A Closer Look: ‘Murder House’ by James Patterson & David Ellis

James Patterson’s first ever stand-alone whodunnit in five part audio and eBook serialisation

Having sold in excess of 300 million copies of his 130+ novels, the world’s bestselling writer (and the first author to achieve ten million ebook sales) James Patterson now returns with his very first stand-alone whodunnit-thriller, Murder House, here collaborating with fellow author David Ellis.

The book is being released in weekly five-part serialisation form, in both eBook and Audiobook formats, with the first two parts available now [see the links at the the bottom of the page].

A unique, fun gimmick, or a clever marketing scheme? … You tell me.

Radio news bulletins, newspaper articles, coroner’s reports and letters all help to create a truly immersive experience, helping you uncover vital clues and delve deeper into the mystery.

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PART ONE

Released on 1st September, Part One presents the first 27 chapters of the book, preceded by a prologue and accompanied by a selection of ‘supporting evidence’ files relating to the central case.

 Set in Bridgehampton in 1995 (16 years prior to the events of the main story) the Stephen King style prologue depicts a seemingly harmless sequence of events in which an unnamed school child gets himself ready for school and arrives before the building is even open, however this seemingly harmless sequence instantly turns on a knife point when we discover this is all part of the boy’s chilling bank on his fellow pupils and teachers. Unsettling yes, but it does give us a brief hint at what we might expect as we work our way through the mystery.

Skip forward 16 years to 2011 (same location) and the authors’ quickly establish the dark past of the eponymous No. 7 Ocean Drive … The Murder House.

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. 

Part One of the novel is composed almost entirely of short chapters and page-turning plot, with surprisingly very little in terms of supplementary prose, aside from some mild sarcastic humour to add dimension to a few select characters. Now I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, not by any means, but the authors’ do cram an awful lot into the pages so you do have to concentrate as there are quite a few smaller details which I’m sure could easily get lost and overlooked.

It may be a little contrived, with some clunky prose and frequent cliches, however I did enjoy part one of the book; it’s an intriguing modern day whodunnit in every sense of the word – cleverly rendered across the mixed-multimedia platforms of eBook and Audiobook – and wrapped in an undeniably gothic get-up. Though I do wonder why they saw fit to include the supporting evidence as a supplementary feature at the end of the book, rather than incorporate the material into the pages of the novel itself.

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Audio and eBook Serialisation Release Dates:

Part 1 – Available Now [Click Here for more information]

Part 2 – Available Now [Click Here for more information]

Part 3 – 14th September [Click Here for more information]

Part 4 – 21st September [Click Here for more information]

Part 5 – 24th September [Click Here for more information]

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Keep updated on Murder House by visiting James Patterson’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JamesPatterson

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