Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Crime & Beyond Book Club Reviews Victims by Jonathan Kellerman

Today Kerry Hammond is back to tell us about her crime fiction book club and reviews their latest pick.

My name is Kerry Hammond and I am a recurring guest blogger and avid follower of Mystery Playground.  I live in Denver, Colorado and I am the leader of a mystery book club at the Lone Tree, Colorado Library called Crime & Beyond.  

Our club is a great group of people and we’ve been meeting for more than seven years.  We describe ourselves as a book club on steroids because we are very different from a lot of clubs out there.  For instance: most months we have about 14 people in attendance, we have at least four men who come every month, snack bringing is very competitive and is themed toward the book we read, we have a book club logo, and we have a Wiki page devoted to the club and the books we read.  We meet for outside events like mystery plays or movies, and I have hosted two murder mystery costume parties at my house (the 3rd is in the planning stages). 

This past month Crime & Beyond read Victims by Jonathan Kellerman.  It was a fun meeting and the book got some very interesting reviews:

“Pandering….gratuitous….merciful when it ended.”—JANICE D.

“I liked the journey but not the ending.”—SHARON L.

The scores ranged from a low of 1 to a high of 7.  I think if I had to sum up the book in one word for the majority of members, it would be "boring.” Many thought Kellerman phoned the book in and is tired of writing about Alex and Milo.  It is, after all, book #27. A few people have read the earlier books in the series and recommended trying those because they were very good.  Quite a few of us will read Kellerman again, even if just to give him another chance. I know that sometimes when you follow a series, you like some installments and don’t like others, so I haven’t written him off.  Heck, even Jack Reacher has his off days. The Alex Delaware series starts with When the Bough Breaks, published in 1985.

With all that said, we had a few people who liked the book and were even brave enough to give their honest opinion. There were quite a few scores in the 5 range too, which means it wasn’t the worst thing we’ve ever read.  I personally found it entertaining, but like Sharon above, was more intrigued by the beginning and middle than the end.  It seemed to start off good and kind of fizzle.  Part of the reason for that could be that we were expecting more of a psychological thriller and some really good twists and turns, with maybe a chase scene at the end thrown in. Unfortunately, it was more of a tame ending and wrapped up slowly, rather than with a bang.

Next month we’re reading Iron House by John Hart.  We’ve read a couple of John Hart books in the past and he always gets a lot of good reviews from the group. I put him at the top of my list of the best authors you’ve never heard of. 


  1. I've never read Kellerman so maybe I'll give an earlier book a try. LOVE Hart and you're going to like Iron House. No phoning in there!

  2. Kerry - your book club sounds so fun! I haven't read Kellerman or Hart. Thanks for a great post.