My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 5 days
Pages - 550
Publisher - Headline
Blurb from Inside of the book cover
Detective Jacob Lev wakes one morning, dazed and confused: He seems to have picked up a beautiful woman in a bar the night before, but he can’t remember anything about the encounter, and before he knows it, she has gone. But this mystery pales in comparison to the one he’s about to be called on to solve. Newly reassigned to a Special Projects squad he didn’t even know existed, he’s sent to a murder scene far up in the hills of Hollywood Division. There is no body, only an unidentified head lying on the floor of a house. Seared into a kitchen counter nearby is a single word: the Hebrew for justice.
Detective Lev is about to embark on an odyssey—through Los Angeles, through many parts of the United States, through London and Prague, but most of all, through himself. All that he has believed to be true will be upended—and not only his world, but the world itself, will be changed.
The book opens in Prague with Heap, a serial killer who is stalking his next victim. Just as he swoops in for the kill, he is intercepted by a supernatural presence stops in him in tracks. We flick then to Los Angeles, Jacob Lev a police officer with an alcohol dependency and a woman he becomes obsessed with who leaves his life as quickly as she entered it. A case has come up, Lev is getting on peoples nerves and this combined with his Jewish background puts him forward to investigate a murder. A decapitated body, in part, a message left in Jewish writing at the scene and Jacob has little else to go on. As well as this we have another story, Cain and Abels sister, Asham, her choices or lack of and their repercussions, this is visited periodically throughout the book. Feeling confused? Exactly how I felt!
This book has too much going on in it for my liking. Too many different story lines, seemingly unrelated to each other, religious themes throughout, murder, bizarre sex, supernatural creatures, beasties, violence and thats just some of the content. The sexual element, for me, held no major significance, maybe there was and it was just over my head. However it was very weird, disjointed and didn't add to the story. When Jacob is investigating, I liked that although he did seem to get nowhere fast and constantly met resistance, even by those who put him on the case.
His relationship with his father is another line in the story, a seemingly nice, vulnerable Rabbi, worried about his son, who has lost his face and met alcohol since the death of his mother. His father often is featured along with some Jewish tales which I did find interesting however, like I said it is a busy busy book. It seemed to go off on tangents, I had a headache trying to keep up with it and work out what was relevant to what I had already read.
It isn't all bad, like I say I liked when Jacob got into investigating, I liked reading the Jewish stories and learning of some of the Jewish relation. The descriptions where some of the story took place was very detailed and painted a good picture, there is no doubt these writers are good however, maybe together it just doesn't gel. I have read and enjoyed Jonathan before but not Jesse, maybe that was my issue, along with the jumping about and weird sexual scenes. I also had issues with how some of the story lines were wrapped up, I don't like to be left hanging but I would prefer that to things that make no sense or just don't flow. That said a lot of people love this book, including Stephen King, whom I love, so if you have no issue with the previously mentioned give it a go, sadly it wasn't for me. 2/5 this time, I would read Jonathan Kellerman again and I would try Jesse Kellerman, both writing alone, I doubt I would pick up a joint effort by them again though as I really struggled with this and the things I disliked far outweighed those that I did.