An unsatisfying ending and an unlikable cast make this thriller anything but.

CONFESSIONS OF A MURDER SUSPECT

When a wealthy and powerful New York couple is discovered dead in their bed, the prime suspects are their four overachieving children.

Fifteen-year-old Tandy Angel, likely the last person to see her parents alive, is determined to use her analytical mind to find the perpetrators, even if she herself is the criminal. Tandy begins to investigate the possible leads. Could it be her hot-tempered older brother, her artistic twin or her overly aggressive younger brother? Police investigators seem to think that it is Tandy who is emerging as the most likely suspect. Unfortunately the more she digs, the more confusing everything becomes. Fans of Patterson’s fast-paced style and surprising plot twists will embrace the beginning of another series. They may, however, be disappointed at the lack of suspense and true mystery that are hallmarks of his work for adults. Tandy, addressing readers directly, questions her own judgment, but she never manages to be the unreliable narrator that she insists she is. The ultimate reveal will likely leave readers feeling as though they were led on a wild goose chase through the disturbing world of a very twisted family.

An unsatisfying ending and an unlikable cast make this thriller anything but. (Mystery. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-316-20698-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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This fast-paced thriller will keep readers guessing.

THE FEAR

This perspective-jumping thriller shows you the two sides of fear.

Izzy has had a crush on Justin forever, but in her last year at Rock Bay High, will she be able to finally talk to him, or will the sudden violent death of a classmate put a wrench in the situation? After a meme daring everyone to repost how they are most afraid to die races through the teenage population, a student appears to have been killed exactly in the way she had feared. Izzy must race against time to find the killer, and with no shortage of suspects, everyone is under suspicion: her loner lab partner, Axel; his older cousin, Tristan; and even Justin, who has been acting strange. It becomes clear no one is safe from experiencing fear. This swift-moving slasher adventure proves to be a page-turning mystery. The book is written in the first-person perspective, allowing readers a deeper view into Izzy’s mind; whether she is thinking Axel is innocent or the killer, her stream of thought and persistent questioning give readers clues to help connect the dots before surprising them with clever plot twists at the end. Main characters read as White; there is racial diversity in the supporting cast.

This fast-paced thriller will keep readers guessing. (Thriller. 12-18)

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-12501-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

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Summery fun and games with feeling.

THE SUMMER OF BROKEN RULES

A summer trip helps break 18-year-old Meredith Fox out of a haze of mourning.

Her cousin’s wedding means a return to Martha’s Vineyard, a well-loved destination but one filled with bittersweet memories. It’s been a year and a half since the sudden loss of Meredith’s sister, Claire, and the grief remains strong. Meredith, though, resolves to take this time to celebrate family and bridge the rifts resulting from ghosting friends. She didn’t plan on a meet-cute/embarrassing encounter with the groom’s stepbrother, Wit. Nor did she expect a wedding-week game of Assassin, a water-gun–fueled family tradition. What starts off as a pact of sharing strategic information with Wit grows into something more as the flirting and feelings develop. Only one person can win, though, and any alliance has an expiration date. To win and honor Claire, who was a master of the game, Meredith must keep her eye on the prize. Taking place over the course of a week, the narrative is tight with well-paced reveals that disrupt predictability and keep the plot moving. Early details are picked back up, and many elements come satisfyingly full circle. The short time frame also heightens the tension of this summer romance: What will happen when they leave the bubble of the Vineyard? The mix of budding romance, competitive hijinks, a close-knit circle, as well as dealing with loss make for a satisfying read. The main cast is White.

Summery fun and games with feeling. (family tree) (Romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-72821-029-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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