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Your parents have been murdered . . . and you're the number one suspect.
JAMES PATTERSON is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. He is the author of the bestselling series for young readers, Witch & Wizard (nominated for the 2011 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards), Maximum Ride, Daniel X and Middle School. This is as well as writing three of the top detective series around - the Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Michael Bennett novels - and many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers. He lives in Florida with his wife and son. James was inspired by his son, who was a reluctant reader, to write books specifically for young readers. He has also formed a partnership with the National Literacy Trust, an independent, UK-based charity that changes lives through literacy. In 2010, James Patterson was voted Author of the Year at the Children's Choice Book Awards in New York.
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.
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.