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 by James Patterson, Peter de Jonge X
The Beach House by James Patterson, Peter de Jonge
  • 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


The power of beauty is as absurd as it is undeniable. I stared at his body on the stretcher. Even in death it was obvious why every girl Peter ever smiled at since the age of fourteen smiled back. He looked like one of those Renaissance sculptures. His hair and eyes were jet black. He had our mother's chain of Saint Nicholas around his neck, and in his left earlobe was a small gold hoop he'd worn since he was eleven.

I was so intent on finding some enduring trace of Peter in his face that it took a while to see how battered his body was. When Hank saw it finally register, he silently guided me through the damage. Large bruises on Peter's chest, ribs, arms, and legs; discoloration on his forehead and the back of his neck. Hank showed me the twisted broken fingers and how the knuckles on both hands were scraped raw.

By the time Hank was done, I felt sick to my stomach and so dizzy that I had to grab the rail of the gurney to keep from falling.

Chapter 7

WHEN I FINALLY STEPPED BACK out onto the beach, I felt as if I had spent the night in that ambulance. The train ride from the city seemed like a memory from a previous life.

Dana sat alone on the sand, looking weirdly out of place on her own property. I bent over and she put her arms around me. "I really want to stay with you tonight," she said. "Please let me, Jack."

I was glad she did. I held on to her hand as we followed my father and grandfather back toward Belnap's cruiser.

As we were about to get in, Frank Volpi, East Hampton's longtime chief detective, walked toward us from the direction of the house.

"Sam, Macklin, Jack. I'm sorry."

"Then why aren't you trying to find out who killed him?" asked Mack, staring at him cold and hard. "At the moment, there's nothing to indicate this was anything but a horrible accident, Mack."

"Have you seen his body, Frank?" I asked softly. "A bad storm just went through here, Jack." "You think Peter decided to go for a swim in the middle of work?" I asked. "In this kind of surf? C'mon, Detective." "Peter was kind of a crazy. So, yes, I think it's possible." With the sanctimonious tone of a social worker, he added, "At the same time, I don't think we can rule out suicide."

"Peter wouldn't kill himself," said Mack, taking that possibility off the table forever. "You're an asshole to suggest it." "Belnap clocked him weaving through traffic at ninety miles per hour just before the party. That sounds like someone with a death wish to me."

"That's interesting, Frank," said Mack, "because to me it just sounds like more of your bullshit." Macklin looked dangerously close to hitting him.

"Are you interviewing anyone?" I asked, trying to intercede. "See if there were any witnesses? There must be a guest list. C'mon, Frank, this is Peter who died here." "You know the people on that list, Jack. You can't interview their gardeners without a court order."

"Then get one," said Mack, "and how about Barry and Campion? Do they have anything to say?" "They're extremely upset, of course, and extend their condolences. But they left town on business this morning. I can't see what would be accomplished by changing their itinerary."

"No, I suppose you can't. By the way, Frank, are you still a detective, or have you graduated to full-time messenger boy?"

Volpi's face and neck flushed red. "What's that supposed to mean, Mack?"

"What part of the question can't you understand?" said my grandfather.

 

Chapter 8

A YEAR AFTER MY PARENTS ARRIVED in Montauk, my father built the small three-bedroom house halfway between town and the lighthouse. We moved in when I was two, and Peter was born there five years later. Although he'd spent at least half his nights over the past few years at one girlfriend or another's place, he never officially moved out.

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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Towards the end of Madeline Miller's novel Circe, the titular nymph is questioned by her son ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Names They Used for God
    All the Names They Used for God
    by Anjali Sachdeva
    Pre-publication press has already compared Anjali Sachdeva to Kelly Link and other genre-blending ...
  • Book Jacket: Look Alive Out There
    Look Alive Out There
    by Sloane Crosley
    After a brief (and thoroughly enjoyable) foray into fiction (with her 2015 novel The Clasp), Sloane ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Other People's Houses
    by Abbi Waxman

    A hilarious and poignant novel about four families and the affair that changes everything.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

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.