The Beach House Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Beach House

A young man, who has been prostituting himself to the rich and twisted in the Hamptons since the age of 15, is murdered when he gets too greedy when blackmailing his wealthy clients. When his older law student brother and paralegal grandfather realize that the local law enforcement is covering up the foul nature of the young man's death, they make it their mission to out the rich and famous for their dirty, criminal activities.
Click here to see the rest of this review

The review of this Book prepared by Ashley Yarborough

Patterson has moved away from his usual set of characters like Alex Cross and created a new set. When Jack Mullen's brother Peter is murdered on the beach of an exclusive beach house it is made to look like an accident or suicide. Jack sees the body and knows it was not either, Peter was beaten to death. What follows is what we have come to expect from Patterson, a set of leads, clues and red herrings. Gradually Jack pieces together the motive, means and opportunity for the murder and readers are not going to be disappointed if this is the type of thriller they like.

The review of this Book prepared by Penny

Jack is a young law students with lots going for him, until he steps off train on a return trip home to hear the news that his brother is dead. His younger brother, a somewhat shady character is reported drowned but it is soon evident that there is more to this story than meets the eye. Why would anyone go swimming in the middle of storm? Why would you put your big toe in the freezing ocean?   It is obvious there is a murderer loose and of course Jack is in the best seat to find justice. The remainder of his family falls apart and it is left to he and his judge-like grandfather to ensure that murderer be bought before the court and that justice is seen to be done. A few twists will keep you going!
The review of this Book prepared by Shel

A brother is killed, a father dies, and a man's girlfriend runs off. Why? Because of people with money. They need to keep a deadly and embarrassing secret, and they'll do anything to keep it a secret. They just didn't count on the good guys to cheat too...
The review of this Book prepared by Steve Schmitz

Little, Brown, Jun 2002, 26.95, 368 pp.
ISBN: 0316969680

Columbia University law student Jack Mullen is stunned with the drowning death of his younger brother Peter. The police conclude that Peter died when he smoked pot and drowned on the Amagansett estate of the wealthy Neubauer family. However, Jack looks at his sibling's corpse and sees the obvious marks of a beating. He feels someone killed his brother.

Jack wants the truth and with the help of some friends begins asking questions. However, as he turns up the heat on the local law enforcement officials and the Neubauer family, thug Rory “Fixer” Hoffman makes life frightening and miserable for Jack and associates. Soon Jack loses his girlfriend (a Neubauer), and his internship at a prestigious law firm as the influence of one of Long Island's most powerful families come to bear on him. Still he presses on because justice will only be served if he takes matters into his own hands including abducting the Neubauer patriarch.

As they did with MIRACLE ON THE 17TH GREEN, James Patterson and Peter De Jonge combine their talents to provide a stirring thriller filled with non stop action. The tale focuses on a David like hero that the audience cares about fighting a modern day Goliath in a seemingly implausible plot. Reality aside, the novel ensnares the audience including this reviewer to cheer Jack on even when victory seems impossible, ultimately leaving fans relishing this invigorating tale.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Beach House

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 58%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 22%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student    -   a lawyer creature Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references    -   descript of kissing Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Beach House

James Patterson and Peter De Jonge Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian