Book Review – The Murder Book By Jonathan Kellerman

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Okay so trying to get back on track and Monday means a book review

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They say when you are writing you have to find your voice and this book has a very distinctive narrative voice.  Unfortunately it was one that made me want to throw it out of the window.  However, I persisted with the book because I was fascinated by the story line an eventually the main character became more tolerable.

I think I have to be honest and say that most of the characters were just that tolerable, I did not feel a bond towards any of them except perhaps the murder victim who had been dead for decades.  I am fully willing to accept it may just be me that felt an apathy towards them but I don’t think it is, the two man characters are a LA psychologist-detective and a homicide detective who happens to be gay and living with a surgeon.  The lifestyles portrayed by both of the characters is totally unrealistic for most people to relate to, one is having his heart broken due to his own reckless behaviour and the others career threatened because of his sexuality and to be honest I really didn’t care.  The only person you really have any empathy for at all as I mentioned previously is the victim and as the story develops you feel more and more for her as it is revealed the extent to which her whole short tragic existence was one example of being a victim after another.  There are other characters who should elicit some degree of sympathy and understanding but something is always lacking to give you a real connection to them.

I know I sound really negative towards this book but actually after persevering and getting a few chapters in I did start to enjoy it, what is lacking in the characters is compensated for in the plot.  The book begins with the arrival of a book, the murder book of the title, sparking interest in a case which the homicide detective had sought to erase from his memory after being forced from the case, it is of course a case of things being far from what they seem and the pair find themselves caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and cover ups.

Now the hard bit would I recommend this book well even despite my initial reservations I still would because the plot lines twist and turn, in that respect it is one of the best stories I have read in a long time, and others out there may warm to the characters where I am left feeling neutral towards them.

In all I am going to give this 4 out of 5 because the plot and the portrayal of the victim really appealed to me.

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