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Confessions of a Murder Suspect

James Patterson returns to the genre that made him famous with a thrilling teen detective series about the mysterious and magnificently wealthy Angel family...and the dark secrets they're keeping from one another.

On the night Malcolm and Maud Angel are murdered, Tandy Angel knows just three things: 1) She was the last person to see her parents alive. 2) The police have no suspects besides Tandy and her three siblings. 3) She can't trust anyone—maybe not even herself. Having grown up under Malcolm and Maud's intense perfectionist demands, no child comes away undamaged. Tandy decides that she will have to clear the family name, but digging deeper into her powerful parents' affairs is a dangerous-and revealing-game. Who knows what the Angels are truly capable of?


Caputo was still pacing and coughing, giving us the evil eye and warning us that if we crossed into the no-go zone of the penthouse suite, he would have us removed from the apartment.

“I’m doing you a favor, letting you stay downstairs. Don’t make me sorry.”

I stared back at the menacing detective and remembered what it had been like growing up here in the Dakota—a gated island on an island. It was one of the few places in the world where I felt secure.

Yet Malcolm and Maud Angel weren’t the first people to be killed at the Dakota. Everyone knows that Mark David Chapman gunned John Lennon down right at the front gates, where the police cars were now parked. And just two floors below us, the actor Gig Young killed his wife and then shot himself.

Now my parents had been murdered in their own bed by an unknown killer for a reason I couldn’t imagine.

Or maybe I could… but I digress. Those are very private thoughts, for later.

As I sat beside Harry, under the withering gaze of Sergeant Caputo, crime-scene investigators trooped through the private entranceway that very few New Yorkers had ever seen, even in photographs. They crossed the cobbled courtyard and used the residents’ elevators to come upstairs, which was strictly forbidden by the cooperative’s bylaws.

Sergeant Caputo had banned us from our parents’ suite—but I lived there. I had rights. And I had already taught myself basic criminology.

I learned all about JonBenét Ramsey when I was six, the same age she’d been when she was murdered. She had been an adorable little girl, seemingly happy and unafraid and loving. I was so moved by her death that I wrote to the police in Colorado, asking them why they hadn’t found her killer. No one wrote back. To this day, her killer has not been found.

The unsolved Ramsey case had inspired me to read up on the famous forensic pathologists Michael Baden and Henry Lee. I had consumed practical guides to homicide investigations, so I knew that the longer it took to solve a crime, the more likely it was that it would never be solved.

I wasn’t one to trust authority. Who knows, though—maybe Caputo and Hayes were decent cops. But my parents were just a case to them. That was all they could ever be.

Malcolm and Maud were my parents. I owed them. I owed it to myself, and to my siblings, to try to solve their murders.

The fact is, I was the ideal detective for this case. This was a job that I could—and should—do. Please don’t think I’m completely full of myself when I say that. I just knew that my doggedness and personal motivation would trump any training these guys had.

I am an Angel, after all. As Malcolm always said, we get things done.

So as I sat in the living room that night, I took on the full responsibility of finding my parents’ killer—even if it turned out that the killer shared my DNA.

Even if it turned out to be me.

You shouldn’t count that out, friend.

Copyright © 2012 by James Patterson

Read by Emma Galvin

Emma Galvin is a recent graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Her films include My Suicidal Sweetheart, A Perfect Fit, and The Big Bad Swim. She has performed in several regional theatre productions including Love Punky, The Power of Birds, and The Realm.

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