Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Case Study of an Unusual Child and a Murder

Grace Blades, a brilliant, lonely child, lives in a trailer-park with her underachieving parents until in a drug and alcohol induced rage, they kill each other. Graces is catapulted into the foster care system which fits her poorly because of her brains and her penchant for being alone.

Fast forward twenty years and Grace is a psychotherapist. Her empathy for people haunted by tragedy makes her exceptionally successful, but Grace has a dark side. When she slips out of her normal life to seduce a man, she meets someone from her past. His murder puts Grace on the run trying to find the killer before she's the next victim.

Grace's early life makes a good case study. The scenes from her childhood and adolescence give a picture of why she lives the way she does and how she has the strength to search for a murderer in spite of the danger to herself. The story is told in alternating chapters of her early life and the hunt for the murderer. The murder investigation is less believable than the chapters exploring her life. I found it uncomfortable to switch back and forth. I barely got involved in her character development before being dumped back into the chase scene in the present.

Grace's character is very well done. I loved Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels and wondered how he would portray a female character. He does an excellent job. Grace is a character it's hard to forget. In a bow to his male character, she mentions Alex a few times as a mentor.

The pace is good, if you get used to the time switches. I enjoyed the book and recommend it if you enjoy fleshed out characters and a good mystery.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.