Title: The Murderer’s Daughter
Author: Jonathan Kellerman
Published: Ballantine Books August 2015
Status: Read from August 16 to 17, 2015 — I own a copy
A rare standalone from an author best known for his long running series featuring child psychologist Alex Delaware, Johnathon Kellerman doesn’t stray far from the familiar in The Murderer’s Daughter.
Grace Blades is a respected psychotherapist who specialises in treating patients that have experienced extreme trauma. It isn’t uncommon for new patients to abandon a session, but Grace is curious when the body of Andrew Toner is found the morning after their first meeting. Tracing his last movements, Grace unwittingly puts herself in the cross-hairs of a ruthless killer.
Andrew Toner, Grace soon discovers, was born Typhon Dagon Roi, the orphaned son of a cult leader, who along with his siblings, Samael and Lilith, spent a brief period in the same foster home as Grace. Targeted by Andrew/Typhon’s killer, Grace, intelligent and resourceful, conducts her own investigation, while evading the men targeting her, leading her into a harrowing confrontation with pitiless evil.
The narrative alternates between the present, as Grace searches for for the killer, and the harrowing details of Grace’s troubled past.
Grace is an intriguing character. She was five when she witnessed her mother kill her father and then commit suicide, eleven when her foster mother, Ramona, collapsed and died in front of her. An incredibly bright child, she captured the interest of Ramona’s brother-in-law, psychology professor Malcolm Bluestone, and his wife Sophia, who later adopted her. Now in her mid thirties, she is independently wealthy, and successful in her field, but she has a dark side that comes to the fore when threatened.
The mystery runs a fairly predictable course, but Grace is a memorable character. Part fast paced thriller, part complex character study, The Murderer’s Daughter is a great read for Kellerman fans, and new readers alike.
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