by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Published: September 2012 by Arrow
Version: Hardback from library
Rating: 2 sofas
James Patterson returns to the genre that made him famous with a thrilling teen detective series about the mysterious and magnificently wealthy Angel family . . . and the dark secrets they’re keeping from one another.
On the night Malcolm and Maud Angel are murdered, Tandy Angel knows just three things: 1) She was the last person to see her parents alive. 2) The police have no suspects besides Tandy and her three siblings. 3) She can’t trust anyone—maybe not even herself. Having grown up under Malcolm and Maud’s intense perfectionist demands, no child comes away undamaged. Tandy decides that she will have to clear the family name, but digging deeper into her powerful parents’ affairs is a dangerous-and revealing-game. Who knows what the Angels are truly capable of?
I remember when I first picked up James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series, how excited I was that he was writing YA books. As one of the wealthiest authors in the world, he is known for producing (writing is debatable) over 150 books. Although the last books went a bit downhill, I did really enjoy the series, and loved how quickly I soared through them.
So imagine my delight when I discovered he was writing a new YA book. Alas, it was not meant to be. Mr Patterson is very clever in that many people will buy a book just because his name is on the cover. A lot of others will pick this up for the intriguing title, cool cover or interesting blurb. But you have been duped.
Firstly, the print in this book is so large, it is probably only about 100 pages or so in a normal book. I do like the short chapters, but here it just seems an excuse to use another page. As a result, the story or plot is virtually nonexistent. It is basically a look into Tandy’s family history to try and detect who may have killer her parents. We see things from Tandy’s perspective and her memories are often quite random and disjointed from the rest of the story. I found this to be more and more annoying throughout the book. I was starting to hope that Tandy was the killer, so that she would either get jailed or die at the end of the book.
All the Angel family (can you not pick a different name per series?!) have “enhanced” powers. Although this trait is itself quite interesting, it makes for a lot of similar characters to his Maximum Ride series. And herein lies the problem; from the cover, the book looks really intriguing. A teenage murder suspect? And a girl? But alas, the story is so predictable that there is no suspense and eager turning of pages. I did finish this book, but only because it was so short.
Overall I think the story lacked any real substance. The main character was irritating, and the memories made for a disjointed storyline. It was quite predictable, I shall be really disappointed if it gets turned into a series. Unfortunately I have to say the best thing about this book is the cover. 2 sofas!