Review #25: Blindman’s Bluff by Faye Kellerman

I read this book about two or three week’s ago and as I sat to write this review had the hardest time remembering what it was about. Then I stared at the title and thought “hm maybe there is a hint in here” and suddenly remembered that one of the supporting characters was BLIND! Wow, sometimes book titles are really crappy aren’t they? It’s an especially lame title, now that I think of it, because the blind guy turns out to have a pivotal but overall tiny role in the book and in no way is involved in a “bluff,” but you know, I’m not an editor or a publishing company so what do I know. Now despite this stunning realization I barely remember anything about the storyline itself, so I had to google it.

Homicide detective Peter Decker is called to the scene of a triple shooting at the home of one of L.A.’s most wealthy realtors. The realtor and his wife are dead at the scene, and the adult son has been transported to the hospital in critical condition. Decker is faced with a mess of a crime scene — the McMansion and its grounds are huge and the staff extensive. To complicate matters, two of the family’s bodyguards are missing. Are they victims or suspects? Decker’s wife, Rina Lazarus, has her own problems to deal with. She’s serving jury duty on a case of physical assault. The various parties in the case speak Spanish so a translator has been brought in. Rina’s interaction with the translator unexpectedly draws her into her husband’s case.

I decided to pick this book up because I really enjoy Jonathan Kellerman’s works (he’s Faye’s husband). Like Jonathan, Faye has developed pretty strong lead characters. I enjoyed Peter and Rina as a couple, and especially liked learning some bits and pieces about the day to day life of the Orthodox Jewish faith (Peter and Rina are both Orthodox). I had some more difficulty becoming engaged with the storyline. I found it quite tough to feel much for the victims in the story, who are by all accounts unlikeable rich folk. It was also a bit difficult to keep track of the large cast of characters, including multiple police officers and others involved in the case, and many many suspects. It was a bit of a snooze-fest at times. I’m not from L.A. and have never lived there, but I also was a bit uncomfortable at times with the assumption that the Hispanic characters were gang bangers. It felt a bit stereotypical and expected for my tastes. The end also did not have a particularly exciting climax.

Overall, this was another fine, run-of-the-mill detective story. I would give Faye another chance since I like her writing style and the Peter Decker character.

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