Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Bestsellers Patterson and Paetro, the team behind the Women's Murder Club series for adults, launch a YA mystery series with an implausible story with no moral center and multiple ludicrous plot twists. When the parents of four hypertalented children are murdered, emotionless 16-year-old Tandy; her musical prodigy twin, Harrison; angry 10-year-old Hugo; and 20-something NFL star Matthew become both suspects and detectives. Their abusive, manipulative parents are hardly sympathetic victims (they feed their children experimental pharmaceutical drugs and dole out draconian punishments), but the locked door to their New York City penthouse suggests that only the children-or their mother's live-in personal assistant-could be the killers. The intriguing setup loses cohesion amid bumbling cops (key scenes revolve around their inability to find evidence right in front of them), preposterous twists, inexplicable motivations (including characters who keep secrets for their own sake), and a final revelation that cements the police officers' incompetence. For writers with their crime-writing experience, Patterson and Paetro show little interest in common sense, motivation, or believable storytelling. Ages 12-up. Agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 6 Up-When Tandy Angel's high-powered parents are found dead in their bedroom with no signs of forced entry, the police suspect foul play. Suspicion falls on the 16-year-old, her two brothers, and her mother's assistant, who were the only other people inside the apartment at the time. Brought up in the glitzy world of the exclusive Dakota, a New York City apartment building, they all have a motive: their parents kept them popped up on pills, secluded them from the real world, and pressured them to achieve with harsh punishments for misbehavior. Still Tandy's determined to find the killer and discovers a few things about herself along the way. The story is narrated by Tandy in short chapters written in a confessional tone; they move the plot along, but are light on true crime investigation. Instead, various tawdry secrets are revealed about the family in a ripped-from-the-headlines fashion. The siblings are treated badly by police throughout and it seems implausible that minors would be given such a bad rap. The first in a planned series, this is a ho-hum mystery that comes with a major marketing campaign to back it up.-Shawna Sherman, Hayward Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Scoring low on credibility but high on sordid family secrets, Patterson's first venture into realistic YA fiction opens with a high-powered couple found dead in their bedroom in New York's hyperexclusive Dakota apartment building. Murder? The police and the couple's 16-year-old daughter, Tandy Angel, think so but since the apartment was locked up for the night, the only suspects are her and her three brothers. Tandy hints that she's an unreliable narrator but actually turns out to be just an unsystematic one, with a habit of mixing developments in her investigation with fragmentary flashbacks and labored innuendo. In the wake of revelations ranging from romantic traumas and affairs to the lurid news that the Angel children had been fed experimental cocktails of mind- and body-altering drugs since birth, the truth about the deaths comes out at last, after a lame discovery. Reading the whip-quick chapters in Patterson and Paetro's series starter is ultimately akin to combing the tabloids for reports on the outrageous behavior of the filthy rich. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The marketing push behind this opener to Patterson's first teen mystery series is every bit as muscular as expected, with a campaign that'll spread the word to every corner of the YA market.--Peters, John Copyright 2010 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
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)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.