As soulless entertainment goes, you could do worse than James Patterson and Peter de Jonge’s disposable high-speed thriller, Beach Road. Three white townies are shot to death over Labor Day weekend in the Hamptons, New York’s summer resort area. All evidence points neatly — too neatly — toward Dante Halleyville, an angelic black basketball star from a poor, troubled family. Low-rent lawyer Tom Dunleavy takes Dante as a client and unspools a racially charged mystery that implicates local cops, a drug dealer called Loco, and a shadowy malefactor known only as BW. The story is told from shifting points of view, and the final twist is a honey, though it can’t quite redeem an otherwise slick and empty page-turner.

Beach Road