by Jonathan Kellerman

Reviewed by Coral

Alex and Milo are investigating a double murder: a young couple is murdered in a lover's lane. Dead are an unidentified Jane Doe and Gavin Quick, who survived a horrible car accident just last year that sent him to celebrity therapist Mary Lou Koppel, a woman who's had a patient murdered before. It's the same batch of lies, intrigues and secrets; one Kellerman mystery is pretty much the same nowadays. If you've stuck with him this long you might as well pick up his latest, that's my motto. Doesn't mean I don't have things to complain about, though, cuz I do.

There's the never ending merry-go-round of Robin and Allison in Alex's life. Must he be continuously having sex and must we continually have to read about it? Can't he go without, sex or women, just for one book?

Now for an old refrain: Rick. Funny how Rick's an only child in this book. What happened to his dentist sister from Devil's Waltz, and I quote:

                                    “No, it’s fine - very L.A. Whose voice is on the message?”

                                             “Rick’s sister.”

                                             “The dentist?”

Suddenly, in this book, Rick's ultra-religious, like his parents always wanted. I may be remembering wrong, but wasn't there a book in which Alex had to explain some Jewish customs to Milo? So, if Rick's parents were ultra-religious couldn't Milo have just asked Rick? So character continuity out the window, though I guess I have the answer to the question I raised in my review of The Murder Book.

I find these turn of events kind of depressing. Rick, for some strange reason, has always been my favorite character, but I just don't get religion. I know, that sounds strange, but it doesn't hold anything for me. This just feels like Kellerman using Rick as a way to illustrate his own views towards his religion, instead of an actual character development. If it was real character development we'd get some insight as to how this new embracing of his religion has affected Milo's relationship with Rick as, from what I gather from Survival of the Fittest, homosexuality is sort of frowned upon in that religion. And the fact that Kellerman can't even remember the past he's written for Rick, just tells me how little he cares for this character. Knife in the heart, seriously. There go all of my hopes for ever having Rick getting to be a central part of a future storyline.

There are a few other nitpicky things I found wrong in this book.

In the first lines Kellerman writes that Robin designed the house that was burnt down at the end of Bad Love, but that's not true. Alex was already living in the first house when he started dating Robin, she designed the one after the arson.

In A Cold Heart we were told that Milo now works exclusively on cold cases, but in that book and here again he works on fresh murders and now we're told he can pick and choose his cases.

Man, Kellerman just can't stop it with his racist comments, can he? Little things like WebPages of Swiss banks should have swastikas on them and not so little things like all his anti-Arab remarks. I'm not a racist, I don't want to read this garbage. And I don't know why I keep picking up Kellerman's new books. It's like I'm holding on to some faint hope that he'll change even though I know better.


Grade: F