The Beach House is a James Patterson stand alone novel, written with Peter De Jonge. It takes us away from the author's normal stance and heads in a sort of John Grisham manner with corruption in the legal world and a tale of revenge. On the whole, Patterson's stand alone novels have targeted the supernatural or challenged science, but this one is the first foray into the legal system, and he comes off well.
Jack Mullen is a Harvard law student, enjoying life, until he hears of his brother's death on Long Island beach. Jack spots inconsistencies and has his suspicions about the death, but for some reason the police and the legal system are loathe to do anything about it. Sure of corruption rooted deep in money, and convinced at certain people having been bought, he enlists his grandfather Mack's help and the two wage war against the corruption of the seemingly untouchable rich society.
Patterson's delving into a legal thriller comes out trumps, and is a breath of fresh air after the very dark and moody Cross novels leading up to this publication. The setup of the books is very similar to his usual style, with short chapters and short and punchy writing leaving the suspense coming thick and fast. As per usual, Patterson dispenses with the deep and descriptive passages, letting the action in his book do all the talking, and the result is a stunning thriller with a feel good element to it.
The characterisation is spot on, and you really feel for Jack. The way Patterson comes up with a potential way to beat the corruption is a pleasure to read, and I found myself rushing towards the end of the book in the hope that all would come good and the villains of the piece, as they were, would get their come uppance.
Overall, this is a very stylish and noir thriller that I highly recommend. It is weird to see a different type of subect matter in a way from Patterson, very Grisham in style, and to see a collaboration with De Jonge, but it is a successful change of tack. The Beach House is available from amazon.co.uk for £5.99.
Jack Mullen's life is working out perfectly. A Harvard law student, he's loving his summer job in a Boston law firm, and the weekends spent at Martha's Vineyard. Until he arrives home, and his father greets him with the news that his brother, Peter, is dead. The police believe Peter committed suicide, but Jack senses a darker, dangerous truth, and is determined to bring a killer to justice...