Excerpt from The Beach House by James Patterson, Peter de Jonge, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Beach House

By James Patterson, Peter de Jonge

The Beach House
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Jun 2002,
    464 pages.
    Paperback: Jun 2003,
    368 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Prologue
PETER RABBIT
1

IT'S LIKE DANCING SITTING DOWN. Squeeze -- tap -- release -- twist. Left hand -- right foot -- left hand -- right hand.

Everything unfolds in perfect sequence and rhythm, and every time I twist back the heated, gummy, rubber-covered throttle, the brand-new, barely broke in, 628-pound, 130- horsepower BMW K1200 motorcycle leaps forward like a thoroughbred under the whip.

And another snapshot of overpriced Long Island real estate blurs by.

It's Thursday night, Memorial Day weekend, fifteen minutes from the start of the first party in what promises to be another glorious season in the Hamptons. And not just any party. The party. The intimate $200,000 get-together thrown every year by Barry Neubauer and his wife, Campion, at their $40 million beach house in Amagansett.

And I'm late.

I toe it down to fourth gear, yank the throttle back again, and now I'm really flying. Parting traffic on Route 27 like Moses on a Beemer.

My knees are pressed tight against the sleek, midnight blue gas tank, my head tucked so low out of the wind that it's almost between them.

It's a good thing this little ten-mile stretch between Montauk and Amagansett is as straight and flat as a drag strip, because by the time I pass those tourist clip joints -- Cyril's, the Clam Bar, and LUNCH -- the needle's pointing at ninety.

It's also a good thing I used to be in the same homeroom as Billy Belnap. As the most belligerent juvenile delinquent at East Hampton High, Billy was a lock to end up on the payroll of the East Hampton Police Department. Even though I can't see him, I know he's there, tucked behind the bushes in his blue-and-white squad car, trolling for speeders and polishing off a bag of Dressen's doughnuts.

I flick him my brights as I rip by.

 

2

YOU WOULDN'T THINK a motorcycle is a place for quiet reflection. And as a rule, I don't go in for much of it anyway, preferring to leave the navel gazing for big brother Jack, the Ivy League law student. But lately I've been dredging up something different every time I get on the bike. Maybe it's the fact that on a motorcycle, it's just you and your head.

Or maybe it's got nothing to do with the bike, and I'm just getting old.

I'm sorry to have to confess, I turned twenty-one yesterday. Whatever the reason, I'm slaloming through bloated SUVs at ninety miles per hour and I start to think about growing up out here, about being a townie in one of the richest zip codes on earth.

A mile away on the Bluff, I can already see the party lights of the Neubauer compound beaming into the perfect East End night, and I experience that juiced-up feeling of anticipation I always get at the beginning of another Hamptons summer.

The air itself, carrying a salty whiff of high tide and sweet hyacinth, is ripe with possibility. A sentry in a white suit gives me a toothy grin and waves me through the cast-iron gates.

I wish I could tell you that the whole place is kind of tacky and crass and overreaching, but in fact it's quite understated. Every once in a while, the rich will confuse you that way. It's the kind of parcel that, as real estate brokers put it, comes on the market every couple of decades -- twelve beautifully landscaped acres full of hedges and hidden gardens sloping to a pristine, white sand beach.

At the end of the white-pebble driveway is a 14,000- square-foot shingled mansion with ocean views from every room except, of course, the wine cellar.

Tonight's party is relatively small -- fewer than 180 people -- but everyone who matters this season is here. It's themed around Neubauer's just-announced $1.4 billion takeover of Swedish toymaker Bjorn Boontaag. That's why the party's on Thursday this year, and only the Neubauers could get away with it.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Who Said...

We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.