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.
I DON’T HAVE the honor of being the sole Caucasian for long.
In less than five minutes, Robby Walco arrives in his mud-splattered pickup, WALCO & SON, the name of his and his old man’s landscaping company, stenciled on the cab.
And then my older brother, Jeff, the football coach at East Hampton High, shows up with Patrick Roche in his school-issued van.
“Where the hell is Feif?” asks Artis. Artis has never actually volunteered what he does for a living, but the hours are highly flexible, and it pays well enough to keep his canary-yellow Ferrari in twenty-two-inch wheels.
“Yeah, where’s the white Rodman?” asks a dude called Marwan with dreadlocks.
Artis LaFontaine and crew can’t get enough of Feif, with his bleached-white hair, the piercings and tats—and when he finally rolls in barefoot on his bicycle, his high-tops dangling like oversized baby shoes from the handlebars, they practically give him a standing ovation.
“Be careful with this one, fellas,” says Feif, meticulously lowering his kickstand and parking his eight-dollar bike between two hundred-thousand-dollar cars. “It’s a Schwinn.”
I’ve depended on Jeff my whole life, but all these guys are indispensable to me. Roche, aka Rochie, is the deepest soul I know, not to mention a terrible sculptor, a mediocre poker player, and a truly gifted bartender. Walco is pure, undiluted human earnestness, the kind of guy who will walk up to you and, apropos of nothing, pronounce Guns ’N Roses the greatest rock-and-roll band of all time, or Derek Jeter the finest shortstop of his generation. As for Feif, he’s just special, and that’s immediately obvious to everyone, from the Dominican cashier at the IGA to your grandmother.
This whole place is owned by the movie star T. Smitty Wilson, who bought it five years ago. Wilson wanted to show his fans he was still keeping it real, so after dropping $23 million for a big, Waspy house on four acres, he dropped another half mil on this sick basketball court. He used the same contractor who built Shaq’s court in Orlando, and Dr. Dre’s in Oakland, but he hired Walco & Son to do the landscaping, and that’s how we found out about it.
For a month, we had the court to ourselves, but when Wilson invited his celebrity pals out to the country, it got to be even more fun.
First came a handful of actors and pro athletes, mainly from L.A. and New York. Through them word leaked into the hip-hop crowd. They told their people, and the next thing you know this court was the wildest scene in the Hamptons—ever—a nonstop party with athletes and rappers, CEOs and supermodels, and just enough gangsters to add some edge.
But as the celebs thinned out, one of the most expensive residential acres on Beach Road was starting to seem like a playground in a South Bronx housing project.
At that point, Wilson made his retreat. For weeks he barely ventured from the house; then he began to avoid the Hamptons altogether.
Now about the only person you can be sure of not running into at T. Smitty Wilson’s Hamptons compound is T. Smitty Wilson.
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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