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Killing Season: A Thriller Paperback – October 17, 2017
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“Kellerman delivers a great story, some fine characters, and a disquieting, look-over-your-shoulder atmosphere that should keep readers turning the pages as fast as they can [...] Compelling and sharply written.” (Booklist)
About the Author
Faye Kellerman lives with her husband, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman, in Los Angeles, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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I can even get over her weird recent multiple-book necrophilia obsession.
However, this book suffers from two major problems.
First, there are so many continuity errors that the narrative really suffers. If you're going to write a book about teenagers in their senior year of high school, you had better know that:
1. Ivy League schools, and MIT and Stanford, do not ever give merit aid. (The highest-ranked schools that give merit aid are JHU, Duke, WashU, and years ago, Caltech and UChicago.) Kellerman has made this error in at least one other book of hers.
2. Rental car companies in California (perhaps everywhere) will not rent a car to a 17-year-old. Some companies put their required age as high as 25 unless renting with a business CDP.
3. State and Regional math competitions happen about a month earlier than depicted, and they are team competitions. Individual competitions (e.g. AMC) also go to their final rounds earlier than depicted, and those would not be described as Lilly described her contests. However, Kellerman obviously did get some fact-checking on the math, because Ben and Lilly would indeed have to solve the problem with geometry instead of calculus.
4. Valedictorian/Salutatorian do not work as depicted. In southwestern schools, particularly this one (described as heavily supported/monitored by involved/educated parents), the competition for class rank is fierce, and the schedules described for both of the book's contenders would likely exclude them.
5. Along with #4 above, in that kind of school, the guidance department would absolutely have told Ben about his URM status, in the highly unlikely event that he was unaware of it.
6. Sex lives of teenagers - I found the scene with Ro offering what appears to be anal intercourse to be extremely unlikely for teenagers with their level of experience, and weird pandering to teenage boy fantasies (?). It's also poor writing that although Ro is depicted as having high self confidence, experience with boyfriends, and masturbation experience, Ro did not insist on any sexual activities that would be physically satisfying to her as the woman. In general, the focus on intercourse to the exclusion of other activities, among teens, is unrealistic.
The second major problem with this novel is that all of the main characters are so profoundly unlikeable. Kellerman has successfully made even the worst villains likeable in her other books (e.g. C.D. in the Rina series).
But somehow she has a heroine who goes around hitting everyone and acting like a spoiled brat who only wants to talk about her looks. We get that Ro is blond and "hot". Enough already.
Not to be outdone by Ro, the boys are also incredibly unlikeable - sexist, violent, obnoxious, and arrogant.
Kellerman also describes anyone with quantitative ability in the same boring way, across all of her books. Not every scientist is abrupt with other people while always wearing a clip-on tie.
I found the negative aspects of this book to be distracting enough to reduce it to three stars, but it was still worth a read.
Boy was -I- fooled. I've been reading Faye and her husband Jonathan Kellerman since they both started writing.
I should have read the synopsis, but I didn't, thinking I KNEW what was being written in the book. I'll know better next time.
N M, no less, were extremely extensive and equally offputting and annoying.
If you have a 15 year ago daughter, give this book to her, she may like it. But if you are looking for a suspense novel worthy of the Kellwrman name, look somewhere else