To Read or Not to Read?

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

I will admit that before this I never once opened a James Patterson novel. I know he’s written hundreds of best sellers and he is a very popular author (I work in a library and I see the waiting lists for when one of his new books come out) and I’ve read the synopsis for many of them but I’ve never wanted to read one. I can’t exactly pinpoint why, they just never sparked an interest. And then I saw Confessions of a Murder Suspect on the shelves a few months. I read the inside covers and thought it looked interesting but never bothered to take it home until now and I am glad I did.

First of all I’d like to mention the writing style before I go into details on the characters/plot. The book was written in first person which is actually kind of a novelty nowadays (at least in the books I read). And not only that but there are sections, chapters called “Confessions” where Tandi speaks directly to the reader even addressing them as “reader” meaning it’s likely the confessions are diary entries. In these sections we get to go even farther into Tandy’s mind. In the main sections she is more active as she searches for her parents murderers. In the Confessions sections we see her use her try to remember the things her therapist has forced her to forget. Tandy is raw and more willing to admit her faults but hints at more to come.

Now back into the story and here’s the interesting thing about the Angel kids; right off the bat you can tell they aren’t quite normal. All of them are too smart, too powerful, too talented and Tandy is so good at hiding her emotions that, as someone else tells her, she kind of acts like a robot. And when I learned that the Angel family ran a pharmaceutical company I thought it was kind of clear exactly where the Angel’s get their almost supernatural qualities from.

Even though I thought the reveal about their “powers” was predictable I still thought the story was interesting and ended up being very unique. It was also interesting that Tandy hit on the idea of an unreliable narrator because of her issue with memories. It added an extra element to the story when she even questioned whether or not she was guilty of the crime and suspected her brothers.

Confessions of a Murder Suspect kept me guessing towards the end which is definitely a good thing for a mystery. It was also interesting because each of the characters had very distinct personalities and even though they were deemed “perfect” Tandy, as narrator, was able to let everyone into her mind and her family enough to see that that certainly was not the case. Which is good because who wants to read about dull characters?

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