by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), David Ellis
“The Murder House” by James Patterson (and David Ellis) gets three stars from me. I enjoy the quick read Patterson provides, and I always enjoy a good mystery.
One issue I was waiting to hear more about, and someone I thought might be involved in the crimes, was the man (Sulzman) who was blackmailing the police chief into setting up one of the main characters – Noah – for murder. Noah was having an affair with Sulzman’s wife, but I personally think Sulzman was not realistic in his request – especially when he knew the police chief was now an alcoholic. We never really hear any more about the man.
Now, enter the police chief’s niece, (Jenna Murphy) also a cop. She is running away from the big city where she’d been accused of being a dirty cop – we find out the reason at the end of the book. She too has a problem with the “bottle.” She also has a short fuse – and is tormented by nightmares of something that happened when she was a child – something that had to do with the house at 7 Ocean Drive. Jenna has a difficult time keeping a relationship together and tends to go for the “bad boys.”
The one bright thing that happens, which wets the appetite for the book, is Jenna feels Noah did not commit the crime, but when she tells her uncle this, he, of course, lies to her, and she blindly believes him – despite still having the gut feeling Noah is innocent. Jenna’s character is wishy/washy for me as she bounces around in her assumptions of who might be the killer. Of course, when a book doesn’t reveal until the end, it does build suspense. (I did guess partway through, but that could be the writer in me.)
Noah is an interesting character, and likable. He is good-looking and has a way about him that projects innocence. He is victimized over and over in life, from the time he is a child, right into his adulthood, without any real explanation other than he wasn’t liked because of his good looks.
Having said all this, I still enjoy reading a James Patterson book. I don’t have to think a lot while reading, they are well written grammatically, and the short chapters entice the reader to keep reading until the book is finished. Well worth the time if you want an easy read with a few twists and turns right up to the end.