The Murderer’s Daughter

The Murderer’s DaughterThe Murderer's Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman
Genres: Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Published by Ballantine Books on August 18, 2015
Pages: 384
Also by this author: Breakdown

 

Dr. Grace Blades is a brilliant psychologist, deeply dedicated her clients. Given her upbringing, she understands her patients’ needs in a way few can. As a child, Grace suffered through neglect, her parent’s violent death, and a series of foster homes. With each new obstacle, she learned to survive. This unique perspective gives her the uncanny ability to successfully treat her clients— all whom are victims of horrific violence. But there is also a dark side to Grace Blades; one she indulges, but keeps very separate from her professional life. However, when she encounters the same man in both her lives, his haunting secrets put her life in danger. With remarkably similar backgrounds, Grace soon finds herself trying to unravel the mystery of Andrew Toner. To uncover his story, she is forced to revisit horrendous details of her past. Will Grace be able to discover who Andrew Toner is before a killer finds her? With good suspense and an excellent backstory, The Murderer’s Daughter is a fun thriller that keeps the pages turning.

With good suspense and an excellent backstory, The Murderer’s Daughter is a fun thriller that keeps the pages turning.

I’ve been trying more ‘new to me authors’ and when I came across a NetGalley solicitation for The Murderer’s Daughter, I decided Jonathan Kellerman would be my next ‘new to me author’. The title and premise to this book were both quite intriguing. The idea of a child overcoming such a traumatic childhood and then taking that knowledge and building her career around it sounded like fertile soil for a fantastic character. Jonathan does indeed build a rich, deep character that is both sympathetic in her past and a bit frustrating in her independence.

The Murderer’s Daughter is a great story, but it’s driven by Grace’s character.

The Murderer’s Daughter is a great story, but it’s driven by Grace’s character. By introducing her as a child and giving the reader a glimpse into her fierce determination and advanced intellect creates instant sympathy. As the book switches back and forth between Grace’s past and the current events, the reader is given both the positives and negatives of her personality. I found young Grace to be very intriguing and I enjoyed this part of the book slightly better than the current events. Part of this is due to the supporting characters of Malcolm and Sophie. A whole book with this wonderful couple would be welcome. They added a nice balance to Grace as well as lifting what could have otherwise been an oppressive story.

Grace in the present isn’t quite as likable as her childhood self. I really couldn’t relate to her alter ego, though I do understand the role and purpose in the book.

Grace in the present isn’t quite as likable as her childhood self. I really couldn’t relate to her alter ego, though I do understand the role and purpose in the book. It’s really her decisions and reactions to some of her choices that places distance between her and the reader. However, the story that unfolds is quite interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed reading as Grace figured out each piece of the puzzle. By alternating between the past and the present, there is a good suspense that builds to a nice climax. Unfortunately, the climax is very short and not 100% fulfilling. The final wrap up is a little abrupt as well. It’s not a cliffhanger; it just feels unfinished.

I very much enjoyed my introduction to Jonathon Kellerman and I plan to check out more of his work. Overall this story is quite engaging and the mystery fun to follow. But the heart of The Murderer’s Daughter is Grace and her backstory, which carries the book. I am already looking forward to Jonathon’s next book.

Note: This is a general market book and it does contain some language as well as moderate sexual and violent content. Given the story and the characters, the quantity of each is within reason.

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