Review: The Murderer’s Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman

The Murderer’s Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 385
Source: Book provided by NetGalley for review



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.


Review: I was a little confused by the beginning of the book but within a few chapters I was hooked. Questions kept me turning the pages late into the night, trying to figure out who was who and what had happened years ago.

Grace was a great character. She’s what I would call stolid – she holds her emotions in check and comes off as solid to the core. She’s put up a wall around her as protection from attachment. She avoids affectionate touching such as hand holding. She has emotionless sex to fill her needs but refuses to attach feeling to it.

It was kind of exciting to see Grace grow up and evolve into the woman she had become, to understand what “The Leap” was and why it was so important to her. Mostly, to see her withstand someone’s touch for the first time and to actually relish it.

I loved the way chapters flipped back and forth between now and the past. As adult Grace faces challenge after challenge to solve the mystery of Andrew Toner, memories flood back and we learn (bit by bit) about her past.

While Kellerman is widely known for his Alex Delaware series, The Murderer’s Daughter is a stand-alone novel. I cannot recommend this book highly enough – for the edge-of-your-seat mystery, for the emotional evolution, for the suspenseful writing.