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by Jonathan Kellerman
Random House Audio, April 2003
Unabridged audio pages
ISBN: 0739303082

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

In BILLY STRAIGHT, Kellerman introduced Hollywood detective Petra Connor, and as this story begins she reappears while investigating the especially vicious murder of a beloved jazz musician.  Not long after Milo Sturgis is assigned to investigate the horrific murder of an up and coming painter.

As the story progresses the three cops, Milo, Petra and Eric Stahl, Petra's new partner, realize they are dealing with a serial killer.  Dr Alex Delaware, of course, has been consulted and his insights and investigational talents are invaluable.

The four follow leads among seemingly unrelated places and persons, including street people, a small college, college professors, and the world of internet magazines. In his usual manner Kellerman leads us from person to person, clue to clue until  the reader is presented with a very surprising ending. It also appears that Alex may have a new love interest -- we'll have to wait for future books in the series.

What can I say about a Kellerman book; they are usually excellently written and fascinating to read.  I feel this tale of a serial killer is one of the best of his recent novels. The ending was definitely a surprise to this reader, but I somehow felt he hadn't played fair with the timing of the clues, thus making it more difficult than necessary to figure out whodunit. 

Alex's women are always totally beautiful, totally talented and a little too perfect, and this new interest is no exception. The author seems more comfortable fleshing out a male character, even if that character is very flawed; his women are neither as believable nor, to this reader, as likeable.

John Rubinstein did a yeoman's job with this book since he had to read dialogue from a large cast of female and male characters, some of whom only appear a few times. Interpretation of characters and the reading of dialogue have to be the most challenging part of an actor's job when presenting audio fiction and Rubinstein does it well.

Reviewed by Martha Hopkins, May 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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