Double Homicide

by Faye and Jonathan Kellerman

Reviewed by Coral

When I first heard of this book I was beyond excited. Faye and Jonathan Kellerman uniting their characters in one story! I love the feel of Faye Kellerman's Rina and Peter Decker mysteries - I find them much less complicated and convoluted than her husband's - but the religious theme has been a real turn off. And, while of late, I haven't had much love for Jonathan Kellerman's latest books, I've always had a soft spot for his characters Milo Sturgis and Rick Silverman. 

Sure both Kellermans have mentioned their partner's characters main characters before. Milo was briefly involved in Faye Kellerman's Sanctuary, I believe. Peter Decker was mentioned in Survival of the Fittest. But I saw this as a chance for so much more.

Truthfully, since Faye Kellerman is much more religious I was hoping Rick would be drawn out from the background. Rina seems the kind of character that would have something to say about his relationship with Milo. Then again, all those hospitals the Deckers have visited and not once have they run into our Dr Silverman, so maybe I was asking for too much.

So, beyond excited. Then I picked up the book. And cue crushing disappointment. Someone must have forgotten to pass on a memo or something to the Kellermans. I mean why else would they pass up an opportunity to unite their two best-selling series to focus on a batch of new characters. What a waste of an opportunity. Who wants to read about all these newbies? Not me, that's for sure.

I tried not to hold my disappointment and bitterness against the book. Not sure if I managed.

Anyways this story is really two separate stories put together, each deserving of their own review.

In the Land of the Giants

First off, a small introduction to our new characters. Dorothy Breton is your stereotypical working single mother, frazzled and overwhelmed with kids she just doesn't understand and who just won't listen. Ah, Jonathan Kellerman and his inability to think up something new when it comes to his female characters. Back to Dorothy, who has two sons: Marcus, who's smart enough to go to law school but really wants to be a star basketball player, and troubled Spencer, who's not as smart and in whose backpack Dorothy has just found a gun.

Then there's Michael McCain, bemoaning his lost youth, where he'd been such a fine male specimen his wife had always forgiven him for his occasional indiscretions. Yeah right. Women like that are pathetic doormats, who, if they don't kick a man out when he cheats the first time, are just asking for years of misery and heartbreaks. I hate him already. What is it with Jonathan Kellerman and introducing his main male characters to us as adulterous pigs. He did the same thing with Alex Deleware in When the Bough Breaks, and because of that I've never liked Alex. If you want to sleep around, then get a divorce. Hell, don't get married in the first place, don't make promises you can't keep.

Moving on to the plot: Julian Van Beest, star of Marcus Breton's basketball team has been gunned down in a club where the team was celebrating after their winning game. The case looks open and shut, gunman caught at the scene. But then the coroner's report comes in, putting a whole new spin on the case.

First off, why is Dorothy allowed to work on this case? Her son was at the club when the shooting happened, she's friends with Julian's mother. She should not be allowed to talk to the coroner and potential witnesses, or be out collecting evidence. 

Secondly, this case isn't all that exciting or original. I watched a Crossing Jordan that was pretty damn similar to it.

Overall it wasn't a horrible read, it was decent  and inoffensive for the most part. Just not good enough to make me forget the Rina, Peter, Alex, Milo and Rick story I'd rather have had.

Still Life

This is Faye Kellerman's contribution to the anthology. Why she would want to go back to original characters after the atrocious Moon Music, I don't know. But here we are. The detectives in this outing are Darrel Two Moons, happily married man trying to get in touch with his past since his father's death, and Steven Katz, not so happily divorced man.

Lawrence Olafson, a art gallery owner, has been found murdered, his head bashed in. With so much art stored in the gallery it's hard to know right away if anything was missing, so they can't rule out a robbery. Olafson leaves behind an ex-wife, two children who don't like him all that much, a bunch of people his environmentalist group pissed off who all may or may not have had a reason to kill him. Complicating the investigation is the fact that both detectives have information regarding the case that they are keeping from each other.

For a short story it sure is bogged down with a lot unnecessary details on the character's pasts. You don't have time for character development in short stories. In the end it felt pretty superfluous. Other than that the story is good, with a satisfying enough ending.

Overall Double Homicide is a good enough read, even if I was disappointed that it wasn't the story I wanted to read.


Grade: C