The Murderer’s Daughter
by Jonathan Kellerman
published by Ballantine Books
August 18, 2015
I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Psychologist Grace Blades treat patients that have suffered extreme trauma. As a child, she witnessed the murder-suicide of her parents and had to suffer through many difficult situations in foster care. Now she helps people through the hardest parts of their lives, while keeping her own life sealed off from relationships. When a new patient is murdered, Grace feels she must solve the crime herself.
I am sure I have read other books by Jonathan Kellerman in the past, but I honestly don’t remember them. I was excited to read this book, because it wasn’t a part in a series, like many of his are. While I enjoyed the book, I didn’t love it. The story is in alternating times- the past and present of the main character. It did keep me absorbed for about 3/4 of it, but I began to feel the parts with the adult Grace were a lot less interesting than those with young Grace. I think that a reason for this is that young Grace, despite such a difficult childhood, still had the potential to become a happy person. Adult Grace simply has not, but instead has crafted a very lonely life. The murder mystery was pretty cool- I love anything to do with cults- but the idea of this beautiful, smart psychologist running around in disguise and breaking the law herself just didn’t seem that believable.
A brilliant, deeply dedicated psychologist, Grace Blades has a gift for treating troubled souls and tormented psyches—perhaps because she bears her own invisible scars: Only five years old when she witnessed her parents’ deaths in a bloody murder-suicide, Grace took refuge in her fierce intellect and found comfort in the loving couple who adopted her. But even as an adult with an accomplished professional life, Grace still has a dark, secret side. When her two worlds shockingly converge, Grace’s harrowing past returns with a vengeance.
Both Grace and her newest patient are stunned when they recognize each other from a recent encounter. Haunted by his bleak past, mild-mannered Andrew Toner is desperate for Grace’s renowned therapeutic expertise and more than willing to ignore their connection. And while Grace is tempted to explore his case, which seems to eerily echo her grim early years, she refuses—a decision she regrets when a homicide detective appears on her doorstep.
An evil she thought she’d outrun has reared its head again, but Grace fears that a police inquiry will expose her double life. Launching her own personal investigation leads her to a murderously manipulative foe, one whose warped craving for power forces Grace back into the chaos and madness she’d long ago fled.