Picture this: you’re laying in bed in your penthouse in New York City. The usual sounds of the city that never sleeps are a comforting noise as you lay dreaming. The sudden sound of sirens wakes you with a jolt, and your heart races as you hear them stop directly outside your building. You rush to the front door and listen as the doorman pages you on the intercom, saying that the police are on their way up due to a nine-one-one call. You reluctantly let them in, and proceed to run upstairs to get your parents.
Only to find them dead in their bed.
For Tandoori “Tandy” Angel, her worst nightmare has just come true. Her wealthy parents have just been poisoned, and based on the police investigation, the murderer is living among them. Whether it’s her little brother Hugo, her sweet twin Harry, or football star and older brother Matthew, Tandy is determined to solve the crime.
Along the way, however, she discovers a few of her family’s darkest secrets, like the reason behind her and her brothers’ superhuman talents and intelligence: was it genetics, or did it have something to do with her father’s secret hidden lab? And why does the last name Rampling continuously ring in the back of Tandy’s mind, especially when she tries to remember why she was in a mental hospital for so long a year or two before?
Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro is fast-paced, tension-filled, and definitely not your average mystery. While the death of Tandy’s parents is the main focus of the story, the main character finds out more about herself and her clouded past along the way. The complex plot ranges on a scale of being relatable, from dealing with the loss of a loved one, to dealing with all different kinds of people, to simply trying to get along with your siblings. As for the characters, Tandy has feisty, angsty, fiery personality, which contrasts greatly with her twin brother’s gentle and kind approach to everything. The stone cold appearance of Tandy’s parents during flashbacks gives the reader a sense of why the Angel kids behave the way they do, including why they hardly show any kind of sorrowful emotion, even when faced with their parents murder.
I’ll be honest: I usually dislike mysteries. They frustrate me and I always get too involved in the story and then become angry when yet another clue leads to nowhere and the story continues to drag on and on. But this story grabbed my attention immediately, and I held on tight. Maybe it was because of the fact that I had just finished another series by James Patterson and I was longing for more of his beautiful descriptive writing. Or perhaps it was because I was seeking entirely new reading material. Whatever it was, Tandy’s story was gripping, and I finished the first book in a total of five hours. For five hours straight I sat in a bean bag chair and didn’t move, didn’t speak, didn’t do anything but read.
The following day I cracked open the second one, and finished that one in seven hours. Six months later, and book three was just as good. James Patterson has proved to be fantastic before, and he has yet to fail me. Book four is on my Christmas list. Guaranteed, on Christmas Day, if I receive it, back to the bean bag chair I will go for another five or more hours, not moving, not doing anything but being absorbed in the life of Tandy Angel and her dark, mystery-filled world.