I had never read any of the mysteries written by James Patterson so when one was offered in the "Take One for Free" stack at Off Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, I grabbed it.
The Beach House was published in 2002. It takes place in the Hamptons. It has a Underdog-vs-The Rich plot. The story opens with Peter speeding to the Memorial Day party given by the wealthy Neubauers. He is not a guest but one of the parking valets. By the end of chapter one, Peter is dead - beaten to death and tossed into the ocean. But, the inquest verdict - bought and paid for the the Neubauers - is death by accident or suicide.
The rest of the story has Peter's brother Jack, a soon-to-be attorney, trying to prove that Peter was killed and why. It takes lots of money and people conspiring to cover-up the murder. And it takes lots of townies - Jack's friends and even his grandfather - to uncover it.
There is the obligatory romance, the sex scenes, and the creepy violence (not too much) that normally deter me from modern thrillers. Unfortunately this one wasn't even thrilling.
The book is written in three-page-long chapters. I guess that is supposed to give it the feeling of a 'page-turner' but it is not. It really isn't very good which surprised me as I know that Patterson is a very popular writer. If this is a sample of what he is putting out there - and I understand he writes three books a year - I won't be coming back for more.