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:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2002, 464 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2003, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


And then there was Dana, who'd be waiting for me at the train. I'd been going out with her for almost a year, but it still amazed me. Part of it was her last name, Neubauer. Maybe you've heard of it. Her parents owned one of the biggest privately held companies in the world, and one of the great summer houses on the eastern seaboard.

I started dating her the summer before, when I was working at Jepson's. She had stopped by to check on her father's luxo-cruiser. I don't know what got into me -- but I asked her out. I guess she liked the rich girl - working boy scenario, and I probably did, too. Mostly, though, I liked Dana: she was smart, funny, centered, and focused. She was also easy to talk to, and I trusted her. Best of all, she wasn't a snob or a typical spoiled rich kid, which was some kind of miracle, given her pedigree.

Eastward ho! The old train rattled on, stopping at all the suburban sprawl towns with their 7-Elevens and Indian names like Patchogue and Ronkonkoma, where my tired college pal got off. Real towns. Not the weekend-tourist villages those on board couldn't wait to cavort in.

I apologize if my yuppie tirade is wearing thin, particularly since I had on the same kind of clothes and my prospects were probably better than most. But one difference between us was that for me, Montauk and the Hamptons were real places, not just a way of keeping a conversation going in a singles bar.

It's where my brother and I were born. Where our mother died too young. And where our octogenarian hipster grandfather showed no sign of slowing down.

Half the passengers scrambled out in Westhampton. The rest got off a couple of stops later, in East Hampton. When the train finally wheezed to a stop in Montauk right on time at four minutes past midnight, I was the only one left in my car.

And something outside the window seemed very wrong.

 

Chapter 4

MY FIRST THOUGHT was that there were too many people waiting to meet the train at that hour.

I stepped off expecting to see Dana's Range Rover in the middle of the black, empty lot and Dana sitting cross-legged on the still-warm hood all by her lonesome.

But Dana was standing right there at the end of the welllit platform, and she didn't seem happy to see me. Her eyes were swollen and she looked as if she'd been crying for days. More alarming was that my father and grandfather were with her. My father, who never looks all that good these days, was ashen-faced. My grandfather looked hurt and angry, a pissed-off eighty-six-year-old Irishman looking for someone to punch.

Off to the side were an East Hampton cop named Billy Belnap and a young reporter from the East Hampton Star scribbling feverishly in a notebook. Behind them the pulsing red bar of Belnap's cruiser streaked the scene with the coldblooded light of catastrophe.

The only one missing was my brother, Peter. How could that be? Peter had spent his whole life careening from one near disaster to the next with hardly a scratch. When Peter was five, a neighbor found him lying unconscious on top of his bicycle on the side of the road. Our neighbor carried him to our house and laid him on the couch. We were about to call the ambulance when Peter sat up, as if from a nap. That was also the year he kept falling out of trees.

But now the faces on the platform were telling me that my brother, Peter, with his risky combination of carelessness and balls, had run out of lives. He'd driven his motorcycle off the Shadmoor Cliffs, or fallen asleep in bed smoking a cigarette, or chased a ball into traffic and gotten run over like a golden retriever.

My legs went weak as Dana wrapped her arms around my neck and put her wet face against mine. "Jack, I'm so sorry. It's Peter. Oh, Jack, I'm sorry."

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!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.