Thursday, June 9, 2016

Book Review: Confessions of a Murder Suspect

Today I'll be reviewing the Confessions series by James Patterson by Maxine Paetro, which includes four novels:
  • Confessions of a Murder Suspect
  • Confessions: The Private School Murders
  • Confessions: The Paris Mysteries
  • Confessions: The Murder of an Angel 
The series is aimed at young adults. Like many of James Patterson's novels, it can be classified as a mystery thriller. 


The Confessions series centers around the wealthy and secretive Angel family.

Malcolm and Maud Angel own a pharmaceutical company in New York City. Their four children boast unnatural abilities: Tandoori (Tandy), the 16-year-old narrator, has an off-the-charts IQ. Her twin brother, Harry, is a musical prodigy. Ten-year-old Hugo harbors the strength of a grown man, while Matthew is a star football player for the New York Giants. The Angel children are unemotional and extremely damaged, which they attribute to their parent's emphasis on perfection.

But soon Tandy learns that Malcolm and Maud are dead of an apparent murder. She and her three brothers are the prime suspects. As Tandy works to solve the crime,  many dark and dangerous family secrets begin to unravel. She suddenly questions everything she knows  – including her own innocence.

The four books in the Confessions series follow Tandy and her brothers as they dig deep into their family's past, discovering corruption, love, and betrayal along the way. 


Although I'm an avid reader, Confessions of a Murder Suspect is my first James Patterson novel. I really enjoyed the entire Confessions series.

First of all, I love the eccentric characters. I've never encountered a protagonist quite like Tandy. She's clever and strange, and she experiences immense character development throughout the series. Tandy talks directly to the reader at many points in the novels. I've read several reviews that criticize this literary device because it "interrupts the flow" of the plot, but I didn't mind it. I actually think it allowed me to better connect to Tandy. The other Angel children (Harry, Hugo, and Matthew), as well as the other characters introduced throughout the series, are equally as quirky and intriguing.

I also enjoyed how Patterson and Paetro interwove the plot throughout the novels in the series. Something mentioned in the first novel could come back in the third or fourth book without feeling too forced. The plot kept me on my toes, although the ending of the books was a bit too predictable for my taste. I feel like the mysteries fell into two categories: ones that were too easy to figure out, and ones that readers could never figure out given a lack of clues. But although some of the mysteries ended in an anti-climatic way,  I'm happy with the conclusion of the series overall.

Another perk of these novels were the short chapters. Since each one was merely four or five pages, I constantly told myself, "Just one more chapter!" as an excuse to keep reading.

Rating: 5/5

I loved the quirky characters and unique storyline. I deducted one-half point for some predictable plot points and anticlimactic mysteries. Here is my rating of the four novels, from favorite to least favorite:

1. Confessions: The Paris Mysteries (Book 3)
2. Confessions of a Murder Suspect (Book 1)
3. Confessions: The Private School Murders (Book 2)
4. Confessions: The Murder of an Angel (Book 4)

This series is best for young adults (ages 15-25) who enjoy quick and easy mystery novels. I highly recommend it!

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