Friday, August 14, 2009




I believe that BILLY STRAIGHT was the first Jonathan Kellerman book I bought and read, and it only took that one book to hook me and make me a life-long fan. I love the way Kellerman writes and involves the reader so you feel like you are right there with the character whether it is Alex Delaware or one of the many other characters he has created. The setting itself becomes an integral part of his books and it is no different in TRUE DETECTIVES. Here Jonathan Kellerman has once again created an action filled conflict that has the emotional details that make the twists and the turns in the dramatic narrative something that could be believable and exciting!

In BONES, Jonathan Kellerman gave the reader two marvelous characters in Aaron Fox and Moses (Moe) Reed. With the same mother but different fathers, these two have chosen similar paths in life and yet they are as different as night and day, salt and pepper, private eye and LAPD detective. While Aaron remains the typical GQ man even in his work, Moses is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get guy! Normally, these two half brothers are not working together but a certain young lady brings them together but not in the way you might think.

When Caitlin Frostig, a seemingly perfect 20 year old coed, disappears, her father hires Fox to find her and to Aaron that not only means solving a case but also a lucrative paycheck. For Detective Reed, it is his job but still a mystery that even calls for help from fellow detective Milo Sturgis and the psychological training of the famous Alex Delaware, although we don’t see as much of these two as we would like in this mystery. While it seems like there aren’t any leads, both men are determined to find this young woman who is the model student with just two men playing important roles in her life. One is her father and the other is her seemingly decent, upstanding boyfriend, Rory Stoltz. While Dad would seem to be more of a suspect, as the single father, with a brooding character and surly attitude, it is the boyfriend for some reason that draws their attention.

The cast of characters that Aaron and Moses encounter reads like a who’s who of the seedier side of Hollywood. With the likes of filmmaker Len Dement (come on now, is that a real name?) and name dropping especially of designer everything, Hollywood is what everyone who doesn’t live there think it really is. Moe and Aaron find out the Rory Stoltz was actually a personal assistant for an actor named Mason Book (I SAID is that a real name?) who supposedly is said to have unsuccessfully attempted suicide just after Caitlin Frostig went missing.

One would think with the expert writing of Jonathan Kellerman and this background for a mystery that TRUE DETECTIVES would have these two half-brothers finally getting together with some great chemistry to solve this crime. However, I think that this is not the case, at least for those who follow Kellerman regularly and who know how well his characters—ex: Alex Delaware/Milo Sturgis---can be in sync with one another. I found a good deal of the story hard to believe, and the characters didn’t quite jell for me as Kellerman characters normally do. Still it was a book I wanted to finish to see how it turned out but I think even at the end, I was disappointed in the conclusion. Here’s to admitting that even the best of us can have a not so brilliant day and there will be better things to come! With Jonathan Kellerman, that is a given.

Submitted Originally to Curled Up with a Good Book by Karen Haney, April, 2009


bermudaonion said...

I've never read any of Kellerman's work and don't think I'll start with this one after your review. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Sorry the conclusion disappointed you! I hate when you've read all the way through a book and then that happens!