Confessions: The Private School Murders

Book review by
Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
Confessions: The Private School Murders Book Poster Image
Romance and snakes add to intrigue in imaginative sequel.

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Confessions: The Private School Murders is primarily an entertaining page-turner, but readers will enjoy travel vignettes and cultural snapshots, from kibbutz life in Israel to one of the murder victims being found at the John Lennon memorial in Central Park.

Positive Messages

Against a backdrop of catastrophic dysfunction, strong messages support first love, family loyalty, determination, intelligence, and the search for the truth.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tandy is brave, tenacious, and resilient in her determination to find the truth and protect her loved ones. Despite their toxic upbringing, the Angel kids are devoted to one another. Newly arrived guardian Jacob reveals love and wisdom as well as strength.

Violence

In addition to the murders that happened in Confessions of a Murder Suspect and that have an ongoing influence on events, Confessions: The Private School Murders includes several murders and numerous violent attacks as well as detailed accounts of Tandy's kidnapping, drugging, and captivity in a mental institution when she dared to fall in love. Also, cobras and other deadly reptiles come out of the woodwork at the Dakota, terrifying the residents.

Sex

Some passionate kissing, both in memory and in real time. Tandy and her boyfriend plan to have sex but are separated; Tandy's friend spends the night with Tandy's brother. Matthew Angel's murdered, pregnant girlfriend claimed to have been having an affair with Matthew's father.

Language
Consumerism

Many commercial products are mentioned, mostly to define the setting: iPhone, the Dakota, Google, the Lumineers, Queen Mary 2.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Tandy has a small amount of wine under the watchful eye of Jacob the bodyguard. She also smokes a cigarette and hates it. The Angel kids' late parents manipulated them with performance-enhancing and mind-altering drugs, and the kids are still feeling the effects.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Confessions: The Private School Murders continues the story of teen Tandoori (Tandy) Angel, who, in Confessions of a Murder Suspect, had to prove she didn't kill her rich, famous, and abusive parents. There are several murders and numerous violent attacks as well as detailed accounts of Tandy's kidnapping, drugging, and captivity in a mental institution; cobras and other deadly reptiles terrify residents of the Dakota apartment building. There's moderate drinking by teens and adults, passionate kissing and references to sex between teen characters, and flashbacks to the behavior of abusive parents. Amid all the mystery and danger, strong family values are emphasized as the kids try to stay together and look out for one another.

User Reviews

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 11 years old May 29, 2014

Good!

I'm 11 and have a higher reading level but loved this book. Good murder book. Three cases, but they were all cleaned up nicely. James Patterson is one of t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byRead-A-Lot October 7, 2014

Very Good Murder Mystery

Very good book. But, it all depends on your maturity level and reading level.

What's the story?

The lurid events of Confessions of a Murder Suspect still loom large in CONFESSIONS: THE PRIVATE SCHOOL MURDERS. Narrator and fledgling detective Tandy Angel is now trying to prove that her eldest brother, Matthew, didn't kill his pregnant, unfaithful girlfriend; meanwhile, one of her classmates becomes the latest victim of a serial killer preying on the private school girls of New York. Tandy and her younger brothers are about to lose their home in the Dakota apartment building as the family business empire collapses, and, as the drugs she's been dosed with all her life wear off, she remembers more and more about the boy from whom her parents tore her. A new guardian changes the kids' lives, and poisonous reptiles start appearing all over their luxurious apartment building.

Is it any good?

Not unlike the first volume in the series, this one is a cornucopia of wildly imagined plot developments that are well over the top before the first cobra crops up in the Angel apartment. Pages turn and eyes roll as this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach (detective story! Teen romance! International intrigue! Courtroom drama! Mental hospitals! Corporate villains! And of, course, the snakes...) delivers an improbable but intriguing tale of love, family, and courage pitted against evil forces.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why stories about kids, teens, and even animals who solve crimes are so popular. Do you have any favorites?

  • How do the Angel kids rise above the dysfunctional home life they had with their parents in looking out for one another now? How do they start to see a different side of family life?

  • Why do you think James and Tandy's parents were so determined to keep them apart? What do you think will happen in the next book in the Confessions series?

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