New Release Review: The Murderer’s Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman

Murderer's daughterThe Murderer’s Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman
Genre: Mystery
Publication Date: August 18th, 2015
Publisher: Ballantine Books
 

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A brilliant, deeply dedicated psychologist, Grace Blades has a gift for treating troubled souls and tormented psyches—perhaps because she bears her own invisible scars: Only five years old when she witnessed her parents’ deaths in a bloody murder-suicide, Grace took refuge in her fierce intellect and found comfort in the loving couple who adopted her. But even as an adult with an accomplished professional life, Grace still has a dark, secret side. When her two worlds shockingly converge, Grace’s harrowing past returns with a vengeance.

Both Grace and her newest patient are stunned when they recognize each other from a recent encounter. Haunted by his bleak past, mild-mannered Andrew Toner is desperate for Grace’s renowned therapeutic expertise and more than willing to ignore their connection. And while Grace is tempted to explore his case, which seems to eerily echo her grim early years, she refuses—a decision she regrets when a homicide detective appears on her doorstep.

An evil she thought she’d outrun has reared its head again, but Grace fears that a police inquiry will expose her double life. Launching her own personal investigation leads her to a murderously manipulative foe, one whose warped craving for power forces Grace back into the chaos and madness she’d long ago fled.

 

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Wendy’s Review

Jonathan Kellerman has been on my radar for years.  While I’m not a massive fan of Psychological Thrillers, my sister loves them.  Jonathan Kellerman is her favorite author; she’s read absolutely everything he’s written.  So, after putting it off for years, I thought it was probably time to tackle one of his books and The Murderer’s Daughter was the winner thanks to Netgalley.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about it, now that I’ve read it.  It was a fast read, just 3 days, so it clearly held my interest.  However, I can’t really put my finger on what I liked about it, if anything.  I think that I just wanted to complete the mystery, see how it all played out, but now that it’s over I feel pretty underwhelmed.

It’s very clear that Jonathan Kellerman is a really great writer.  He writes books that are incredibly intelligent, well researched, and well thought out.  The plot was broken up with half of it taking place in the present day and the other half being told through flashbacks of Grace’s past, beginning just before she was born.  The way it was written we got to read the history almost paralleling the present and slowly revealing all of the stories secrets.  That was what kept me reading.  I was being reeled in like a fish.

What left me feeling lukewarm was something lacking in the characters.  I can’t tell if what was missing was due to Grace’s inability to show an emotional connection to anyone, and that was seeping from the story into my opinion of her, or if she just wasn’t ‘real’ enough for me to forge any kind of attachment to her.  For whatever the reason, when I put the book down for the last time I knew that I wouldn’t look back or think about her or the story again.  And isn’t that just the kiss of death.

The Murderer’s Daughter may have been my first Kellerman novel, but I can’t say for sure that it’ll be my last.  I hear from my sister, and from other reviews, that his Alex Delaware series is much better.  I didn’t dislike this one so much that I wouldn’t be willing to give it another shot.  Everyone deserves a second chance.  🙂

 

Thank you to Ballantine Press and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  = C

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