by Jonathan Kellerman

Reviewed by Coral

Eight years ago, Rand Duchay and Troy Turner took two-year-old Kristal Malley out of a shopping mall and killed her. They were thirteen at the time. Troy died a violent death in a juvenile detention center. Rand, however, survived long enough to be released and reach out to Alex - the psychiatrist appointed by the court to determine if the boys should be tried as adults - for help before he too was killed. Now, Milo and Alex must uncover the dark secrets responsible for taking the lives of three children, to stop a cold-blooded killer before they strike again.

You know, this is the first Kellerman book in a long time that hasn't filled me with rage. Kind of ironic.

The mystery aspect wasn't as hard to follow as some of his past books have been. Though, there were still some moments when I sat there, thinking to myself, "Man, is there anyone not involved in this thing." The conclusion was a little less complicated than Milo and Alex's theories, though.

Now, at this point I am going to have to apologize to Mr. Kellerman. In my first review, I mentioned that I thought it odd that a brown eyed child of two blue eyed parents would automatically trigger suspicion of cheating. I took biology a long time ago, so I had forgotten some key aspects of genetics, but it was recently pointed out to me that the genes for blue eyes are recessive. So that means that a person having blue eyes cannot pass along any other genes but the blue eyed gene, and two blue eyed parents cannot have a brown eyed child. So, Kellerman is right, and I was wrong. Apologies.

Happily the racism is toned down a lot in this book, though not, unfortunately, gone completely. I mean, are there really people who openly use racial epitaphs, like it's no big deal, with people they've just met? Isn't that something, I don't know, you would want to find out if the other person feels the same way about before just dropping the n-word into a conversation? Is it really that common in the US? Or maybe, I'm just stupidly naive to think that it's not common up here in Canada too?

And the portrayal of the abortion doctor? As stereotypical and narrow minded as his portrayal of euthanasia. Honestly, insulting.

The only other minor drawback with the book has more to do with the set up for the next book. Robin and her lover Tim have broken up, Allison has seen a side to Alex she's not sure she can love, and Spike is sick - potentially nearing death - and Robin calls to see if Alex would like to spend time with him. Yeah, the relationship (BORING) melodrama (AS) begins (HELL) again.

Although, I couldn't help but laugh to myself when Allison asked Alex, "What binds us?" Sex, woman. All of Alex's relationships come down to sex.

Grade: B