New Kellerman Character-Driven Novel

The Murderer's Daughter: A Novel - Jonathan Kellerman

Grace Blades is a psychologist specializing in victim trauma. She's well-known for her ability to help patients get past the most horrific things that have happened in their lives. What's not so well-known about her is that she, too, has experienced a great deal of violence in her life.

After particularly grueling sessions, she goes out to fine hotels looking for anonymous, one-time sexual hookups to blow off steam.

Then one of her hook-ups shows up as a client ... who then turns up dead.

That sets the stage for a first-rate psychological thriller. Kellerman is a brilliant author (I've read the majority of his Alex Delaware novels) who really knows how to spin out a storyline and then set the hook so firmly that you don't want to stop reading. The difference for me, this time, was that I didn't feel like I could connect with Grace. Given that Kellerman shows us many times how Grace keeps even the people closest to her at arm's length, this may well have been the effect he was seeking.

The story was interesting and the characters believable. A great deal of the action takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area, particularly in Berkeley (where I lived for seven years). I knew the streets and places being discussed and could thus readily imagine the scenes.

Recommended for Kellerman fans.