Friday, November 8, 2013

Title:     Confessions: Private School Murders [Confessions, book 2]
Author:   James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Rating:   ★★★

James Patterson is one of those authors with whom I have a love-disappointment relationship. It's not dislike, in fact I can't help but read a lot of his books. And while there are certain books of his that I super love (like the Cradle and All and the Maximum Ride series), I'm not always impressed with his work (i.e. Honeymoon). I thought I was over my James Patterson fangirl mode, actually, until I picked up his Confessions series. Oh boy, it blew my mind.

Wealthy young women are being murdered, and the police aren't looking for answers in the right places. Enter Tandy Angel. Her first case was the mystery of her parents' deaths. Now she's working to exonerate her brother of his girlfriend's homicide. And danger just got closer. One of the recent victims was a student at Tandy's own elite school. She has a hunch it may be the work of a serial killer... and Tandy perfectly fits the profile of the killer's targets. Can she untangle the mysteries in time? Or will she be the next victim? James Patterson keeps the confessions coming as Tandy delves deeper into her own tumultuous history and the skeletons in the Angel family closet.

After reading oh, about 38 books (Private School Murders being my 39th and I still have more on my Nook and bookshelves) by James Patterson, I have finally come to terms with his style of writing. His books usually have a lot going on. His main plot is interspersed with a lot of different things and most of the time, they don't relate to each other. So I more or less knew what I can expect from this latest book.

I've read the first Confessions book and it really puzzled me. A lot of things were going on with Tandy and I was just as confused as she was. But the conclusion, aaah, the conclusion was outstanding. And Confessions: Private School Murders did not disappoint. In fact, for me, it is one of James Patterson's most stellar works. But I am not discounting the contribution of Maxine Paetro, and I definitely felt her touch throughout the book. I've read so many James Patterson books after all, so I kind of have a feel for his writing style. Their collaboration has led to this page-turner and attention-grabbing book. I was so entranced, in fact, that I have put off taking a bath for two hours just so I could finish it. Oooh. Confession #1.

In Private School Murders, Tandy had three different mysteries going on: how to prove that her brother is innocent, is there something sinister going on at The Dakota due to the infestation of dangerous animals in the building, and who's killing all the private school girls in New York. All three were solved, although to be fair, she was only able to actually solve. The third one, well, she was just hit on the head with the answer. Hihihi. Pun intended.

After getting to know the chilling story behind the perfect, emotionless, robot-like Angel kids, here we see them growing into their own individuals, freed from the mind-controlling pills that they have been subjected to since kids. Tandy is coming to grips with all the memories and emotions piling all over her, as she has lived through fourteen years (she's already fifteen in the story and she stopped the pills the year before) without feeling anything. And while it may seem like she's only this exceptional woman because of the talent-enhancing meds, I think that her sleuthing skills are her own. She's like a modern-day, darker, more troubled Nancy Drew, and I love her for it.

A new character is introduced into their fold, Jacob, and if he was 25 years younger, I'd definitely want him to be my boyfriend. The twist at the end is both heartening and maddening at the same time. I'm very excited for the next chapter, not just about Tandy and James (oooh!) but about the Angel family as a whole.

The cover art of the book does not disappoint as well. It is very alluring and mysterious, just like the life of the Angels. I am very excited for more books in the series. I mean, they should (please please please) have more Confessions books. It's addicting.
And because James Patterson is awesome and wants to share the love of reading, some chapters of Confessions: The Private School Murders is available for free.

If you're a fan of crime, thriller, mystery, YA, with a dash of romance, try this one on for size.