REVIEW: GUILT, BY JONATHAN KELLERMAN

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Our story begins with Holly Ruche, a young pregnant wife who is rhapsodizing about her beautiful and recently acquired ninety-year old home, in Cheviot Hills in LA, and even though it will require some fixing up, she is very happy at the thought. The only thing that bothers her is how the previous owners did not properly cut down that tree, and there is a mess in the yard.

While digging in the garden, she discovers skeletal remains that appear to be an infant. At this point, the detectives are called in, and the initial findings suggest that the remains are at least 60 years old. This fact will complicate the investigation.

Before the detectives can pursue this case further, another infant’s body, a more recent one, is discovered in a nearby park. And a woman’s dead body is just across the park. Are these two events connected?

When Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware begin their quest to solve the mysteries, their journey takes them along many unexpected trails that veer and twist, making you forget where you started. Oh, yes…what about the first body in Holly’s yard?

Soon on their radar are two somewhat reclusive megastars, Prema Moon and Donny Rader, and the very unusual life they share. It is easy to forget about the first infant…at least for a while.

The fun in taking the journey with Alex and Milo is also getting to join them as they ponder what to do next, while eating a large breakfast or lunch somewhere. Or watching Alex feed the koi in his backyard and then getting a glimpse of his girlfriend Robin while she works on the guitars she rebuilds. I can visualize the lovely home in Beverly Glen, which is off the beaten track and a little quirky.

But back to the quest. Prema’s unexpected cooperation leads Milo and Alex to some answers….and then, after a while, we learn more about the first infant.

As much as I enjoyed Guilt: An Alex Delaware Novel, the investigation itself was all over the map, so my enjoyment was centered on Alex and his life and thoughts. In the end, there were satisfactory conclusions, but I’m awarding 3.5 stars for this one.

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CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS – “FURTHER OUT THAN YOU THOUGHT”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Welcome to another Tuesday of delightful sharing, and adding to our TBR stacks.  Today I am spotlighting an ARC from Amazon Vine:  Further Out Than You Thought, by Michaela Carter.

 

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Intro:  It had happened.  She’d crossed the finish line.

The transformation was complete.  She was no longer her body.  Her body was not her.  The separation was palpable.

Had you been there, she’d have told you to come closer.

Closer, she’d have said.  I’ll demonstrate.

Can you feel my nipple, the taut nub against your lip, your tongue, your teeth?

I don’t know you?

No, I don’t.

Is that a problem?  It feels wonderful; it means nothing—nothing more than the fact of itself.  It just is, this meeting of flesh.

Is there anywhere else you care to touch?

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Teaser:  In their apartment, Gwen watched the news—the fires, the looters, the inferno the City of Angels had become.  The worst the country had seen since the Watts Riots of ’65.  (p. 110).

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Blurb:  Combining the eloquence and raw sensuality of Jeanette Winterson with the romantic, renegade spirit of Patti Smith, Further Out Than You Thought is a taut and erotically charged literary debut, set against the chaos of the 1992 L.A. riots, about three people searching for identity and meaning from award-winning poet and indie bookshop co-founder Michaela Carter.

In the Neverland that is Los Angeles, where make-believe seems real, three dreamers find themselves on the verge of transformation. Twenty-five-year-old poet Gwendolyn Griffin works as a stripper to put herself through graduate school. Her perpetually stoned boyfriend Leo dresses in period costume to hawk his music downtown, and seems to be losing his already tenuous grip on reality. And their flamboyant best friend and neighbor, nightclub crooner Count Valiant, is slowly withering away.

When the city explodes in violence after the Rodney King verdict, the chaos becomes a catalyst for change. Valiant is invigorated, Leo plans a new stunt—walking into east L.A., naked, holding a white flag—and Gwen, discovering she is pregnant, is confronted by troubling questions. Can Leo become a good, dependable father? Can she leave the club life behind, or will the city’s spell prove too seductive?

Combining poetry and sensuality with an edgy urban sensibility, Further Out Than You Thought is a celebration of life and a haunting story of love, friendship, and one woman’s quest for redemption.

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What do you think?  I love the idea of revisiting a time in California history when all of us who lived here back then were shaken to the core by events that literally exploded.

What are you sharing today?

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