Friday, 27 September 2013

Review: Confessions of A Murder Suspect

Confessions of A Murder Suspect
Author:  &

Publication Date: September 27th 2012
~A copy was provided by Arrow (Young) in exchange for an honest review.~

On the night Malcolm and Maud Angel are murdered, their daughter, Tandy, knows just three things:

1. She was one of the last people to see her parents alive.

2. She and her brothers are the only suspects.

3. She can't trust anyone - maybe not even herself.

Having grown up under their parents' intense perfectionist demands, none of the Angel children have come away undamaged.

Tandy decides that she will have to solve the crime on her own, but digging deeper into her powerful parents' affairs is a dangerous game. As she uncovers haunting secrets and slowly begins to remember flashes of disturbing past events buried in her memory, Tandy is forced to ask: What is the Angel family truly capable of?

The Angel household is about to be changed, for the worse or better, you pick. Matthew (the oldest) Tandoori "Tandy", her twin Harry, and Hugo (The youngest) are woken up to police threatening to break down their door, and find out that their parents are dead. Not only have their parents been murdered, but there was no break-in, nothing unlocked or out of normal, no sign of a struggle, and they are the main suspects.

Even our Narrator, Tandy, thinks it could be one of them, even herself, thanks to her little black-out tendency and holes in her memory. She even thinks it could be her twin. With little evidence of outside foul play, all evidence points to them, and since she's the most methodical and emotionless one, all fingers point to her. But being all of those things also make her the sharpest and intelligent of them.

It also makes her the most dangerous, because she will find out the truth.
Even if it means her.

For the first 70 pages I wondered what the hell I'd gotten myself into. Their parents had just been murdered and there was nothing.
No tears.

No screams.
No sadness.

No emotion.


Their parents were dead and it was just, where's the damn fire?
When it was said they were a bunch a sociopaths, I thought it was a joke.

Apparently not.
But don't worry, you'll get it eventually.

The Angels are rich, not rich-rich, but filthy rich, and get this, they have a coffee table tank for the pygmy sharks the kids have. You know those funny looking things that look like a slightly larger looking tadpole? Yes, those. I can honestly say I really didn't most of the characters at all, to put it nicely, they're weird.
Really weird.

Harry was hilarious though, and Hugo, our little ball of rage. I disliked Matthew the most, though not as slimy as their Uncle Peter seemed, but he did seem a little dicey. He, out of them all seemed the most likely to do it. I eventually warmed up to Tandy though, she was certainly a interesting character and as pointed out, she is an unreliable narrator, and it was annoying as hell while being the most blunt, emotionless, effective and captivating voice, ever.
I felt bad for them really, that their parents were dead and the youngest is ten, and they were all being accused of murdering them. They were just kids, well, apart from Matthew, but still. Then throughout and the more we found out about their sociopathic parents, I just thought...Whichever one of you it was, fucking good for you, sir or madam. The truth, is nothing like you'd suspect.

Really, it isn't.

There are some bits and information towards the end where you think, oh Malcolm and Maud are human and not some strange lab experiment. (Ahem). And maybe, in a sense, whichever way you look at it, it did make them seem human, but those little things do not by any sense whatsoever make up for all those nasty, disgusting, inhuman and verging on both physical and mental abuse, or make them human by any standards. For two people that seem so important, sharp and moralistic, they do not have any morals whatsoever but to keep that image by any means. And I mean any means.
When something doesn't go their way, or as planned, or their children act like children and not how they want them to act they take control and make them behave that way. They guilt them, they manipulate them, they teach them lessons. The Big Chops they have when they've disappoint, or disobeyed their parents consist of really, really cruel things. No extra house jobs, no tidy your room and think about what you did, no ordinary grounding. No surrey, not for the Angel kids. They are also very selfish for what they did, and though it was their chance to show that they are human, they didn't. They took the selfish way out, so sorry, not giving up my sorry card just yet.

They were honestly the most vile characters I've ever come across.
Throughout Tandy's recollection and things they find out along the way, she constantly pointed out that they were not 'normal', and not just what was normal for them. Well, no shit. I mean, it really wasn't normal, the way Malcolm and Maud had raised-and I use that word loosely- them, and the way it effected them and made them the way they were, the way they interacted. I'd also like to point out how Tandy doesn't sound or come across as the sixteen year old she is, but she wasn't like any other sixteen year old, she didn't get a chance to. Personally, I love characters that surprise you, characters that sound older than they are because I connect to them more. It's what I loved most about The Fault in Our Stars. When I was her age, I didn't act like I should have because sometimes life forces you to grow up quicker than you should.

But, there are hints there, with Tandy, and the boy that made her feel normal, that humanised her, that she can't remember, not yet, because she also doesn't want to, because there's also pain there.
She isn't totally lost.
So, I'm looking forward, and hoping there's more to that story in The Private School Murders.

Overall, Confessions of A Murder Suspect was surprisingly addictive, strange, weird and utterly brilliant.

Rating: 4/5