by Jonathan Kellerman

Reviewed by Coral

The bodies are found on the top floor of an abandoned construction site; a man and a woman seemingly caught in the act, in an unfinished mansion that hasn't been touched in two years. With his wallet still in his pocket, identifying the man is easy: Desmond Backer, a green architect with a reputation as a ladies man. The woman is not as easy to identify, her purse was taken from the scene.

With no leads coming from the tip line on who the woman victim is, Milo and Alex concentrate on Desmond. A notorious seducer of women - including almost every woman who worked with him at a now defunct green-architecture firm - the possibility that a wronged boyfriend exacted some revenge is a strong one. But digging deeper into Desmond's past reveals a darker side to the playboy; one that may have finally caught up with him.

I enjoyed this book, overall, but there were a few parts of it that I really didn't like.

First off, isn't Alex nearing 50 now? I'm pretty sure he was in his 30s at the beginning of the series and the books have always been set in or around the year they're published in. I ask, only because it's getting a little unbelievable, to me, that all of these 20 something girls are still hitting on Alex. No offense to anyone, but it just feels a little hard to believe, especially when that same girl has just finished commenting on how a 40 something woman was too old.

It seemed like the investigation broke down into two stories: the 'green' story and the 'Asian-island / diplomatic' story. I really wished that the second one wouldn't have been included in the book. It just seemed to weigh the story down, for very little payoff. To me, it also took away from a very neatly organized whodunit and made it into a conspiracy story. I feel that removing the whole 'Asian-island / diplomatic' plot would have made it a stronger book.

Minor pet peeve of mine: made up countries in books and movies that are set in the real world.

Alex doesn't really do much in this book, not a lot of insights or helpful information. Milo does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of solving the mystery. I think the book would have worked better if it was told from alternating points of view, or just from Milo's. Plus, that way, Rick could have been move present in the story, instead of only a handful of mentions and no lines.

I also didn't understand the hostility between Milo and one of the FBI agents who gives him information. Maybe I missed something, but he seemed overly nasty to her for no reason.

And, minor point, but I think it made very little sense for one of the victims to have their ID still on them while the other had it stolen to conceal her identity. Really, they both should have had nothing on them to identify who they were.


Grade: B