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Double Homicide Hardcover – Large Print, October 5, 2004
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Two short novels by a couple who've each gone it alone very successfully in their previous literary efforts make for a double treat for fans of both authors--Faye, whose mysteries feature a similarly uxorious couple in Rina and Peter Decker, and Jonathan, whose Alex Delaware novels starring a thoughtful child psychologist who's luckier in crime-busting than in love are even more popular. Not as satisfying as each author's full-length efforts, Double Homicide nonetheless offers a tasty side dish for their fans, and their protagonists venture beyond Los Angeles to tread new geographical territory, too. In Boston, a popular college athlete is slain in a busy nightclub, but what seems like an open-and-shut case turns out to hinge on forensic evidence that points to a very different conclusion. Detectives Michael McCain and Doris Breton unravel the mystery in Beantown, while two other new characters, Darryl Two Moons and his partner Steve Katz, discover that gallery owner Larry Olafson's brutal slaying has repercussions that resonate far beyond Santa Fe's trendy Canyon Road. Neither of these novellas makes the most of either author's gifts at character development, which lend themselves to a longer format, but that won't stop their dedicated readers from snapping them up and savoring them until the Deckers or Dr. Delaware turn up in their next adventures. --Jane Adams --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
It's a two-for-one bonanza--two mystery novellas from a husband and wife whose separate writing careers have earned each a huge following. These stories, set at opposite ends of the country, give barely a hint as to who wrote what, providing a little tantalizing "real-life" mystery to the puzzlers on the page. "Double Homicide: Boston," the strongest of the pair, is also the grittier of the two. A city college basketball star is shot at a nightclub following a nasty incident on the court. The prime suspect is a loudmouth on the opposing team, but as detectives McCain and Breton find out, the crime isn't as straightforward as it seems. The backdrop of "Double Homicide: Santa Fe" is a tad more refined--though murder, after all, is still murder. A cutthroat art dealer is found dead, and there are plenty of suspects in his address book--including the ex-wife of one of the investigating cops. In both stories, the cops' personal lives add welcome texture to the fairly routine if still wholly entertaining plots. A diversion for the Kellermans but sure to be of interest to their respective fans. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Admittedly, the physical packaging was clever, with the two stories upside down so that both book faces look like front covers. Some reviewers mistook the alternating author bylines to presume Faye wrote one story and Jon the other; rather, we suspect they drafted both and took turns writing chapters as the spirit moved. Unfortunately, neither of the stories do justice to the fine writing skills each displays in their longer novels. "Double" looks suspiciously like something due on contract for holiday sales fodder -- but if you must read it, wait for the paperback; and even that you might want to wait for a hand me down. We doubt we'll see any more of these joint efforts or these characters, and frankly, it's just as well if this is the best they can do. Now, what about Decker meets Delaware ?!?!
It strikes me that this is one (or two) of those books written to pay for a.) a complete rehab of house and yards, b.) an extended vacation in the Bahamas, or c.) the family's dental work for the next millennium. Whatever the reason for its creation, it's all but turned me off the real, well written books by Jonathan. I am, hoping, tho, that with his next book, Twisted, he manages to redeem himself. Meanwhile, I'd like to hear a whole bunch of mea culpas from each of them.
The first novella - In the Land of Giants - follows a pair of detectives in Boston who investigate the murder of a college basketball player. The second story - Still Life - has a pair of Santa Fe detectives looking into the murder of a art gallery owner. Neither story is anything beyond just routine: the characters are dull and there are no real plot twists and some story elements never really go anywhere.
If I had to guess, I'd say the first story was written more by Faye Kellerman and the second by Jonathan, and even if In the Land of Giants is slightly better than what follows, it is not good. Neither story is truly awful, but they only merit two stars, either individually or as a set. If this is an indication of what the Kellerman's can do when working together, it's just as well that they seem to be going back to solo writing. For fans of either writer, this is bound to be a disappointment and should be skipped.
The Boston homicide story was clearly the better of the two, yet I thought that it also could have been drawn into a larger story if the authors had chosen to do so.
So, if you are looking for a couple of plesant little stories about homicide and have a plane ride to take or some time to curl up by the fire, I would suggest you wait for the paperback. It should be right along.