This one has had me on the edge of my seat as I raced to the finish; I’m sure it’s still Wednesday in the Pacific Northwest so I think I can legitimately put this one under “What I’m Reading Wednesday”.
This week’s book choice is the standalone novel The Murderer’s Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman. I’ve long been a fan of Jonathan Kellerman and his Alex Delaware character; while Delaware makes a cameo in this book, trust me, this isn’t an Alex Delaware novel.
This is a much darker, and much more twisted psychological thriller.
Five year old Grace Blades was taking care of herself, living on leftovers her slacker, shoplifting, druggie parents brought home from fast-food jobs – until the day her mother murdered her father, and she was swept away into the revolving door that is the foster care system. Unwanted, unloved, she finally lands in a home that, while hardly traditional, works well for her – until the arrival of three siblings in the middle of the night result in the end of that placement.
Through all her background, you wonder how a child can survive a childhood like that, how you could turn out normal, and how she could end up as a highly successful and in demand psychotherapist, specializing in those – the Haunted – who have lost a family member to a traumatic incident. How indeed.
Let’s just say, Grace is not what you’d consider normal. As a psychotherapist, she considers empathy a lie, and for someone who is viewed by her patients as warm and caring is inwardly incredibly cold and remote. She copes with the stress of her job by taking vacations of a very particular nature.
Yes, she has some issues herself.
The story bounces back between her childhood and the present, and at one point, the two collide with a terrible result. If you can buy Grace’s response to this incident as a sane one, they the rest of the story will work just fine for you.
Anything more and I’ve given away TOO many spoilers.
Kellerman writes a taut novel and rarely disappoints, but I don’t think I’ve read one of his where nearly every character – with the exception of Grace’s adoptive parents – are relatively unlikable. If I struggled with anything in the book, it was this, but if you liked Gone Girl or A Girl On The Train – both tales that had few likable characters – and can stomach some violence, then you will like this book.
The Murderer’s Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman was released on August 18, 2015 by Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books.
Continued thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing group, who provided me an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions herein are my own.
Thanks to Net Galley for a free ARC of this book.