The Murder Book by Jonathan Kellerman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Summary - "Alex Delaware's relationship with his longterm partner, Robin Castagna, is on the rocks. Still reeling from the aftershocks of the murder of one of his young clients, Alex is floored when Robin announces that she is heading off on a three month music tour in the aid of famine and child welfare.
But soon he has other things to think about. In the post, he receives a three-ring binder with gold letters on it - THE MURDER BOOK. The album is full of macabre pictures of murders taken at the scene of the crime, with brief descriptions of how, and why, the victims died. But only one picture is marked 'Not Solved' - the horrifically mutilated body of a young woman. What is the connection between this photograph and his friend, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis's past, and could the gruesome collection be the work of a police insider? If so, why has it been sent to Alex - and by whom?
I have to admit that I was a little disappointed in this book. It seemed to have such good potential but it just took so long to develop the story and some of the trails that were followed and assumptions made were just a little too far reached to me. I found myself thinking so many times "As if you'd just come to that conclusion so easily?" and this kind of annoyed me a bit. I like crime stories where the ending obviously isn't too easy to guess but I really don't like it when ridiculous conclusions are drawn to try and make the author seem super intelligent for coming up with the story because it's obvious that any normal person wouldn't even dream of making the same corrolation that they did and it just seems way too 'far out'.
The lead character, Alex Delaware, seems to have lacked any 'oomph' in this book and was kind of depressed during most of the story. His friend, Milo Sturgis seems to be a bit of a confusing character. He somehow comes across as a bit of a soft pushover in one way but then can be a hard police officer in another.
The story did finally pick up in the last 80 pages or so and the pace that it sets from that point was what I would have loved to be the pace for the whole book. I finally got interested towards the end once the truth started being uncovered and all the twists started coming together but the whole experience of reading this book felt a bit like a horse taking off real slow so that it doesn't get too tired and then finally making a sprint when it finally sees the finish line. Because of this slow pace I really struggled to get into this book for the most part and almost had to bribe myself just to keep picking it up to continue reading. I prefer stories that grab you from the start and keep up a good pace so that you feel a full-on need to keep reading.
If you're a Jonathan Kellerman fan and have gotten into his previous Alex Delaware books you may enjoy this a bit better than me. Overall, if you look beyond the slow starting pace it did have the foundations of a good crime story.
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