The Inn: Excellent pacing, a diverse array of characters and a story about protecting your own

What is this about?: Billy Robinson is an ex cop who runs an inn in a small town. When a drug dealer moves in, he is forced to make a decision about standing back or stepping forward to be someone his friends can count on.

What else is this about: It’s about finding a family when you least expect it


Ex-Boston homicide detective Billy Robinson has retreated to a quiet life on the New England coast. Struggling to cope following the death of his beloved wife, he must now run the inn that Siobhan took care of so well.

The inn’s quirky residents help keep Billy on solid ground as he grieves, and the group soon become an unconventional family. But this small town is in the grips of a growing opioid epidemic, and when a young resident gets hooked into the crisis, Billy knows he must act to save the people in the inn that he has grown to care so much about.

With his secretive past in Boston catching up to him, can Billy survive long enough to save the town – and its beloved inn – from ruin?

The Inn  is the latest from a Candice Fox and James Patterson partnership, and is as exciting as their Harriet Blue series.

The book opens with Billy mourning his wife, Siobhan’s death, along with the residents in their inn, in a small town. They’re a motley crew, but as the book progresses quickly it becomes apparent that they’re more like family, brought together by Siobhan. Her loss affects them all and leaves a hole in their lives.

Billy’s grief is palpable and his method of grieving is to retreat into himself. However, when he discovers that a drug dealer has moved into their little town, and his reach has extended to the people in the inn, Billy decides to step up and protect the people he considers his own.

It is the people in the inn that make this book so compelling: Nick, the soldier back from Iraq who still has PTSD flashbacks, Susan that ex-FBI agent and her friend Effie, whose throat has been cut so she can’t speak. There’s the ex mafia gentleman, the town Sherriff and a doctor — and there’s Marni. The young girl who Billy very much wants to step up for and guide more than anything.

Despite the large cast of characters, the book manages to give each character enough attention, background and all, drawing readers into their world and revealing more about them all and Billy too. The book’s focus is the action, with the characters working together seamlessly (and sometimes not so seamlessly) and revealing more about themselves in the process.

I almost feel like this is an action movie in the making, which honestly made it all the more interesting for me. Sometimes, you need the action, the speed with which things happen can be just as effective in building a story, supported by great characterisation.


  • RO says:

    I saw this at the library the other day, and didn’t pick it up. I go back and forth with James Patterson and his writing partnerships(lol), but this one sounds absolutely fantastic and worthy of reading. I plan to go to the library to grab this one later today. Totally love this review! Hugs, RO

    • Verushka says:

      Oh, IA in regards to Patterson and his partnerships. This one is the only one I am following religiously at this point. I occassionally try others, but they’re usually disappointing. I hope you give this series a go — I’m biased bc of the Australian setting in their Harriet Blue partnership, but it is really brilliant. I’d still choose that series to start with before this one I must admit.

  • Jen Mullen says:

    I love a motley crew! I’m not fond of drug plots, but I love action and a quirky ensemble of characters. 🙂

    • Verushka says:

      The drugs are a major plot point, but they really don’t appear as much as you’d think. It’s more about everything else around it. And the crew — very motley and very cool. I would not mind visiting this lot again some time.

  • This sounds really good! I will have to check out library to see if they carry it!

  • I really need to start reading some of these Patterson/Fox books. Patterson on his own I’ve been a little hit or miss, but all of the ones you have reviewed sound so good.

    • Verushka says:

      Do you know, I don’t think I’ve read patterson on his own yet! But generally his other partnerships have been very hit or miss for me too. This one is the only one I follow religiously.

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