Sunday, October 15, 2017

Early Review of Killing Season (Killing Season #1-3) by Faye Kellerman

Title: Killing Season: A Thriller
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Crime
Format: Hardcover; 704 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (October 17, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0062465937
ISBN-13: 978-0062465931
Author's Website:
Notes: I received and eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Three years ago the Vicksburg family experienced a loss no one should ever have to go through. They lost their oldest child, Ellen, to a brutal murder. Ellen was a pretty and popular girl whom everyone liked. She didn't do drugs, she didn't have a secret boyfriend, she got good grades, and stayed out of trouble. Her murder puzzled everyone. The family, understandably, took it hard, but her younger brother, by a year, Ben, perhaps took it the hardest. He vowed to find Ellen's killer and bring about justice. This is his story...
This is a serial read which means it's basically one book that is sold in three separate increments. I'm not a fan of serial reads because I once read one where the first two installments were awesome, but the last one made me hate the whole thing. Luckily, this is not that book. Also, the final and complete version, where all three sections are included, goes on sale this Tuesday. Yay!

I really enjoyed this story and hope it is the first of many involving Ben "Vicks" Vicksburg. I'd love for this to be the event which spurred him on to a career in crime fighting. Ben is a math whiz on a genius level who was enrolled in college calculus at the age of fourteen, the year his sister went missing. He has a knack for finding patterns and uses that skill to attempt to find his sister's killer. He feels that local law enforcement doesn't have enough resources to sufficiently dedicate to the finding his sister's murderer and he decides to take matters into his own hands. He does so by routinely combing through newspapers and searching the Internet for cases similar to his sister's attempting to find a link. He believes at least one other murder was committed by the person who killed his sister. That girl's body, however, has never been found and without some hard evidence linking the two cases detective Shanks, the officer assigned to Ellen's case, is unconvinced the two are related.

Since his sister's death, Ben, a once popular student, has become a recluse. He keeps to himself and spends his free time searching for clues to his sister's murderer. When he strikes up a friendship with Ro and confides in her what he's been up to for the past three years the two work together to solve the murder. Ro lost her sister to cancer around the same time Ben lost his and in some ways helping to solve Ben's sister's death is therapeutic for her. It's also beneficial for Ben because she slowly drags him out of his self imposed isolation.

I ended up giving this story 4 out of 5 roses. I enjoyed watching Ben and Ro slowly unravel the mystery behind his sister's death. I loved the underlying layers that needed to be delicately peeled back before everything could fall into place. I liked the suspense, twists, turns, roadblocks, and moments of 'Eureka!' when certain things were finally figured out. The only thing I didn't like was how the relationship between Ben and Ro quickly and rather epically spiraled downward at one point. I don't want to get into specifics, but it took away a little of the magic of the book for me. I really liked Ben and his dedication to his sister, and would truly hate to see this character get left behind never to be seen again. I implore the author to consider making him a permanent character in a series either as the lead detective or as a secondary character considered to be an expert in some field of criminology. I can't recall ever seeing a series begin with what inspired someone to become who they are later in life. I think this would be a unique and fun way to do so. It definitely would endear me to the character and get me hooked.

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