Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Murderer's Daughter

The Murderer's Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman
Random House: 8/18/15
eBook review copy, 384 pages
ISBN-13: 9780345545312

The Murderer's Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman is a recommended stand-alone thriller.

Grace Blades is an intelligent, very independent woman who works as a psychologist specializing in treating victims of trauma. She is highly recommended in referrals because of her devotion to and great empathy for her patients. Much of Grace's success is due to her horrific childhood. She was a neglected child living in an abusive environment. After witnessing her parents murder/suicide at age 5, she spent several years in the foster care system. She had a secure home, finally, at age 11. Her background helps her understand and treat her patients.

Now Grace is a consummate professional and devoted to her patients by day, but engages in secretive, risky, dangerous behavior in her free time. She has it down to a science how to initiate a one-night-stand, or really just a quick hook-up to get what she wants from a man with no commitment.

When Grace's latest patient turns out to be the man she gave a fake name during to the escapades of the night before, both are shocked. Her new patient gave her a fake name the previous night too. After an uncomfortable brief meeting, Grace learns that the man came to see her because of a paper she had written years ago on under the burden of being related to a murderer, or living with evil. He quickly leaves her office and later turns up dead.

Grace tries to figure out who this man really was, since he seems to have given her yet another alias for his office visit. He said he was from San Antonio, TX and came just to see her, but that also seems to be untrue. And now someone might be following Grace, but she needs to figure out why by herself so her secret duplicitous activities aren't exposed.

The Murderer's Daughter is very well written. I wouldn't expect anything less from Kellerman, who has successfully penned his Alex Delaware series for years. Here, however, there is a plethora of background information on Grace in chapters that alternate with the present day.  I was heartbroken and very sympathetic with young Grace and her situation. I didn't so much care for adult Grace and her reckless, foolish behavior, so I had a difficult time sympathizing with her. If she is as intelligent as she is purported to be, she should be smart enough to figure out a safer way to engage in her reckless sexual behavior. Hooking-up with random strangers is stupid.

What the novel felt like, in the end, was the first book for a new series in which all the character's background information was presented. The thriller felt like it was added in between the character development chapters.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Random House for review purposes.

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