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Publisher's Summary

Hollywood homicide detective Petra Connor has helped psychologist Alex Delaware crack tough cases in the past. And in Jonathan Kellerman's New York Times best seller Billy Straight, she took the lead in the desperate hunt for a teenage runaway stalked by a vengeful murderer. Now the complex and wryly compassionate Petra is once again at the center of the action, in a novel of cunning twists and page-turning suspense.

Lifeless bodies sprawl in a dance-club parking lot after a brutal L.A. drive-by. Of the four seemingly random victims, one stands out: a girl with pink shoes who cannot be identified, and who, days later, remains a Jane Doe. With zero leads and no apparent motive, it's another case destined for the cold file, until Petra decides to follow her instincts and descends into a world of traveling grifters and bloodthirsty killers, pursuing a possible eyewitness whose life is in mortal danger.

Finding her elusive quarry alive isn't all Petra has on her plate: departmental politics threatens to sabotage her case, and her personal life isn't doing much better. If all that wasn't enough, Isaac Gomez, a whiz-kid grad student researching homicide statistics at the station house, is convinced he's stumbled upon a bizarre connection between several unsolved murders. The victims had nothing in common, yet each died by the same method, on the same date, a date that's rapidly approaching again. And that leaves Petra with little time to unravel the twisted logic of a cunning predator who's evaded detection for years, and whose terrible hour is once more at hand.

©2004 Jonathan Kellerman; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a divison of Random House, Inc.

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  • Overall

Vintage Kellerman

Another great Kellerman novel--fascinating plot, excellent character development, a psychological masterpiece. Although I thought I would, I didn't even miss Alex Delaware, who was mentioned only in passing once or twice but never actually appeared in this novel.

Hopefully, we will see more of Petra Conner, Eric Stoll and, yes, Isaac Gomez! They are as captivating a team as Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

reader ruins it

I love mysteries, and am not a very hard critic, But the reader of this novel brings this story down. She reads every line as if we are at a point of dramatic alarm -- this gets old by the end of the first 2 minutes and accentuates how much filler this story has.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Petra is Great

Introduced in the book Billy Straight; and a key character in the book A Cold Heart Petra Connor takes on the case of a drive by shooting in the Paradiso theater parking lot. She is also at odds with her captain and her main squeeze Eric Stahl is away on an investigation in the middle east. In fact her only partner is Isaac Gomez; the son of Salvadoran refugees who is a math genius prodigy. Issac having finished med school at the age of 18 he's now earning a PHD in statistics. Petra has been given the role of babysitting him by Captain Stallcup, her nemesis within the department. Burdened by the lack of progress on the shootings at the Paradiso the last thing Petra needs is to be charged with the responsibility of keeping tract of "brain boy." Then Isaac comes to her with a statistical anomaly far too unusual to be accidental. Knowing that the young genius has political connections she stifles her urge to ignore the kid and begins an investigation. Working on the dual cases with the young genius she uncovers a small crimes family; a gangbanger college student; and a hundred year old series of murders that is being reenacted on the same date every year. Of course she and Isaac solve both crimes and she has a new captain at her station; her old partner Stu Bishop.
In the ten years since this book was written Petra hasn't been featured in any subsequent works, which is too bad. This is one of Kellerman's best works and perhaps the emotional distance the author has from this character is actually helpful to the story. Hopefully his fans haven't seen the last of Petra Connor in the main role or of Isaac Gomez either. This is a great mystery; highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

BAD Narrator, Good Book

This reader is awful! I'll make sure I don't pick another book that she narrates. Once past that, and it took awhile, the book was good. I liked the Petra Conner character.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eileen
  • Tinley Park, IL, United States
  • 03-15-05

Please, more Petra Connor

I have to say right off that I loved the character of Petra Connor in "Billy Straight", and I'm thrilled that she's the main focus for this book. Yes, the narrator is rather annoying, and if there is a god, she won't read anymore books worth hearing. BUT, this is still a pretty good Kellerman book.

Overall, some of his other books have kept me more on the edge of my seat, but as far as mystery novels go, I'd say this one holds up. I've always liked Kellerman's style, and I would rank him above some of his peers like James Patterson (who I do like, btw). If you want a change of pace with this seldom used character, I would highly recommend this book to you. Just try to get past the narrator and concentrate on the story. It can be done. Trust me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

nothing personal

Nothing personal against the narrator but she is THE most boring speaker I've ever listened to. The story might actually be pretty good but it's torture listening to this person. I still have 5 hrs. to go and I will finish it but I will definitely check to make sure I never get another audiobook with this narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Book has to be better than reader

I just really couldn't get into this book. The reader lulls you to sleep and that's just not fair to Jonathan Kellerman!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

UGH!

I also have to say that I don't view myself as a hard critic but I might have enjoyed this book alot more if it hadn't been for the narrator. Whew.. I'm not even done yet and I'm just not sure I can stomach the rest. UGH!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nina
  • Arlington, VA, USA
  • 12-26-04

Get a move on! Please!

I really enjoy both the Kellermans, but what is it with drawing out a story to the point of aching at the prolonged "prose". As the book goes on, he employs more tricks and writing devices (my least favorite being the "Sunday, January 5th, 2:30 PM; Los Angeles hospital; 5th floor; the pediatrics ward" -- what does one call this little goodie --uchhh).

His good plot, subplots and great characters save the story, but I wish he would listen to the critics or get an editor with a heavier hand.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gene
  • Raleigh, Nc, United States
  • 01-04-05

Dont waste your time

We bought this for a long trip over Christmas for entertainment and to keep us awake. That was a serious mistake. This is the most boring Kellerman I've read (listened to). The detail wanders all over everywhere and the plot was practically invisible.

Save your money and get the DeMille

4 of 6 people found this review helpful