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Monday, January 11, 2021

Serpentine by Jonathan Kellerman and Quiet in Her Bones by Nalini Singh

I'm so behind on reviews and have been absent from both my blogs.  It wasn't an intentional or planned break, but once I got out of the habit of more regular posting, it became harder and harder to post. Here are two recent books that have cold cases at the heart.    


I liked Serpentine better than the more recent installments of the Alex Delaware series.  The first books were favorites, but for the last several years, the books haven't appealed to me as much.  

My favorite character is not Alex, but Milo Sturgis, and Serpentine felt more like some of the earlier books.

from description:  Psychologist Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis search for answers to a brutal, decades-old crime in this electrifying psychological thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense.

A young woman's request for an inquiry into her mother's death is dictated from Milo's superiors, and he isn't too happy about it.  The case is 25 years old and records are sparse.  Milo involves Alex and the two visit the young woman.  Something catches their attention, and even if Milo doesn't believe anything will come of it, he gradually becomes more intrigued.  And it turns out that not only was it murder, but someone is still determined to avoid exposure.

I have a weakness for Milo.  

NetGalley/Random House                                                                   Police Procedural/Cold Case.  Feb. 4, 2021.  Print length:  368 pages.


Aarev Rai's family lived in an exclusive cul de sac in New Zealand, but regardless of how much money the family had or how beautiful Aarev's mother was--family life was a battle ground.

When Aarev was sixteen, his beautiful mother disappeared and so did a quarter of a million dollars.  His father believes Nina Rai left him and stole the money.  Aarev can't believe his beloved mother would have left him behind.

Ten years later, Aarev is temporarily back home after an accident, and Nina Rai's remains are found.  

Nina was not a perfect mother and several people had reason to hate her, but Aarev has to know what happened and who was responsible even if....

An unreliable narrator, good writing, and a little outside the usual formulaic pattern all worked to keep me turning the pages.

NetGalley/Berkley Publishing
Crime.  Feb. 23, 2021.  Print length:  384 pages.




16 comments:

  1. I love a good cold case mystery. I gave up on the Kellerman series years ago because I lost interest. I really liked the earlier books in the series though. Nalini Singh is an author I would really like to give a try. Both of these sound good.

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    1. Yes, I did like the earliest Kellerman books a lot. I wonder how they would hold up, though, on a second read. If Serpentine had not been free, I wouldn't have read it, but I did like it better than some of books in the last few years.

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  2. It certainly is easy to get out of the habit of regular posting, I totally empathize. I'm betting you've been pursuing other creative endeavors. I've decided our home is my creative palette (that's what I tell myself). I haven't read Jonathon Kellerman in years but they are popular in my Little Free Library. I like cold case mysteries though. The one set in New Zealand looks interesting, too.

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    1. :) I agree, your home is a creative palette! The Singh book was interesting because the reader is always perplexed about the narrator. :)

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  3. I know Nalini Singh writes paranormal romance; and I'm happy to note she's now writing crime thrillers so that means another genre of her works to explore! :)

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    1. I wasn't familiar with Singh. I like paranormal, but I'm not much on romance--still, I'll give a look at her other books. :)

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  4. I have a confession to make-i've never read a Kellerman ( his or Faye's) and for the life of me, I can’t recall why — this title sounds so good, and I want to know more about Milo too. Your review of Quiet in her Bones has me eager for it (and now I understand your comment on my post yesterday!)

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    1. You probably weren't even born when the first ones came out in the 1980's. I found them in the library in the 90's I think. I liked Milo because he was one of the first gay characters in a popular series and definitely not the smooth, amusing kind. Milo is overweight, unattractive, and a bit hardboiled, but good at heart.

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  5. Yes, I'm another that read both Kellerman's back in the day, but they fell off my 'must read' list. Not sure I'm all that interested in catching up. I do think that Quiet In Her Bones sounds very good and I've not read anything by that author either. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I don't seek the Delaware series, but when they come free from NetGalley, I give them another try. :) I can't say that I loved Quiet in Her Bones, but I did like it and will look for more by Singh.

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  6. Goodness how many books are in the Kellerman series by now? I remember reading some of those in the early 90s. I think the Nalini Singh book sounds really good plus it's got that foreign setting! And, totally know what you mean about falling behind on blog posts. Once I don't post for a while for whatever reason, it's somehow harder to return but we all eventually do right? Can't keep away from book talk :)

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    1. Kellerman has been writing since forever! The Singh book was interesting for several reasons, and I'll be looking for more from her.

      Yes, it is interesting the way posting and not posting work. It IS hard to stay away from book talk!

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  7. For some reason, I never became a Kellerman fan, but I really like the sound of that second book. Unreliable narrator's drive me nuts until I finally click that they are "unreliable" by intent. Than it becomes a lot of fun to put the puzzle together bit-by-bit all the while wondering if the pieces you have in hand are even part of the same puzzle.

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    1. Right--do we trust anything an unreliable narrator says, some of it, most of it? If most of it, what about those niggling doubts where you question the truth or accuracy? The puzzle analogy is spot on--looking for pieces and trying to fit them in.

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  8. I've not read either one of these authors but I've heard great things about Nalini Singh. I didn't know she was writing anything other than paranormal romance though. This one sounds really good. I'll have to add it to my wishlist. :)

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    1. I didn't know Singh wrote paranormal romance. I'm not fond of romance, but I love good paranormal!

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