I was not financially compensated for writing this post. I was provided with an ebook copy of The Beast by Faye Kellerman to facilitate my review. My opinions are 100% honest and 100% mine.
The Beast by Faye Kellerman
on Tour August 2013
Over his years with the LAPD, Peter Decker has handled a number of tough cases and strange killers. Few of his previous assignments compare to his latest case — the most bizarre of his storied career.
When Hobart Penny is found dead in his apartment, the cops think that his pet cat—an adult female tiger—attacked the reclusive elderly billionaire. But it soon becomes clear that the beast that killed the eccentric inventor is all too human. Digging into the victim’s life, Decker and his colleagues, Detectives Marge Dunn and Scott Oliver, discover that Penny was an exceptionally peculiar man with exotic tastes, including kinky sex with call girls.
Following a trail of clues that leads from a wildlife sanctuary in the San Bernardino Mountains to the wild nightlife of Las Vegas, the LAPD detectives are left juggling too many suspects and too few answers. To break open a case involving the two most primal instincts — sex and murder — Decker wrestles with a difficult choice: turning to a man with expert knowledge of both — Chris Donatti, the dangerous man who also happens to be the father of Decker’s foster son Gabriel Whitman, a boy not without his own problems.
As their work and intimate worlds collide, Decker and his wife, Rina, find themselves facing tough questions. It just might be that family crises and work-related responsibilities prove too much for Decker’s career. A confluence of ordeals can stress even the most intact of families. And when all these shocking truths comes out, exactly how well will Decker and Rina cope as well as survive?
Read an excerpt:
Faye Kellerman lives with her husband, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman, in Los Angeles, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
My review of The Beast by Faye Kellerman
This is my first read of a Faye Kellerman novel, and it shall not be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed The Beast, but I have to admit I’m often drawn to this genre as I love a good whodunnit/police investigation-type book. That being said, this did not disappoint.
I have to admit, I’m not always a huge fan of the “side stories,” as I call them, like a romance between two characters or some conflict in one of the characters’ lives (unless it has direct bearing on the main story, obviously)…and, while reading The Beast by Faye Kellerman, the “side stories” didn’t bother me, per se, but I wasn’t captivated by them, either. But, in all fairness, as I’ve already stated, I’ve never read any of Faye Kellerman’s other novels (which are plenty), so if that’s her signature, or if it’s an ongoing “thing,” so I don’t really want to judge that aspect of her craft. But let’s get back to the story.
Boom. Right out of the gate, interesting and interested. Captivated. Intrigued. Curious. Wondering. Thinking to myself, “Hmmmm…” All good signs. The Beast has a great storyline, well-developed characters (this isn’t Ms. Kellerman’s first rodeo), and it cruises along at a steady pace. I didn’t even realize that this book was part of a long-running series, and while reading it, I never felt lost or confused regarding any characters or dialogue or events. That’s pretty much an indicator of a gifted author who can write a gripping book that is a part of an extensive, successful series that can also stand on its own, as an independent novel that a reader can pick up and read and not feel left in the dark. I appreciate that. A lot.
Back to the story. The Beast by Faye Kellerman is great. It has all the elements you want in a mystery/thriller, and it keeps you guessing, it keeps you intrigued, and it keeps surprising you — and it’s neither predictable nor formulaic (two adjectives you usually don’t want to hear about your writing). If you’re not familiar with Faye Kellerman, you should. You could start with The Beast, but heck, why not start at the beginning and read your way to The Beast? It’s your call; but, either way, I recommend both the author and the book. You won’t be disappointed.