James Patterson

Beach Road

"…it certainly is a brilliant ending. I had several ideas but none of them were correct.'"


Tom Dunleavy is an attorney in the Hamptons. On a summer's day, Tom and a few friends have been invited to a millionaire's mansion to play on the purpose built basketball court. All of Tom's friends, Keifer, Patrick, Robby and Tom's brother, Jeff are there to make up one team. The other team comprises Dante Halleyville, the new boy on the block with regard to basketball, who is being feted as the new Magic Johnson. Amongst his team mates is his best friend, Michael. The game proceeds quietly and in a friendly manner at first, but soon Fiefer and Dante start pushing each other around. Michael gets a gun from the car and points it at Fiefer's head. Tom manages to talk Michael out of doing anything stupid. Later that day, three of Tom's friends have all been shot dead and Dante and Michael are on the run.

Under the guidance of Tom, Dante hands himself into the police some weeks later. Michael Walker is found shot dead in his hideaway in New York. Tom believes he can defend Dante and calls in his ex-girlfriend, Kate, who is a highflying attorney in the Big Apple. Putting her feelings about Tom aside, they fight to save Dante from the death penalty and also uncover a web of corruption.

…it certainly is a brilliant ending. I had several ideas but none of them were correct.'

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This novel, which is co-written with Peter de Jonge, brings us another one of the high-class stories that we have come to expect from one of the main crime writer's in publication today. Typically, the action starts early in the book and the clever writing, along with the short, sharp chapters, makes you race through the book. This is ultimately a story of race and the prejudice which can insinuate itself in certain classes of people. Sometimes the language from the black characters does not ring quite true and sometimes I felt slightly as though I was being "preached to" on the issue of racism. Besides that small point, this book certainly does have the climax Patterson is claiming is his 'biggest, most satisfying twist of them all'. Despite my minor quibbles - it certainly is a brilliant ending. I had several ideas but none of them were correct. After finishing the book, I have thought back to it and realised that everything was there for me. Once again, Patterson delivers another fast-paced thriller. A fine example of a master at work.

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