Book review: The Murder Inn by James Patterson and Candice Fox

Saturday, February 24, 2024 Permalink

The Murder Inn by James Patterson and Candice Fox is a sequel to the 2019 collaboration, The Inn. I really enjoyed that book and loved the characters in particular. It was slated as a standalone but I said I hoped there were more and…. ask and you shall receive. Though not always obvs.

And I loved this sequel just as much. I literally lapped it up, having returned home from a several-day work trip, I ran a bath and dove right in. To the book, not the bath (into which I stepped carefully).

Book review: The Murder Inn by James Patterson and Candice FoxThe Murder Inn
by James Patterson, Candice Fox
Published by Century Australia
on 13/02/2024
Source: Penguin Random House Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction, Thriller / Suspense
ISBN: 1760898147
Pages: 336
four-stars
Goodreads

Since leaving the Boston Police Department, Bill Robinson has run The Inn by the Sea in Gloucester, Massachusetts. There he offers a safe and supportive home for his long-term guests.

That tranquil life, however, is about to be shattered.

Two murderers are heading to Bill’s door.

One needs his help to evade the cops. The other plans to kill again to silence the truth.

Standing in their way are the residents of the Inn. And not everyone will get out alive.

It wouldn’t matter at all if you hadn’t read the first book and I’m not even sure this is pegged as a series. You could easily come into this book fresh as you’re introduced to the players, including ex-cop, now inn-keeper Bill and his girlfriend (ex CIA). There’s also Clay, the current police chief, as well as a former mobster, a hermit, a novelist and a woman with an unclear backstory.

And finally there’s Nick. He’s ex-military and here his past comes back to haunt him as we learn he and three team members were involved in something shady in Afghanistan over a decade earlier. Bill’s shocked when Nick shares his secret but determined to protect his friend. Unfortunately Bill inadvertently puts all of the residents of the inn in danger when he also tries to help out the wife of a former colleague.

I perhaps would have liked a little more history here as we learn this (now-deceased) cop did all sorts of dodgy deals and lived a life of excess. After his death his wife learns some of his secrets and her life is threatened as a result. But instead of asking for help, she fights back. Big time. Unfortunately bringing drug dealers (and worse) to Bill’s door.

I liked that Patterson and Fox don’t have the two cases randomly or coincidentally connected, rather the baddies in each band together. And at that point we quickly reach the book’s conclusion. This is really well paced, so the action keeps coming throughout the book but the tension still manages to build quickly for the climax. As was the case in the first book, our fiendish* authors are not precious about killing off central characters and I kinda like that lack of predictability.

And I should mention that the pair also throw in a third mystery here – a bittersweet one at that and little surprise once we’ve been lulled into a false sense of closure.

I’m loving these books and I think they reflect the best of the writing duo with Patterson’s short, sharp chapters and lots of detail, and Fox’s ability to create amazingly weird but delightful characters you can’t help but be drawn to. I just hope the next book in this series doesn’t take another four-five years!

The Murder Inn by James Patterson and Candice Fox was published in Australia by Century (Penguin Books) and is now available.

* And I mean that in the nicest possible way!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. 

four-stars

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