Crime & Beyond Wiki

We met on Monday to discuss 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.
“It was wonderful, I gave it a 1 out of 10.”—ROXANE W.

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 books (Kryss do NOT send me hate mail). The Alex Delaware series starts with When the Bough Breaks, published in 1985.

Before the meeting I looked on Barnes & Noble and Amazon to see what other people were thinking and one of the positive reviews said that it was wonderful and another that it was one of the better books in his series. The negative reviews stated some of the same things club members said: boring, disappointing, and slow. It really goes to show that different people enjoy different books. As an author you don’t have to please everyone, nor could you if you even tried. A lot of people really seemed to like the book, however they appeared to mostly be on Amazon and not at the Lone Tree library on Monday.

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 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.

We liked how it started with Vita (sorry if I spell the names wrong, I listened to the audio version) and how we weren’t sure how the victims were connected. We liked the whole mental hospital angle, but wanted the author to go further with it. We were also hoping for more of a backstory with the two villains. The violent deaths did seem to produce a few reactions from members. I didn’t notice that it was particularly gruesome, which probably says something about me.

Many agreed that the way the guard died in the end was anticlimactic. It seemed to be kind of staged just to get rid of the character. Catching Huggler was also a bit easy, although Milo might not think so after almost getting his head twisted off. Again, I think some of the negative reviews stemmed from the fact that we were looking for a little more excitement.

No one liked that the dogs were starved, but we were happy to hear they survived. And no, none of them were named Daisy.


Question Mark Cake

The question mark that Huggler was leaving on everything still puzzles us. The author kind of explained it by saying that Huggler had purchased a bunch of puzzle books, but again, we wanted more. And speaking of the question mark, Pat baked an excellent chocolate cake and decorated it with….you guessed it……..a question mark! Kudos for creativity AND tastiness. (It was really good cake.)

The slap vote went to Vita. I thing an overwhelming majority also thought she deserved to die and weren’t sad at all when that happened.

Lastly, we welcomed Chris to the club for the first time. We hope you come again Chris. I’d give the disclaimer that we’re not normally as crazy as we were Monday night, but I’d be lying. I like to think of us as a lively group.

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. There was one book left after I passed them out, so if you need one ask a librarian. Those of us who got a copy will read fast and return. I can’t wait to discuss this one. I will be leading and Amy will be providing snacks.

See you in August,