Welcome to Beach Road
Tom Dunleavy has a one-man law firm in legendary East Hampton. But his job barely keeps him in paper clips. His principal clients make a living serving the rich. The billionaires and megacelebrities swarming the beaches already have lawyers on their payroll.
Then a friend of Tom's is arrested for a triple murder near a movie star's mansion. Tom knows in his gut that Dante Halleyville is innocent. Dante asks him to represent him in what could be the Trial of the Century.
Tom recruits Manhattan superlawyer Kate Costello to help. She's a tough hire, because Kate is his ex-girlfriend-but she agrees. In their search to find who really executed three locals, Tom orchestrates a series of revelations to expose the killer-and what emerges is staggering.
The final scenes of Beach Road unveil a truth that will leave readers gasping in shock. Written with the precision that has made James Patterson America's #1 suspense writer, Beach Road is his most thrilling novel ever.
IT’S SATURDAY MORNING on Labor Day weekend, and I’m rolling down what some might call the prettiest country lane in America—Beach Road, East Hampton.
I’m on my way to meet four of my oldest pals on the planet. The ’66 XKE I have been working on for a decade hasn’t backfired once, and everywhere I look there’s that dazzling Hampton light.
Not only that, I’ve got my loyal pooch, Wingo, right beside me on the passenger seat, and with the top down, he hardly stinks at all.
So why don’t I feel better about another day in paradise?
Maybe it’s just this neighborhood. Beach Road is wide and elegant, with one ten-million-dollar house after another, but in a way, it’s as ugly as it is beautiful. Every five minutes or so a private rent-a-cop cruises by in a white Jeep. And instead of bearing the names of the residents, the signs in front of the houses belong to the high-tech electronic security companies that have been hired to keep the riffraff out.
Well, here comes some prime riffraff, fellas, and guess what you can do if you don’t like it.
As I roll west, the houses get even bigger and the lawns deeper and, if possible, greener. Then they disappear completely behind tall, thick hedges.
When that happens, Wingo and I have put the sorry land of the multimillionaire behind us and have crossed, without invitation, into the even chillier kingdom of the billionaire. In the old days, this would be where the robber barons camped out, or the guys who had invented something huge and life-enhancing, like the refrigerator or air-conditioning. Now it’s reserved for the occasional A-list Hollywood mogul or the anonymous mathematicians who sit in front of their computer screens and run the hedge funds. A mile from here, Steven Spielberg slapped together three lots on Georgica Pond, then bought the parcel on the other side so he could own the view too.
Before I get pulled over for rubbing the rich the wrong way, or being a grouch for no good reason, I spot a break in the hedges and rumble up a long, pebbled drive.
Beyond a huge, sprawling manor built in—no, decorated to look like it was built in—the 1920s is a shimmering pack of cars parked on the grass, each one chromed and accessorized.
Just beyond them is the reason they’re here, and the reason I’m here too—a brand-new, custom-built, state-of-the-art, official NBA-length-and-width basketball court.
But if there’s a Hampton sight more welcome and less expected than a full-size basketball court with an ocean view, it’s the dozen or so people hanging out beside it, and they immediately come over to greet us—the guys lavishing attention on my vehicle, the ladies giving it up for my faithful dog, Wing Daddy.
“This baby is pure class,” says a hustler named Artis LaFontaine as he appraises my antique Jag.
“And this baby is pure cute!” says his girl, Mammy, as Wingo gets up on his hind legs to lay a big wet one on her pretty face. “Can I adopt him?”
The warm way they all greet me feels as terrific as always—and not just because I’m the only white person here.
Copyright © 2006 by James Patterson
Read by Billy Baldwin featuring Orlagh Cassidy, Erick Bergmann, Todney Gardiner, Rayme Cornell, Charles Turner, and Richard Ferrone
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