Monday, January 2, 2012

Gun Games by Faye Kellerman

Gun GamesGy taken Gmes by Faye Kellerman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 384
Release Date: January 3, 2012

Goodreads: LAPD lieutenant detective Decker and his wife, Rina, have willingly welcomed fifteen-year-old Gabriel Whitman, the son of a troubled former friend, into their home. While the enigmatic teen seems to be adapting easily, Decker knows only too well the secrets adolescents keep—witnessed by the tragic suicide of another teen, Gregory Hesse, a student at Bell and Wakefield, one of the city’s most exclusive prep schools.

Gregory’s mother, Wendy, refuses to believe her son shot himself and convinces Decker to look deeper. What he finds disturbs him. The gun used in the tragedy was stolen—evidence that propels him to launch a full investigation with his trusted team, Sergeant Marge Dunn and Detective Scott Oliver. But the case becomes darkly complicated by the suicide of another Bell and Wakefield student—a death that leads them to uncover an especially nasty group of rich and privileged students with a predilection for guns and violence. Decker thought he understood kids, yet the closer he and his team get to the truth, the clearer it becomes that he knows very little about them, including his own charge, Gabe. The son of a gangster and an absent parent, the boy has had a life filled with too much free time, too many unexplained absences, and too little adult supervision.Before it’s over, the case and all its terrifying ramifications will take Decker and his detectives down a dark alley of twisted allegiances and unholy alliances, culminating at a heart-stopping point of no return.

My take: This is is the first book I have read by Kellerman. Her name is synonymous with mystery, thriller, and crime lit. so I had high expectations. So I fault myself mostly for being underwhelmed. The story itself is comprised of two stories. There is Gabe, a fifteen year old child prodigy of questionable background who has been a star in previous Kellerman books. Although he is the most interesting to read about, I felt like I walked into the middle of a movie. It doesn't take long to catch up to the basics of his story but I didn't like having to catch up. Still, my own fault and Kellerman does seemless catch up.

Then there are the Deckers who are sort of parenting Gabe. Staunchly Jewish,he is also a captain on the police force. A new crime is reported having to do with a gunshot suicide. The mother of the teen doesn't think so. So the police investigate and find a few interesting facts which eventually intersect with Gabe and his new Persian love, Jasmine. This story progresses at a snail's pace and finished with a fizzle for me. Ultimately, it was really an education on bullying which I appreciate but it could have been told in about 200 less pages.

Gabe's story is more interesting and sweet as he navigates new waters of first love and stuff. Yes, I purposely said 'stuff'. I am convinced it is even more intriguing for those who have been following Gabe's story. I will remember Gabe and his life at this time. The other part of the story, the crime, I will forget.

swearing and dialog - heavy
violence - heavy
sex - moderate

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