Sunday 18 May 2014

The Murder Book - Jonathan Kellerman Book Tour.....WITH GIVEAWAY!!

I'm relatively new to Jonathan Kellerman, in fact this is only the second or third of his Alex Delaware novels that I have read. Looking through some of the reviews of this 16th instalment in the series, prior to reading it, this may well have been to my advantage. Unlike some of the other reviewers I was able to approach this with a relatively open mind, and I think I probably enjoyed the story more because of this.
The story revolves around a historic unsolved case from the past of detective Milo Sturgis, one that is brought back into the light following the arrival of a 'Murder Book' at the home of Alex Delaware. The book is made up of a series of graphic crime scene photographs. All of historic cases, but arranged to highlight the one unsolved case; that of a young girl brutally tortured, murdered and arranged out in the open above LA. Through this story we finally get a bit of solid back story for Milo, fleshing out his character nicely and providing some insight into events from other novels in the series. In their attempts to discover exactly what had happened Milo and Alex uncover a conspiracy that reaches all the way through the LA political and corporate world. I really enjoyed the complicated storyline, drawing in so many different threads to form a coherent whole. The mystery itself was well written and very interesting.
I did have a few issues though. Having the story unfold through dual narratives was a great idea. Milo and Alex each had something important to offer to the story, and to the reader's appreciation of the finer details. Unfortunately though there were times when following who's narrative I was reading was pretty difficult. I had to go back and double check a fair few times, being charitable I will admit that I was largely reading this quite late at night, but I don't usually struggle to follow narrative threads this much. Another thing that grated a little was the constant references to Milo's sexuality; I think we all get the point that Milo is a homosexual cop working in a prejudiced department, however it did feel as though this fact was brought up in practically every mention of him. I'd hope that the character could be more rounded than this would suggest. Surely there is more to the guy than his sexuality? There are moments where it seems as though we will get more, such as the flashback scenes at the start; but then these come to little.
My final, and by far the biggest issue I have with the novel is how neatly everything falls into place, coupled with the lack of consequences for any of the major characters. To start with we have to initial murder, which has consequences for the people directly involved, but which could apparently be totally removed from the public (and private record). I appreciate that the crux of the story here is the conspiracy, but still it strikes me as a little unlikely that such a total whitewash would have ever been possible. Equally incredible is the fact that the total bloodbath that occurs as a climax to the story is able to be tidied up and dealt with without any involvement of any authorities. We are led to believe that numerous corpses have been quietly buried or left tied up in smouldering buildings, and yet neither Milo nor Alex need to discuss this with any form of police force? This strikes me as maybe stretching reality a little too far.
To sum up this is a very enjoyable thriller with an entertaining crime story and some good character building, just don't expect too much from it because it does require some suspension of disbelief in order to hold together. However I'll certainly be looking out some more Delaware novels in the future.

This is part of the Kellerman 2014 blog tour...
As part of the tour I have a copy of Kellerman's latest book Killer to give away to one lucky person.
To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on my review telling me what your favourite Kellerman book is and why. I'll pick the best reply at random and send your book out to you. :)
I'll pick a winner on 25th May so you have until then to enter....

No comments:

Post a Comment