thoughts. Now that she’s off the pills, she’s slowly able to decipher dream James to reality James. She’s even more determined to find him. But with everything that’s going on in her life, and with very little resources to go on, it seems utterly hopeless.

I’m giving this book five stars. That’s right; five stars. It’s rare. Really rare, but when a book is as consuming as this, and the characters are those I’ve come to love, it’s a no-brainer. Don’t get me wrong, there were some problems with this book; the pinnacle of which is the amount of subplots that didn’t really have anything to do with the major plot. I’m talking about the double murder case against Matt Angel. Most of the not-so-good feedbacks about this book griped about  how little  much time Tandy spent piecing together any clues about who murdered Tamara Gee (Matt’s ex). There was no fact finding of any kind. It came to her in one instant, and nearly to the end of the book. She spent more time contemplating about James and reminiscing. It seems that she hardly did any work at all. Now, if this was another book, I’d probably tossed it aside and give it a three star rating, tops. But I can’t. Regardless, I have mad love for this series.

In as much as I have an unhealthy obsession with the Angel siblings, this book introduced me to a couple of new characters that made the family dynamics infinitely better. Jacob Perlman, their new guardian and C.P., Harry’s girlfriend. They are just the perfect addition to this family. And of course, I’ve long since made my peace with the formerly cantankerous Sargent Caputo, which eradicates my need to twitch whenever Tandy had to deal with him. He became another unlikely older figure to watch over the trouble-seeking Tandy.

It was brilliant, really. Giving free copies of the first book on Sync; because otherwise, how else would I’ve known how engrossing these are? It also made me buy the second book, and most likely, I’ll be lining up for the third book as well. I don’t really care how flawed this book is. I’m exercising my right to love freely and without judgement. 🙂

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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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