Hello, lovelies! 🌈 In December I bought the audiobook for The Summer House by James Patterson and Brendan Dubois and it was a phenomenal read. I enjoyed it so much, while some scenes were very frustrating because of the circumstances but not the book itself, I loved it! So, here are some reasons as to why you should maybe think about picking up this book! ¯_(ツ)_/¯
When seven murder victims are found in a small town, the homicide investigation shakes a small-town sheriff to her core in James Patterson’s tense thriller.
Once a luxurious southern getaway on a rustic lake, then reduced to a dilapidated crash pad, the Summer House is now the grisly scene of a nighttime mass murder. Eyewitnesses point to four Army Rangers — known as the Night Ninjas — recently returned from Afghanistan.
To ensure that justice is done, the Army sends Major Jeremiah Cook, a veteran and former NYPD cop, to investigate. But the major and his elite team arrive in sweltering Georgia with no idea their grim jobs will be made exponentially more challenging by local law enforcement, who resists the Army’s intrusion and stonewall them at every turn.
As Cook and his squad struggle to uncover the truth behind the condemning evidence, the pieces just won’t fit — and forces are rallying to make certain damning secrets die alongside the victims in the murder house. With his own people in the cross-hairs, Cook takes a desperate gamble to find answers — even if it means returning to a hell of his own worst nightmares . . .
1. THE PLOT ♪~ ᕕ(ᐛ)ᕗ
The whole book feels as if you’re watching a movie – fast-paced and intriguing. Since the beginning, the book is very captivating and moves very fast through the story. We start with a team going into a house known as ‘The Summer House‘ where they 7 kill civilians, including a small child and you wonder why!? From then on is a rollercoaster of emotions, intrigue, blackmail, stones thrown in your way, and overall frustration.
This is the type of story where you sit on the edge of your chair and just turn the pages one after the other one because YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT.
2. THE CHARACTERS (~˘▾˘)~
After these civilians are killed and the ones arrested are 4 Army Rangers, we are introduced to an elite team in charge of army-related investigations. Five individuals who are smart, talented, and work like a well-oiled machine.
- Major Jeremiah Cook – excellent leader, loyal, and very smart. He was an NYPD cop and did tours in Afghanistan. Father and divorced is the only character with a FIRST POV which I found fascinating. Cook is very, very smart, doesn’t mind pushing boundaries, and will do anything to find out the truth. Cook has his own demons especially about his accident as a soldier, his leg pain a constant reminder of a dark time. What we see throughout the book is how Cook has the respect of his team above all and does everything to keep them together.
- Agent Connie York – smart, assertive, and second in command. She is very good at reading people, works well with her team, and is badass when in charge. Connie is extremely loyal to Cook, there is an attraction vibe going between them but mostly is a respect that is seen throughout the whole book.
- Special Agent Manuel Sanchez – a bit of a jerk when it comes to Connie, he believes to have more experience than her and is always on the defensive when it comes to Connie saying something. But, at the end of the day, he’s extremely loyal to everyone in his team and is a great leader when the time arrives. He’s also very clever, observant, and an excellent investigator. A bit rough on the edges but amazing.
- Captain Allen Pierce – the JAG lawyer who can bullshit his way into anything. Pierce literally bullshits every law in the book to get what he needed. Pierce is quick on his feet, very well-spoken, and not afraid to say what he thinks, and very has a low-attraction to Connie which he doesn’t push because he values respect and teamwork above that attraction.
- Lt. John Huang – I think one of my favorite characters, very soft-spoken yet smart. Huang is the psychiatrist of the team and the one who tries to understand the rangers. I got the feeling he was very unsure of his own abilities and wanted to truly help the soldiers. In the end, he shows to be a badass who is not afraid to be a soldier.
Special mention to the 4 rangers: this team was badass and broken at the same time. The rangers who were arrested had such good chemistry, a family tied by bonds stronger than blood. The family dynamic and loyalty between them were amazing. Jefferson – their leader – truly cared for his soldiers and did everything in his power to protect them until the very end. Some scenes with these rangers killed me, I almost cried over the unfairness of their situation (yes, it was so damn frustrating) and throughout the whole book, I just wanted to know why they had been arrested and were blamed for these kills.
3. THE CREEPY TOWN ◉_◉
The description of this town is very well-done and fits with the mindset and plot. You can almost picture it. This is what we have: a small white town in the middle of nowhere with a female Sheriff who has a wall of pictures of her with politics.
This town is run by the Sheriff and nothing goes without her saying. But this is something we don’t immediately see, as she welcomes the team with opposition but with a smile and mild-mannered rules that seemed innocent but aren’t.
This town is very old school – white to the smallest details. They don’t seem to have any Asians – we have a scene with Huang where someone asks him where he’s from like they have never seen one and we also have the dislike for Black people and the dislike for anyone non-white is evident overall. They treat the agents with an almost weird curiosity that was completely ignorant and rude. You would think why is this a reason if they sound horrible – because the town plays such a humongous role in the book is a must!
4. THE STORY WITH THE RANGERS (ಥ﹏ಥ)
The main plot here is: 4 Army Rangers have been found guilty of killing 7 civilians. The Sheriff has proof: their car was seen in the scene, they have a witness, camera footage, and motive. It was so well constructed, every time something came against the rangers I asked myself HOW COULD THIS BE. Same with the elite team, they almost lost hope at every proof – but Cook persisted until the very end.
Now the backstory holy mother of God: no one saw it coming – at least I didn’t. Throughout the whole book I was asking myself: what, where, how, why. I could not see how these rangers were innocent but every time proof was presented Cook and his team would bite into it and find the weak link and oh my goodness, it was AWESOME. Like I mentioned above, this was like watching an action movie – the audiobook takes you places. I can’t tell much without spoiling the whole story, but the backstory is EVERYTHING and then you see it, the light at the end of the tunnel.
5. THE DIFFERENT POVs ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ
I love the third POV, this perspective allows us to see the whole picture – not just from one person experiencing the problem. What I loved here is while we do have multiple POVs everyone is very unique, the voices are very individual, and you always get something out of it. The change of POV here is not there to fill the space and extend the book, no sir: the different POVs give us insight into how the plot is moving from one place to the other, the anger, frustration, gruesome scenes, investigation, car chasing, adrenaline – everything.
I especially found it intriguing how Cook is the only one with a first POV which I think was fitting because we see insight into his mind – literally. Cook is very precise with his thoughts, strong-minded, quick to his feet, and has a determination which I think could only be portrayed with a first POV. Inside his mind, we see his frustration at every stone in his way, but we also see how his team works so well with or without him. How he trusts and respects every one of them and how he sees the potential in every single individual. It was fantastic.
Finally, read it because -> The whole plot, the dynamic of the characters, the change of POV, the war scenes, and just the overall plot of the book were so good. The pace is very fast and frustrating on some occasions especially when everything was against the main characters, but, the plot manages to engage you because you don’t know why these 4 rangers have been targeted, but you are invested in knowing WHY!
warning - this book contains the following: death, not described but the killing of a child is mentioned throughout the whole book, shooting, police brutality, stalking, oppression, blackmailing, suicide, war scenes, death in war zone, ptsd and more.