Confessions: The Private School Murders

Authors: James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

As though she hasn’t had enough stress in her life with her parents’ recent death, Tandy Angel is now confronted with multiple additional frustrations. Like the stress of coming off the experimental drugs her parents had given her all her life–and the stress of experiencing the real emotions those drugs suppressed for the first time in her life. Or the worries of her brother’s trial–did he actually kill his pregnant girlfriend? What about all these murdered private-school girls who are turning up around the city? Not to mention the unexplained deadly animal infestation in her building. Or her missing beloved James. Or the new guardian who has shown up in their house–although actually, Jacob as a guardian might not be a bad thing; he’s definitely an improvement over her Uncle Peter.

As with the first volume of Tandy’s story, Confessions of a Murder Suspect, this is an exciting, suspenseful, and intriguing tale. The Private School Murders follows close on the heels of the first volume, detailing all the craziness that is the life of the Angel family. There are multiple issues, mysteries, and miscellaneous problems arising in this story; however, I must admit that it’s all very in keeping with the character of Tandy to be involved in all of it. Her private detecting is a nice blend of smarts and observation, coupled with strong determination and a touch of sass. The storytelling device of letting her figure out something but not actually telling the reader until some time later works surprisingly (frustratingly) well in this book, adding greatly to the suspense. I think I prefer this volume over the first Confessions, largely because Tandy seems much more . . . human, I guess. It’s nice to see her vulnerabilities and uncertainties. The thing I probably love most about this particular volume, however, is the inclusion of Jacob–the Angel kids’ new guardian. It’s unusual and rewarding to have a story with an involved, competent adult who actually cares about the kids he’s responsible for–and let’s face it, Jacob’s a pretty cool adult. On the whole, I’d give Confessions: The Private School Murders pretty high points; definitely a recommended read.

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