Gun Games Mass Market Paperback – 1 Feb 2012
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|Mass Market Paperback, 1 Feb 2012||
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'Kellerman is an excellent writer' The Times
'Very exciting' Daily Mail
'Brutal but thoughtful and well-plotted, fast-moving and well told' Observer
'Kellerman creates a claustrophobic atmosphere, against a background of seediness, violence and distrust' Sunday Telegraph
'Kellerman moves her gritty mean streets LA plot along with breakneck pace' Irish Independent--Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
From the Back Cover
The Hesse suicide strikes a troubling chord in the household of Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus, now that they've taken in Gabe Whitman--the gifted and brilliant fifteen-year-old son of a killer--whose own unexplained comings and goings only remind Decker that he knows almost nothing about the secretive boy living under his roof. But it's a second teen suicide--a young girl who attended the same exclusive prep school as Gregory Hesse--that points Decker and his detectives down a dark alley of twisted allegiances and unholy alliances . . . and toward a cold-blooded group of high schoolers with a shocking predilection for guns and violence.--Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre. See all Product description
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But in "Gun Games", Kellerman has gone to a plot situation seemingly akin to long-running soap operas on TV. You know, the ones that feature the young lovers in the main roles and the old standbys who are trotted out once-in-a-while to give advise and muse about love "back in the day". And the younger characters are never as interesting as the older ones. But having a "hot story" sells the soap better than an old one does, it seems.
In "Gun Games", Kellerman has relegated Peter and Rina to the back bench in favor of young lovers, Gabriel and Yasmine. Star-crossed lovers, Gabriel is the foster son of the Deckers and a budding piano genius, who, at the age of 15 has already been offered admission to both Julliard and Harvard. He's also the son of a hit-man the Deckers have known for a few years and for somewhat murky reasons, murkily told in the last couple of books, is living with the Deckers. His new love is Yasmine, a 14 year old daughter of Persian Jews living in the Valley - San Fernando, of course - and their relationship model is "Romeo/Juliet". But, Faye Kellerman is no William Shakespeare, and the reader is already at an "ick" point because neither Gabe nor Yasmine is particularly interesting and the thought of underage sex is, is...icky. Really icky.
Added to the star-crossed (young) lovers are a bunch of rich losers at a well-regarded private school that prides itself on mainlining its students straight into the Ivy League. Now, husband Jonathan has already written about what goes on in LA private schools that are hotbeds of drug use, paganism,"mean girls, murder, and torture. I think he's used the plot point in several of his books. It's a tedious plot devise at best, and boring at worst. And the private-school-loser-sickie-murderers are pretty boring in Faye's once-clever hands. (Full disclosure: my two sons went to private school - admittedly not in LA - and I don't think any of "that stuff" went on at their school. Though maybe I was too busy watching "All My Children" to notice...)
Throw in a couple of teenage suicides at the school and a whole bunch of text messaging between R and J and you've basically gotten the gist of Faye Kellerman's "Gun Games". It's just not very good, and I don't know if Faye was channeling the "Young Adult" fiction writers at Amazon's ABNA competition, but she should deep-six the "teens-n-texting", and return to the old folks she's been writing about so well up to now. You know, Rina and Peter...
Decker is involved with a serial killer (Garth Hammerling) sighted in New Mexico but the local news is the suicide of a 15 year old (Gregory Hesse) from a single shot to the head. Coroner's verdict 'suicide'. No apparent reason, leading to Gregory's mother, Wendy, being brought by Sergeant Marge Dunn to plead for help in finding out why her son died,a well-behaved pupil at the large state of the art Bell & Wakefield school (B&W). Interviews with Greg's friends reveal no motive. Six weeks later another single head-shot suicide kills 16 year old Myra Gelb a pupil at the same school. ? Coincidence. No apparent motive.
Meanwhile Gabe has met a Jewish (Persian) 14 year old, Yasmine, a fellow music lover and the pair begin an innocent mutually attractive liason in secret (Yasmine's family are strict) and Gabe is catholic.Taboo. They are central to the theme of the tale and how their relationship develops. Elements of Jewish lifestyle and culture add to the flavour of the novel without being obtrusive. Rina is the cornerstone of the family, heavily featured.
The investigation of the suicides and associated incidents are written by Faye Kellerman in an intriguing series of involved families,victims' encounters, schoolfriends and their associates,and the school hierarchy with suberb narrative. Common ground is established between the two deaths involving missing laptops, stolen guns,same school with no high suicide record, but no definite links. The characters are introduced in a meaningful way but they do need initial concentration to sort out their relationships and interactions. Needless to say, vital evidence and other information surfaces that drives Decker, Marge, Capt.Scott Oliver forwards to unravel the mysteries that have confounded them.Gabe and Yasmine have also become more involved ultimately leading to the inevitable family intervention. The final chapters are nail-biting, frantic and pulsating.
As usual Faye Kellerman ties up all loose ends in the main story-lines with explanations of the whys and wherefores of the chief protagonists.Twists and surprises abound. The author also neatly gives us an insight into future outcomes concerning the main characters with even Chris Donatti reappearing. The serial killer's fate is another factor.
An exhilarating well-planned and plotted book, difficult to put down (I tried and failed). Back to Decker,Lazarus and Kellerman's best.
Certainly not one of her best and in retrospect, not one I would want to read again. The storyline is a decent one,not brilliant, but ok. Gabe, who is living with the Deckers falls in love with a Persian Jewish girl and their relationship is conducted in secret. Ok then, but did we really need pages of text conversations between them, and descriptions of their sex life, as and when it happened.
This book could have been half the length it is and would still have been too long. I am glad I have read it as it is out of the way now and I await her next one, as long as it is not teen fiction, which this one certainly was.
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