The Black Book by James Patterson

Title: The Black Book
Author: James Patterson
March 2017 by Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Mystery
How I got the book: I borrowed it from my mom


How can you prove your innocence when you can’t remember the crime?

Being a cop runs in Billy Harney’s family. The son of Chicago’s Chief of Detectives whose twin sister, Patty, also followed in their father’s footsteps, there’s nothing Billy won’t give up for the job, including his life. Left for dead alongside his tempestuous former partner and a hard-charging assistant district attorney out for blood, Billy miraculously survives. But he remembers nothing about the events leading up to the shootout. Charged with double murder and desperate to clear his name, Billy retraces his steps to get to the bottom of what happened. When he discovers the existence of a little black book that everyone who’s anyone in Chicago will stop at nothing to get their hands on, Billy suspects it contains the truth that will either set him free…or confirm his worst fears.

My Review:


James Patterson is a wonderful author, but I don’t read his books enough. My mom raved about this one so I decided to pick it up and give it a try myself.


Billy Harney, the protagonist, gets himself into a lot of trouble. He solves a crime with no true evidence and it’s because of that that people question him. Then he wakes up from a coma. He had been shot and was lucky to be alive. His partner, Kate, and the woman he was seeing, Amy, were not so lucky.

The thing is, Billy has no memory of what happened.

The only thing that can help Billy is finding a little black book that will reveal everything. That, and getting his memory back. He is now framed and accused of four murders, Kate and Amy included. While he can’t remember, he knows that he would never kill anyone.

This was a long and twisted plot, but pretty easy to follow along and it certainly kept my interest the whole time. Once you thought you and the characters had figured something out, something else would happen. It was suspenseful, real, and twisty.


I did enjoy all the characters. Billy, the protagonist, was my favorite. He seemed to be the only one who had most of his stuff together. He seemed to be the definition of a true cop, despite some cliches here and there (his wife and daughter had died).

All the other characters seemed to be in it for themselves, which made sense. They were all trying to protect themselves in the severity of the case. Kate was a cool character too, though she and Billy seemed to have a falling out towards the end which made me a little sad.

Patti, Billy’s twin sister, who is also a cop, was just an okay character for me. The book opens up with her and I thought she was going to be a protagonist as well, but she wasn’t really. She did have a few big parts, but other than that, she wasn’t in it too much.


I loved the way this book was written. It’s broken up into parts, the past and the present. Billy’s parts were told in first person, but he couldn’t remember the past. So we, as the readers, knew what had happened by reading the past, and then when we jumped back to the present, Billy was still trying to piece everything together.

It was a clever way of revealing everything, especially at the end when they all went to court. Everything started to come back to Billy and we learn the major climax through alternating between the past and present within the chapters.

It was clever, easy to follow along, and kept my attention.


This was a great read. If you’re into mysteries or suspenseful reads, this would definitely be a good one to pick up.

The Black Book by James Patterson gets…
5-Star Rating | Book Review 5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“It’s easier to focus on someone else’s grief than cope with your own.” –James Patterson, The Black Book

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The Murder House by James Patterson

The Murder House by James Patterson book review Rachel Poli
Via Goodreads
Title: The Murder House
Author: James Patterson
Genre: Thriller and Suspense
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

No. 7 Ocean Drive is a gorgeous, multi-million-dollar beachfront estate in the Hamptons, where money and privilege know no bounds. But its beautiful gothic exterior hides a horrific past: it was the scene of a series of depraved killings that have never been solved. Neglected, empty, and rumored to be cursed, it’s known as the Murder House, and locals keep their distance.

Detective Jenna Murphy used to consider herself a local, but she hasn’t been back since she was a girl. Trying to escape her troubled past and rehabilitate a career on the rocks, the former New York City cop hardly expects her lush and wealthy surroundings to be a hotbed of grisly depravity. But when a Hollywood power broker and his mistress are found dead in the abandoned Murder House, the gruesome crime scene rivals anything Jenna experienced in Manhattan. And what at first seems like an open and shut case turns out to have as many shocking secrets as the Murder House itself, as Jenna quickly realizes that the mansion’s history is much darker than even the town’s most salacious gossips could have imagined. As more bodies surface, and the secret that Jenna has tried desperately to escape closes in on her, she must risk her own life to expose the truth–before the Murder House claims another victim.

My Review:

This is one of those stories that you just simply can’t put down.

This mystery is certainly soap-opera material. I thought it was going one way and then another and then another.

Detective Jenna Murphy tries to figure out a string of murders by a serial killer no matter what. She’s a headstrong, take-charge character which is the perfect personality for her. She doesn’t let any relationship get in the way of her investigation. Sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes not so much.

Murphy’s past is something she has repressed and doesn’t really know about it for a while. As far as she’s concerned, it’s all nightmares. It isn’t until she meets a few people here and there that things start falling into place.

I found all the characters to be likable (except the killer of course) and there were a few characters I wasn’t sure whether I was supposed to like them or not. Each character had a purpose and their own unique way of speaking and doing things.

The point of view got confusing at times. It was written in first-person through Jenna’s eyes during some chapters, but other chapters were written in third-person through the killer’s eyes and sometimes through another character, Noah’s, eyes.

The killer was extremely creepy and this is not a book I recommend reading right before going to bed. It sent chills down my spine and I think that’s exactly the way to write a good thriller.

I ended up figuring out all the mysteries (there’s more to it than just, “who’s the killer?”) before the end of the book and I was quite pleased with myself.

The Murder House by James Patterson gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Don’t worry, your favorite neice still loves you,” I say. “But your favorite detective still thinks you’re a horse’s ass.” –James Patterson, The Murder House

Related Reviews:

Confessions of a Murder Suspect
The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Check out my Goodreads to see what I’m reading next!

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson

james patterson book review confessions of a murder suspect

Title: Confessions of a Murder Suspect
Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Genre: Mystery and detective
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

On the night Malcolm and Maud Angel are murdered, their daughter Tandy knows just three things: 1) She was one of the last people to see her parents alive. 2) The suspect list only includes Tandy and her three siblings. 3) She can’t trust anyone–maybe not even herself.

As Tandy sets out to clear the family name, she begins to recall flashes of experiences long buried in her vulnerable psyche. These memories shed light on her family’s dark secrets, and digging deeper into her powerful parents’ affairs proves to be a disturbing and dangerous game. Who knows what any of the Angels are truly capable of?

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

This story was certainly not what I expected it to be, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

When Tandy’s parents end up dead one morning, everyone is wondering, “who dun it?” She and her siblings work together to find their killer all while suspecting each other at the same time. Yet they never lose faith in each other.

However, while Tandy and her siblings try to solve their parents’ death, they uncover secrets of their family and they realize maybe their parents weren’t what they seemed. Their whole family isn’t what they thought.

Together James Patterson and Maxine Paetro create an interesting mystery to follow. Between the short chapters and in depth characters, this certainly isn’t a book you want to miss out on.

I did believe the book to be a bit unrealistic at times. I won’t explain due to spoilers, but those kinds of reveals made the mystery all the more interesting at the same time. It really made the surprise ending a great twist.

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro gets 4 out 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Our parents were Gods and monsters at the same time. Maybe we’re all like that – Gods and monsters.” –James Patterson, Confessions of a Murder Suspect