Throwback Thursday: Confessions of A Murder Suspect by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

Hello, hello, hello, and welcome back for another Throwback Thursday. These are becoming routine now; I hope you all enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy diving back into their worlds and story line. I’m particularly excited for this one as I’ve yet to have an unpleasant experience with James Patterson’s novels; however, Patterson isn’t the only one who brought us the thrilling and gear-turning world of Tandy Angel, we also have Maxine Paetro to thank too.

Confessions of A Murder Suspect is a young adult novel set in New York City. Tandy Angel wakes up to an obnoxious banging on her family’s apartment door only to discover the cops. They demand to see her parents, and she leads them to the room only to find both dead in their beds. They make this thrilling novel of expert storytelling all the better through the amazing use of our narrator, making her not just intriguing, but unreliable.

Okay, so it’s been a hot minute since I last visited the world of Confessions of A Murder Suspect, but I can still recall with great clarity the character dynamics that Patterson and Paetro bring to life. They are interesting, realistic, pitiable because of their family situation; the list goes on and on, but let’s not forget, to the writer’s out there, that it’s not just the traits that make the character unique to the reader, it’s the style they’re written in that does. Right from the get-go, we’re lured into the book by Tandy because she addresses us as the reader. This aspect of the book is one we don’t get to see often, so when we open a page that reads:

“I have some really bad secrets to share with someone, and it might as well be you–a stranger, a reader of books, but most of all, a person who can’t hurt me.” — Confessions of A Murder Suspect

You can bet we’ll be pulled in right off the bat. We’re introduced to this character, whose name we don’t know yet, and she’s fearful. There’s this influence the diction has over the way we read the sentence where we can hear this fearful note in her voice. For writers out there, this is a key way to introduce emotion and character connection to the reader. By having this skill over sentence structure and diction, you’re able to bring to life the character, the world, and the plot.

Alright, I called Tandy an unreliable narrator, and to those who don’t know what that is, I have a post on narrators that you can check out (here), it’s self explanatory, though, in the sense that we just can’t trust our narrator; this aspect of Tandy that we’re given is the string of suspense that we follow from the first page. Someone killed her parents, and it might have even been her. Tandy hasn’t a clue if she’s innocent or not which means we don’t have a clue if she’s innocent or not, and this is where the good old mystery novel of “who done it?” takes a turn and becomes wholly unique because now, we can’t even trust our own narrator. She could be lying to us just as easily as the other characters. Mix this with some good dialogue, and a lot of well-thought plot lines that keep the reader guessing, and we’ve got ourselves an interesting story to reader over dinner. Who needs a mystery dinner theater when you can make your own, right?

I hope you enjoyed this Throwback Thursday. If you’d like to check out Confessions of a Murder Suspect, you can find the first one on Amazon. If you’d like to learn more about James Patterson and his other novels (I highly recommend Maximum Ride) you can find him here. Likewise, you can find Maxine Paetro here. Until next time.

All the best.

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