Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Twisted (Petra Connor, #2)Twisted by Jonathan Kellerman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The time of holidays, with its glitzy cheer, overeating, and laziness, is not conducive to reading literature. The next book by J.M. Coetzee has to wait until the bleak days of January. It is YAK instead: "Yet Another Kellerman." Another nice book by the author, made even better by the absence of the oh-so-smart, sanctimonious, and boring Good Doctor Delaware (he is mentioned a few times, though) as well as his sidekick, Lt. M.S. This is a Petra Connor book, the second in the series, after "Billy Straight". I can live with a series whose length is two.

The plot interweaves two cases: a quadruple murder of teenagers, which is apparently a gang-related shooting, and a number of unsolved murders from several years ago, connected by the method of killing and the date on which they occurred. The connection is exposed by Isaac, a police intern, a young and brilliant graduate student, who comes upon it using multiple regression analysis, while working on his Ph.D. thesis. As a math person, I can attest that the title of the thesis is mathematically sound.

We are generously treated to details of Petra's love life. Isaac's as well, which is somewhat more interesting. I would definitely prefer to be spared the descriptions of Petra's and Isaac's emotional turmoil, formulaic and shallow. It is a penalty one has to pay for a really interesting plot, one of the best among zillions of Kellerman's books (well, at least the twenty-six that I have read). As usual, the supporting cast is better written than the protagonists of the story.

Great read for winter holidays or for the beach (or both, with 28 degrees Celsius weather in San Diego). No brain required. I think I'll have another Kellerman to help me digest the excess food.

Three and a half stars.

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