James Patterson
& Peter de Jonge,
The Beach House
(Time Warner, 2002)

Life's more of a bitch than a beach in this fast-paced thriller set in the Long Island, New York Hamptons -- a summer retreat for the rich and famous -- especially for a handsome young Townie named Peter Mullen. While parking cars for the elite at the summer estate of billionaires Barry and Campion Neubauer, Peter receives a perfumed note. He heads down the beach for a secret rendezvous. Hours later, Peter turns up dead.

Peter's brother, Columbia law student Jack Mullen, can't believe that Peter drowned. Though he wasn't the only one who saw Peter's beaten body, he's the only one who's admitting a wave can't do that kind of damage. But asking questions of the Neubauers, their guests and the police isn't getting him anywhere but close to getting fired from his summer job at a Manhattan law firm.

With the help of his grandfather, a private investigator and a group of close friends, Jack seeks to undo the force that brought about his brother's untimely demise. Unfortunately, everyone seems to be working against him -- his girlfriend, the police, the local government. Jack is convinced that they are all in Barry Neubauer's pockets. Proving it will be hard, but Jack won't stop until justice is served, even if he has to execute it in a kangaroo court.

Patterson and de Jonge capture the dark side of the Hamptons in this moonlit mystery. The authors provide a captivating read with compelling characters and shocking truths. If you listen to this in the car, you'll find yourself driving around just to hear narrator Gil Bellows (Billy from Ally McBeal) tell what happens next!

- Rambles
written by Lynne Remick
published 7 December 2002

Buy it from Amazon.com.