A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that plenty of lurid family secrets come to light in Confessions of a Murder Suspect, the first volume of a teen mystery series by James Patterson with co-author Maxine Paetro, including affairs, corruption, people who disappear, and children used as science experiments. There are also several violent deaths, including those of wealthy Malcolm and Maud Angel, found poisoned in their New York apartment building. Their 15-year-old daughter, narrator Tandoori (Tandy), the prime suspect, sets out to find who really did the deed. There's some other violence and fighting, including super-strong 10-year-old Hugo Angel whacking adult goons with a baseball bat, and minor profanity ("damn," "hell").
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Fifteen-year-old Tandoori (Tandy) Angel is awakened in the wee hours by police banging on the door of her wealthy family's apartment at the Dakota, insisting that there's been a murder. When her parents, Malcolm and Maud, prove to have been poisoned in their bed, Tandy, her brothers, and her parents' assistant seem to be the only ones who could have done it, as they were the only people in the locked apartment. And, given the elder Angels' perfectionist, controlling parenting, it's not unreasonable to believe that one of the kids had finally had enough. Determined to find out who really killed her parents -- even if it's her brothers or even herself, as her memory isn't always the best -- Tandy investigates, in the process discovering a tangled web of long-buried secrets that may or may not point to the killer.
Is it any good?
This book's complex, clever plot keeps the pages turning as it wends its way to a surprising resolution and several cliffhangers. CONFESSIONS OF A MURDER SUSPECT sets up a series of detective novels featuring Tandy Angel -- and leaves plenty of loose ends to be addressed in sequels. As a narrator, super-smart, self-confident, and deeply conflicted Tandy is an intriguing character; the Angels' family life is over-the-top weird with its obsession with achievement, and some may find it hard to suspend disbelief or relate to its effects on the kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how it would be to have people like Malcolm and Maud for parents. Is there anything about the Angel kids' lives that makes you want to change places with them?
Why do you think the theme of giving kids drugs to enhance their abilities is so popular?
What still needs to be explained after the book ends, and do you think it will all come out in the sequel?
- Authors: James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
- Genre: Mystery
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
- Publication date: September 24, 2012
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 384
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 13, 2017
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