19 Dec 2010



The day I got the murder book, I was still thinking of Paris.

Red wine, bare trees, grey river, city of love. Everything that happened there.

Now this.

Alex Delaware's relationship with his longterm partner, Robin Castagna, is on the rocks. Still reeling from the aftershocks of the murder of one of his young clients, Alex is floored when Robin announces that she is heading off on a three-month music tour in aid of famine and child welfare.

But he soon has other things to think about. In the post, he receives an 8x12 envelope wrapped in coarse blue paper, with no return address. Inside, he finds a three-ring binder with gold letters on it - THE MURDER BOOK. The album is full of macabre pictures of murders, taken at the scene of the crime, with brief descriptions of how,and why, the victims died. But only one picture is marked 'not solved' - the horrifically mutilated body of a young woman, dumped in a ditch on the freeway.

Unsettled, Alex calls his friend, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, who seems strangely familiar with the case. What is the connection between this photograph and Milo's past, and could the gruesome collection be the work of a police insider? If so, why has it been sent to Alex - and by whom?
.... From the inner front cover.

FIRST SENTENCE: The day I got the murder book, I was still thinking of Paris.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: Because even though the department had booted him out, and outwardly he'd made major life changes, Pierce Schwinn had held on to a detective's bulldog sensibilities.

A huge fan of Jonathan's wife, Faye Kellerman - along with Kathy's Reich's she is probably one of my favourite crime writers - I thought it was about time that I read one of his books.

Like doing a very large jigsaw, I thought I was about to finish, to solve the puzzle, only to realise that there was yet another piece to be added and another and another.

To be honest, I eventually became a little bored with all the, not totally, unexpected twists and turns that this novel took and though I started out liking both the two main characters (Alex and Milo) by the end I found myself disliking Milo intensely thanks to two incidents that showed him to be just as, for want of a better word, corrupt as most of the other characters.

Just as noteworthy as the main topic of the book, I found the sections dealing with Milo's sexuality and how it was used against him to be both fascinating and extremely worrying. As far Alex's relationship with Robin? Pointless? I really don't see why so much page space was given over to this except to acknowledge that she has obviously played a part in the other books in the series and may well have a part to play in future books.

The ending? If I can compare the rest of the book to a jigsaw puzzle then this was like a firework - a faulty firework in that there were many sparks but, sadly, no big finale, no big ending, merely a fizzling out that to be honest held no surprises.

Very disappointing, I think I'll stick to the novels of Faye Kellerman and in particular her Pete Decker series.

The Murder Book was an ex-library book read.


Misha1989 said...

I love Faye Kellerman's novels too. From your review, it seems Jonathan Kellerman is not as good as his wife ...

Arti said...

Looked good at the start but it soon fizzled out!!!
Have a wonderful day:-)

chitra said...

Read the review. thought it was a great thriller.
hope you are doing well.

Suko said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy this one more.

Thanks for adding my CSN giveaway to your competitions and giveaways list!

Kelly said...

I've not read either of the Kellermans. Based on your review, though, I guess I'll try the "she" before the "he"!

Jenners said...

Now here I never read the wife's books but read quite a few of the Alex Delaware books before growing tired of them. I think this is further down the line in the series. The beginning books were pretty good, and it might be worth checking out some of his earlier books.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I liked the sound of this in the beginning.

Thanks for the review :)

GMR said...

Hmm...sounds like it had potential but perhaps a bit too much story to share. Cie la vie...better luck next round.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

awww, too bad this one was disappointing. better luck with your next read!

dr.antony said...

Thanks for saving us !