Ben Vicksburg, math genius and all-around geek, has been
obsessed with trying to find his sister's murderer, and his
obsession is also what is helping him cope with the tragedy
that befell his family four years before. Ben is even
helping the town detective, who has enough to do, with this
cold case. On the school side of things, Ben is a loner and
it got worse since he buried himself in his search for the
killer, so he finds it a bit odd at first that newly arrived
Ro Majors tries to strike up a friendship with him: Ro is
popular, beautiful, outgoing; she works at being a star. She
is everything Ben is not, and yet they share a common hurt.
KILLING SEASON is a huge book at around 700 pages, and it is
also being released as a three-part ebook, so I was
expecting two epic cliffhangers. But that never happened.
The first part "Rainstorm" establishes the environment, the
characters, and the set-up for the story: high school, Ben
and Ro and their family and friends, and the murder. I love
Faye Kellerman, I have read several of her books over the
years, and KILLING SEASON has all the elements that make Ms.
Kellerman such a successful author: the vivid descriptions
which make the story unfold in a very cinematic fashion;
extremely complex characters -- in this case the author's
portrayal of teenagers is so accurate, it's almost eerie --
and the flawless writing and spot-on dialogues. However, the
second part, Snowstorm, revolves mostly around Ben and Ro's
romantic entanglements, their friends, and their younger
siblings' lives. There was actually very little of the
suspense, apart from the fact that it's how Ben and Ro work
together on searching for clues.
KILLING SEASON overall felt more like a Young Adult
bordering on New Adult coming of age book with a serial
killer backdrop. The thriller per se is excellent, but I was
settling down for a crime novel, not a teenage romance
filled with angst, even though the hero is seventeen; around
half the book is about various relationships and high school
life, and this was not what I signed up for. In my opinion,
it would have worked much better, if we're talking
thrillers, had the book been trimmed by a few hundred pages;
very little of the teenage stuff contributed to the
thriller, besides Ro and Ben working side by side. It's not
that it's not good, but it was definitely not what I was
expecting; they are not the future Decker/Lazarus, as I
first thought. The suspense itself was riveting, it is Faye
Kellerman after all, but the high school angst, romance, and
shenanigans were trying the patience of this reader, and
ultimately, finally, at long last, the conclusion was
reached and it was a very exciting finish.
New York Times bestselling author Faye Kellerman
delivers an electrifying novel of suspense as a young manís
investigation into his sisterís death draws him into the
path of a sadistic serial killer.
He went searching for the truth. Now a killer has found him.
The more you know, the more there is to fearÖ
Four years ago, fifteen-year-old Ellen Vicksburg went
missing in the quiet town of River Remez, New Mexico. Ellen
was kind, studious, and universally liked. Her younger
brother, Ben, could imagine nothing worse than never knowing
what happened to heróuntil, on the first anniversary of her
death, he found her body in a shallow grave by the riverís edge.
Ben, now sixteen, is committed to finding the monster who
abducted and strangled Ellen. Police believe she was the
victim of a psychopath known as the Demon. But Benóa math
geek too smart for his high-school classesócontinues to pore
over the evidence at the local police precinct, gaining an
unlikely ally in his schoolís popular new girl, Ro Majors.
In his sisterís files, Benís analytical mind sees patterns
that donít fit, tiny threads that he adds to the clues from
other similar unsolved murders. As the body count rises, a
picture emerges of an adversary who is as cunning and
methodical as he is twisted.
At first the police view Benís investigation with suspicion.
Soon his obsession will mark him as a threat. But uncovering
the truth may not be enough to keep Ben and those he loves
safe from a relentless killer who has nothing left to lose.