Title: The Murderer's Daughter
Author: Jonathan Kellerman
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Read: August 2015
Expected publication: 18 August 2015
#1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense Jonathan Kellerman delivers a riveting standalone thriller featuring the unforgettable Grace Blades. Master psychologist by day, seductive adrenaline junkie by night, Grace has a very dark past—one that’s about to bleed into a terrifying present.
I have been a fan of Jonathan Kellerman’s novels for a long, long time and was very excited to receive a preview copy of his latest book “The Murderer’s Daughter”, introducing an unusual and interesting new protagonist, psychologist Dr Grace Blades. Grace is a fascinating character – growing up in a dysfunctional and abusive household as a very young child she learns very early to fend for herself, a trait which stands her in good stead when she is taken into foster care after the murder-suicide of her drug addict parents. Moved from foster family to foster family Grace learns to be self-reliant and introverted in order to survive, a skill aided by her brilliant intellect and ability to read people and give them exactly what they want to see.
Fast forward to the adult Grace and she is an accomplished psychologist treating patients with traumatic and violent pasts. With her uncanny ability to read people, she is highly sought after by victims of violent crime, who feel understood by a woman who has been through similar circumstances herself. One day the past catches up with Grace in the form of a new patient who is murdered shortly after seeking her out, and suddenly she finds herself on the run from a ruthless killer who will do everything in his power to silence her. To survive, Grace must once again rely on her intelligence and resourcefulness, and take a journey back into events of her past she would rather forget.
I loved Kellerman’s new novel and was totally engrossed in it from start to finish. With Grace, he has given us an exciting new protagonist I would like to see a lot more of in future novels. Whilst Grace is not instantly likeable, often coming across as unemotional, manipulative, cold and calculating, she is also extremely clever and resourceful and does not shy away from taking matters into her own hand. Grace is also a fighter for justice, which redeemed her to me instantly and made me fear for her safety. Since the events of her present predicament are integrally linked with Grace’s past, the reader is taken on a journey into the young girl’s traumatic childhood and the events leading to her career as a psychologist. The glimpses into Grace’s childhood were fascinating and gave an insightful understanding of forming her later personality, the long-term effects of a violent and fractured upbringing on later life. Woven into a suspenseful thriller these details made the novel stand out for me, again showing why Kellerman has a firm place on my favourite authors list.
My only grizzle about this book is the awful title, which did not do it justice. Had it not been written by an author I have previously read and enjoyed, I would never have picked it up. With so many interesting elements to the story, a more tantalising title and cover can surely be found? So do not judge this book by its cover – a highly recommended read.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.