Saturday, March 03, 2007

Trouble by Jesse Kellerman

Trouble by Jesse Kellerman
Putnam, 2007
Suspense/Thriller; 352 pgs

Started: 02/11/2007
Completed: 02/17/2007
Rating: * (Fair)

First Sentence: Jonah Stem heard a scream.

Where Book Came From: This book was one of the books I chose to review for Curled Up With a Good Book.

Reason for Reading: I enjoy reading both Jonathan and Faye Kellerman books and was curious to see how their son would fair as a writer (think he’s tired of the comparisons being made yet?). When I saw this book offered up for review at Curled Up With a Good Book, I decided this was the opportunity to find out.

Comments: If you are looking for a fast paced psychological thriller, Jesse Kellerman has written one that will likely make your blood go cold and to make sure all the doors and windows are locked. Trouble is an intense and suspenseful novel that will have readers quickly turning the pages to find out what happens next.

Living and working in New York City, third year medical student, Jonah Stem, is hoping to survive the year. The hours are long and the duties are arduous. One night after an exceedingly long shift at the hospital, Jonah goes in search of new shoes only to come across an injured woman begging for help. Without much thought, Jonah steps in, killing the attacker. Suddenly Jonah finds he is a hero, nicknamed “Superdoc,” and while the police and District Attorney’s office consider whether to press charges against him, Jonah becomes the defendant in a civil lawsuit brought on by the family of the dead man.

The woman, Eve Gones, whose life Jonah saved seeks him out to thank him and the two soon become embroiled in a heated affair. They make an instant connection and their passion burns fiercely. Eve is beautiful and intelligent, however, there is something not quite right about her and her story as Jonah soon discovers. Suddenly Jonah must look over his shoulder at every turn as his fear mounts for his life and that of his friends and family. Can he maintain his own sanity?

Jonah’s character was softened by his care and attention to his former girlfriend Hannah, who suffered from mental illness to help and relieve Hannah’s father. Author Jesse Kellerman captured the strain and stress of the events in the novel on Jonah in his treatment of both Hannah’s father, George, and his own family.

Lance DePauw, Jonah’s roommate, provided comic relief throughout the novel. He had an enthusiasm for new projects that eventually would be left incomplete and a penchant for using hidden cameras.

Jesse Kellerman shows promise with his second novel, Trouble. He pulls the reader into the story immediately with his edgy, bordering on humorous writing style. The medical slang and nuances of being a medical student were well positioned throughout. The first part of the book moves at a rapid pace, setting up the story and taking readers on an intense ride. The second portion of the book, however, slowed down a bit as if the author was dragging out the inevitable climax, which had yet to come. The novel came to an end suddenly without warning and seemed anticlimactic. Despite that, Trouble has all the makings of an entertaining psychological thriller. It certainly offers a new twist to the idea of being a Good Samaritan for better or worse. Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Wendy Runyon, 2007

Least favorite part: I would like to have seen more character development and background about the main character, Eve. It would have provided a more full perspective about the events that took place in the novel.

Also, the book got off to a good start, but fizzled out with the beginning of the second part. The intensity was lost somehow and the ending proved to be anticlimactic. Thank goodness for the epilogue which offered some sort of resolution.

Favorite Part: I liked the edginess of the writing. My favorite character in the book was the carefree roommate who seemed clueless at times. While he wasn’t the most well rounded character, he was an interesting one.

Miscellaneous: Looks like I will be going to San Francisco for a conference in May. It's been a while since I last set foot in the City by the Bay. I wish I could drag Anjin along. Ho hum.


  1. I used to be a huge Jonathon Kellerman fan. In the last few years, not so much. I didn't know he and Faye had a son who writes too. Unfair when all that talent goes to one family. I think I'll wait till his next one before reading him. From your review it seem like he is still getting his feet under him. Thanks for the heads up on a new author.

  2. The publisher sent me two review copies in September, but I couldn't get through the first few chapters. I didn't review it because I couldn't make myself read it, but have seen a couple of other favorable reviews.

  3. Lisa Jean - I know what you mean about too much talent in one family. LOL If I could be so lucky . . . I'm a fan of both Jonathan and Faye Kellerman's novels. I've read more of Jonathan than I have of Faye, but I hope to remedy that one day.

    I haven't yet read Jesse's first novel, Sunstroke, but Trouble had enough good qualities to make me willing to try that one. The jury is still out for me on him.

    Jenclair - I've read some good and some not so good about this book since reading it myself. And although I enjoyed parts of it, it fell short in the end. If you couldn't get into it in the beginning, you are probably better off letting it go.

  4. Great review! I haven't read this but I have Sunstroke in my TBR pile! Happy reading. :)

  5. Thanks, Melody! I'm hoping I will like Sunstroke better.

  6. A friend sent me a copy of this book. She was pretty iffy about it, too, but it sounds like it's worth a try as long as the husband is home or I read during the daylight hours. Thanks for the review. I just saw your reply that my hazy memory was right about you being a Wendy. Thanks for that, also. :)


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