Cover Image: Beach Wedding

Beach Wedding

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If you like James Patterson’s books you will probably like this one, I honestly thought it was his work a couple of times while reading this book. It started out decently and then lost me completely towards the end. The first half of the story wasn’t compelling enough for me to overlook how bad the ending was unfortunately. It threw in all of the twists way too soon in my opinion and ruined the book for me.
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This fast paced mystery kept my interest throughout and had lots of twists and turns and a surprise ending.  I loved all of the descriptions of Hampton Bays and of the main characters life growing up on the island.  The characters and the dialog felt true to life.  I could really picture the over the top house that the family was staying in for the wedding and all of the family gatherings.  The cold case added an extra dimension to the story and I was rooting for Terry to get the evidence needed to vindicate his father.  What a great beach read!

I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I wasn’t familiar with Michael Ledwidge’s books, even his books written with James Patterson. Beach Wedding follows Philadelphia cop Terry Rourke and his family as the spend a month on the beach to celebrate his older, much more successful brother’s wedding. But coming back to the Hamptons, where they large Rourke family group up together with their Assistant District Attorney father and homemaker mother stirs up some unpleasant old memories and events that just can’t stay buried in the past. Even though they are staying in an expensive house, the brothers are just as blue color as ever — even if his brother is now richer than can be imagined due to his work in investments. And this leads to some really fun moments between the members of the family, which is a great break from the serious detective work and dangerous situations that Terry finds himself in as he digs into the case that his father lost–the last case before he subsequently fell from grace in the eyes of the town and died in a boating accident.

Terry Rourke is a very likeable character, and his devotion to his family is admirable. But he does tend to get lost in the moment when he’s chasing down leads and coming up with new theories as to who actually killed a wealthy man twenty years ago. Was it the wife who was deemed not guilty in court or was it someone that never came up on the detectives radar?

The rest of the Rourke family was easy to tell apart and well developed. The other characters–both savory and not-so-savory–added depth to the story as it unfolded. I really enjoyed Terry’s relationship with his very strong and independent wife and extremely cute and rambunctious daughter.

I give BEACH WEDDING a four out of five. The suspense builds nicely as each new mystery comes to light, and the pacing was great throughout. The thrills ratchet up in the last quarter of the novel, and I really wasn’t sure who was friend or foe and who was actually guilty of the deaths twenty years ago. There are quite a few characters thrown in the mix, from the Rourke family to the cops to the rich family of the murdered man. Once I got all of those straight, the book was smooth sailing. I really enjoyed this book, and I recommend it to lovers of mystery, suspense, and thrillers.
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Beach Wedding by Michael Ledwidge is perhaps a bit of a paradoxical title, as who would ever picture something horrible happening at a beach wedding? And yet this read is very much a suspenseful thriller book, making it perfect for those that love the genre.

Terry Rourke should probably just be enjoying this vacation – a vacation that is entirely paid for thanks to his brother's impending marriage. But instead, he can't help but look to the past. Decades ago, a murder trial changed his family and the town, and for some reason, it keeps coming to mind while he's trying to enjoy himself.

"There are reasons why some people leave the place they were born and raised and never come back. Usually, they're very good reasons."

There is something so eerily familiar about Beach Wedding. Is it kind of like a case of deja vu? Only in this case, I haven't experienced the story personally (thank goodness for that!). Rather, it feels very much in line with this genre of thrillers.

That's not a bad thing, to be clear. It makes it the perfect beach read if you ask me. A bit ironic, I know. But still very appropriate. Overall, I would have to say that Beach Wedding is an entertaining read that knows how to balance pace with revelations. It was easy to stay invested in this book. It didn't take me long to devour it – another positive mark.

Oh! I think I figured it out. Beach Wedding reminds me of the earlier days in James Patterson's writing, but with a few variations. Again, not a bad thing. Just trying to place that familiar feeling. I would love to hear what other readers think of this, as I might be wrong. Maybe Beach Wedding reminds them of a different author? Only time will tell. Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing how Michael Ledwidge's writing progresses with time.
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Short chapters and rapid pace.  It will definitely appeal to the masses. Read to 10%, and if it continues as is, our library visitors enjoy.  Easy 3, probably 4 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for the ARC.
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Sun, sand, a gorgeous house, a huge wedding … what could be more fun!  Terry and his family join his brother Tom in Southampton for Tom’s soon-to-be wedding to Emmaline.  A financial wizard, Tom is loaded and wanted to treat his family to a wonderful vacation.  The Rourke family grew up here although not on the rich side of the island.  It was also here that their father died so mysteriously, so it doesn’t conjure up the best memories.    
The house is really a mansion.  Terry asks the gardener for a tour.  The gardener takes Terry all over and one of the last places they visit is a room in the basement which the gardener describes as the favorite writing place for author, Xavier Kelsey, who rented the house many times.  Terry is excited.  Xavier is his favorite writer.  Ever curious, Terry searches the room and finds an unfinished manuscript of Xavier’s.  Not really interested in the pre-wedding get-togethers, Terry decides to return the manuscript to Xavier’s family.  One thing leads to another, and before Terry knows it he is involved in a real murder investigation.  One that was the last trial his father worked on as DA.
I love Michael Ledwidge and have read all of his standalone books as well as the ones he wrote with James Patterson. This one, I think, is his best yet.   The story is fast paced.  A convoluted who-don-it, the reader is kept guessing the killer’s identity up to the very end.

Robyn Heil, Buyer for Brodart Co.
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Beach Wedding by Michael Ledwidge is one of those thriller books that reads like a movie. It’s the perfect way to tell this story. 
Terry Rourke and his family return to the rich playground of Long Island for older brother Tom’s fancy wedding. It’s part family reunion, part celebration, and all excess and fun. 
But Tom has an ulterior motive. As soon as Terry catches on to it, the perspective shifts. There is still fun to be had, but the undercurrent sweeping below the action is quick and dark. 
I will put a side note in here. Michael Ledwidge is a co-writer with James Patterson on several books. The style is very similar, so if you know James Patterson, you know what to expect here. 
The chapters are short, the cast of characters is interesting, and the action is linear (except for a few “memory” sections, so it moves along quickly. 
Really, there isn’t time to think too much. It is best to just let the story take you along for the ride. 
Although I enjoyed the book immensely, and finished it in one setting, I feel like there are some missing parts. 
A few characters serve a purpose in a singular scene and then disappear forever. I think the biggest thing for me is that the wedding, the reason they are all on the island, fades into the background as soon as Terry gets wind of updates in “the case.”
No, I’m not going to tell you what “the case” is – you can read it for yourself. No spoilers here. 
But I wanted more from the wedding of excess. It is almost like the author started with the intention of the book going one way and then decided to veer in another direction. 
I will say, however, that if you think you have it figured out before Terry, you don’t. The author saves a couple of pretty good twists for the last third of the book. 
In other words, just sit back and enjoy it.
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The Beach Wedding was an enjoyable, quick read crime thriller/mystery. The Rourke family has a history in The Hamptons. Twenty years earlier, the wealthy Noah Sutton was murdered in his home following a party and his wife Hailey is arrested for his murder. Sean Rourke is the ADA who tries the case and it ends in a mistrial. Following the trial, the family is blackballed and Sean suffers an accident that ends in his death. The family leaves the area and life goes on, or does it. When the family descends on Southampton for eldest son, Tom's wedding, Terry decides that he needs to get the case reopened and have Hailey retried. Working with the FBR, a retired cop who was on the original case and a new ADA, he puts himself and his family in danger to get to the truth.

I love stories set at the beach, especially in the Northeast (Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard etc) the playground of the rich and famous. They are beautiful and make an interesting backdrop to the darkness and evil deeds that permeate a good mystery/crime thriller. Terry is a likeable and determined character, who wants to bring closure to the family, but finds himself getting so involved at times that he comes close to neglecting his family and duties as Best Man. His wife, Vivian is a saint, encouraging him to excise his demons and holding down the fort back with the family while he is off on his search. The Rourke family is a large, tight, lively and loveable Irish family. Their ties and familial relationships are shown in the events leading up to Tom's lavish wedding. All the characters are well developed and allow the reader to make their own decisions about whether they are good or bad, as it is hard to know who to trust. Either way, they are believable. Michael Ledwidge has written a gripping crime thriller with both suspense and intrigue. The story wasn't action packed until close to the end, but with short, snappy chapters, the investigation was fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat. There were some twists along the way with a traumatic surprise for Terry and his family (I did see it coming), that had him keeping secrets until after the wedding. Beach Wedding is a great read with unexpected twists and grabs you as the surprise ending comes out of nowhere. It is a perfect read for mystery and crime lovers.
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I had a very hard time getting into this book. I am not sure if it was the tone or what, but I just did not find myself engaged with the characters or the storyline.
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After he promised to himself to never come back to Hamptons, Terry Rourke is back in Hamptons, this time to attend his brother's mega beach wedding. He should be enjoying living the high life like any other Hamptons high class people, but Terry can’t help but take another look at a decades-old murder trial that rocked the very foundations of the town—and his family. Then he found a lead, then another lead, then it became this dangerous journey to finish what his father started, to find a real murder and bring justice.

OMG I loveeee this mystery thriller book. I love the flow of this book, so easy to read yet so complex, so engaging from the first chapter, the author really knows how to tease, always got me on edge and keep me turning page after page wondering what happened in the past and keep me excited to know what will happen next. It's full of action and suspense and OMG what a plot twist, didn't see that coming. It's also about family, some parts got my heart breaking and some got my heart racing. For characters, I really admire Terry Rourke and adore all the Rourke Family, from the get go I'm on their side, I want those people who made Rourke Family suffer to pay dearly, yup I want them all go down, I root for Terry from the beginning so I just want him to finally get all the answers and bring those bad people down. 

Great suspense mystery story, great characters, great plot twist, definitely highly recommend this book to anyone who's looking for a fast-paced suspense mystery read.
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Beach Wedding is a stand alone mystery about reconciling the past and bringing justice into the present. Terry is a police detective who is back in his home for his brother's wedding. He just may have a chance to right a wrong from his family's past.

I really enjoyed this mystery. There were a few twists that I definitely didn't see coming. It kept me interested and I couldn't put it down. I really liked Terry's character. It was refreshing to read about a police detective who has a normal marriage and relationship with his family. The tortured divorced detective persona gets old after a while. I also loved that he was a journalist before he became a cop. It added a lot of depth to his character. I wish this wasn't a stand alone, because I would love to read another mystery with Terry leading the investigation. I highly recommend this one!
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Don't let the title fool ya. Beach Wedding makes it sound like a fun, happy story, at least until you read the blurb. Instead, it's a crime novel and a darn good one at that. The writing is sharp and witty, and it pulled me in quickly. The pacing is good with short chapters that make it all too easy to say 'just one more chapter' until you've found yourself at the end - and there's no setting this one down once you get to that intense conclusion. Had I not already known that Michael Ledwidge co-wrote with James Patterson, I would've guessed by some of the structural things in this book. There were several similarities in style, but at the same time, Ledwidge makes this one all his own. I enjoy crime novels and trying to suss out how the story will unfold, and I enjoyed that here. But even more than that, I enjoyed getting to know these characters. The author introduces them quite cleverly. He gives us everything we need to "know" these characters without dumping a pile of information all at once, and he makes them seem so real. It's easy to root for characters like these and to become invested in their lives. To sum it up, Beach Wedding made for a great book to curl up on the couch and listen to the rain outside while I fell into this intriguing story.
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Police Officer, Terry Rourke, and his family are invited to his brother’s huge wedding bash in the Hamptons.  His brother is planning a big, expensive event and Terry’s not sure he wants to go, but it’s his brother and they are a close family.  Terry has been to the Hamptons before, but not under the best of circumstances.  

When he was a teenager, there was a huge scandal and murder of a wealthy member of the Hamptons high society.  His father was involved in the investigation and prosecution of the case, but there were outside forces preventing him to seeing justice served.  Once Terry’s father lost the case, the Rourke family lost everything.  They were ostracized by the town.  Terry’s father died not long after.  Being in the Hamptons again, stirs up the memories for Terry and he’s determined to carry on his father’s mission and finally bring the killer to justice. However, it’s not easy and Terry fears that his family could be in danger once again.

I previously read a couple of books this author wrote with James Patterson and I enjoyed them.  So, I was quite interested in reading this one and I wasn’t disappointed.

Each chapter had an exciting twist thrown in.  It’s not the open and shut case Terry thought it would be and it kept me at the edge-of-my-seat.  I couldn’t put it down.  I was totally captivated by it.  A book that kept me up late into the night, but it was worth it.  I love books that keep you guessing until the end.  This is another author for me to keep on my radar.

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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My first book by Michael Ledwidge prove to be such a treat! In Beach Wedding, Tom, a hedge fund manager at Emerald Crown Capital Partners on Wall Street is getting married to Emmaline. His brother, Terry Rourke is going to the lavish celebration being held at the beach manor house Tom has rented costing 16,129 dollars per night for the month of July. Terry, 39, the lead sergeant at Philadelphia's busiest police department, is married to Vivian and they have a 3-year-old daughter, Angelina. The entire Rourke family will be there. The Roarke clan used to live in Southampton and the venue choice is no accident. It's also where wealthy Noah Sutton was murdered in 1999. Tom and Terry's dad, the late Sean Rourke was an Assistant District Attorney 20 years ago. Sutton's wife, Hailey was brought to trial in a case that drew international attention and ended with the Rourkes as local outcasts. But will Terry leave the past alone when he happens across a stash of information on the crime, put together by a writer, the deceased Xavier Kelsey?

Stacked with suspense and tension and with a few surprising twists I found this compelling and entertaining. The sunny Hamptons location provides a fantastic backdrop for nefarious deadly acts. The plot kept me guessing whilst Tom's fit for a king, slap-up wedding celebrations allowed me to glimpse the lively Roarke family members interactions. Enjoyable reading.

A special thank you to Hanover Square Press and the author for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request, received via NetGalley. This review is my unbiased opinion.
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Terry Rourke has headed to the Hamptons to attend his brother Tom's wedding. Tom is a hedge fund manager and has spared no expense. Not only is this not Terry's first time at the Hamptons, he decides to investigate a murder that happened there back when he was just 17 years of age. Terry was very impressed with his father's cases at that time. His father was an Assistant District Attorney and Terry shadowed him whenever possible. However, a party where Terry served as a last-minute fill in as a bartender resulted in a murder case his father tried.

His father lost that case and so much more. Terry has found something while in the Hamptons for his brother's wedding that bring up events from all those years ago. That murder trial took everything away from his family and Terry, is now a Philadelphia cop, posing as a journalist, just might be able to right the wrongs of the past. As Terry leaves no stone unturned he starts to ruffle quite a few feathers. 

In this compelling read by Ledwidge Terry does what he can to try and identify the truth about the old case. In fact, the deeper he digs, the more he discovers. This book is delightfully fast-paced and is full of suspense and also has some terrific surprises, all culminating in an exciting conclusion.

Many thanks to Hanover Square Press and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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Once again…I did not read the blurb…I know! I know! I need to do better! But, honestly, I very, very seldom read the blurb. So, needless to say, this book took me by surprise. It is not a beach romance or anything like that. It is a mystery about a cold case!

Terry’s brother, Tom, has gone all out on his extravagant wedding. He has rented the most expensive place in the Hamptons. But, he has something to prove to all these people they grew up with. That he has made it! And both he and Terry have overcome the biggest failure of their father’s law career. Terry is a cop now. So when he discovers some new evidence at the wedding venue, he does not stop till he finds the killer.

This is a tale full of corruption, great characters and a wonderful setting…I mean…who doesn’t love the Hamptons. The whole time I was guessing who did what and when. The story does tend to lose steam in the middle. Almost like the author was trying to make the story longer with just stuff, mostly characters there for the wedding which had nothing to do with the story. But, there is a twist at the end!

Need a good murder mystery…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
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beach wedding by michael ledwidge.
When Terry Rourke arrives at his brother's luxurious wedding on the east coast of the USA - summer home to billionaires and Hollywood stars - his biggest worry is the best man speech. But this isn't the first time Terry has been to the Hamptons.
A very good read with good characters.  I liked the story. 4*.
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Beach Wedding is gripping and highly entertaining thriller. Terry Rourke is invited a very lavish beach wedding in the Hampton and he's a little nervous. Will the past come back to haunt him? He can't help but looking into an old Hampton's murder case while he's there. Secrets start to unravel and the beach wedding turns dangerous. I had a blast reading this one. The Beach Wedding fast paced, interesting and easy to follow.
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Favorite Quote:

The running of the bullshitters.

My Review:

This book tickled my fancy as well as tripped my curiosity and held my rapt attention throughout with unpredictable and entertaining intrigue combined with lashings of amusingly wry and whip-smart wit. I fell right into this well nuanced and engaging tale and was huffing to keep up with the active storylines while my mind was racing with countless theories. Though totally unfamiliar to me, this prolific author has crazy good word voodoo and an impressive backlist. I’ve got some catching up to do.
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I had previously read Michael Ledwidge’s collaboration series (Michael Bennett) with James Patterson and I was curious to see how how a stand alone novel by just himself would be. Based on the description of Beach Wedding, I was hoping for a novel that would be filled with beautiful beach imagery (especially the wedding!) and a drama filled mystery. Unfortunately that wasn’t what I got.

The lead character, Terry, is exactly the type of main character that you would expect from a James Patterson or Harlan Coben novel. He’s a family man with a beautiful wife that he adores and all around good guy. I do get tired reading about these types of characters since they bore me and I tend to roll my eyes reading about their wonderful lives. I like reading about characters that have a bit of flaws and aren’t seen as perfect people.

The mystery was lacking to me. I was intrigued on what had happened in Terry’s youth that caused his family to be isolated by the town. The novel had Terry running around all over, talking to different people and by the end of the novel I was confused by all of the characters.

2 calculators out of a potential 5. Sadly a miss for me.

Thank you to Netgallery and Harlequin Trade Publishing, Hanover Square Press for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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