by Jonathan Kellerman
Category: Fiction / Crime
585 pages; ISBN: 0751523216
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Luke Croll
Kellerman has decided to depart from his normal Alex Delaware series, but is still sticking with police procedurals. The ex-wife of a TV star is found brutally stabbed to death, having previously revealed that her husband had beaten her up before. Suspicion is obviously going to fall on him, but the police do not want to repeat the OJ Simpson debacle.
Forensic evidence finds a witness - 12 year old Billy Straight. When a reward is put out for him to come forward, only Detective Petra Connor realises that he is now up for the killer`s grabs as well.
The fact that Alex Delaware only makes a guest appearance in this novel does nothing to detract from the quality of the book. Detective Petra Connor is a very human character, who Kellerman goes to great lengths to develop. Indeed, he tries to make his characters as full as possible and it was a very good idea to show events through the eyes of different characters.
Billy Straight`s view on life is well-crafted and whilst the actual idea of a runaway witnessing a murder is not incredibly original, Kellerman develops his theme very carefully, making sure that although we do not see a great deal of Straight, his character is very much the most important one.
Other than that, the novel moves along very quickly and it is simple to read. The only other gripe that I do have with it is that I could see the killer coming a mile away. Kellerman does not give away any clues when he lets you into the killer`s mind, but when you have read a large amount of police procedurals; you start to be able to predict who the killer is. Here, I was right.
Nevertheless, do not let this put you off the novel. `Billy Straight` certainly deserved to be another best seller by Kellerman. It is easily up to the quality of his previous novels.
Buy Billy Straight at amazon.co.uk
Buy Billy Straight at amazon.com