Jonathan & Faye Kellerman, |
(Time Warner, 2004)
Unless you are a huge fan of either or both Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, you can probably skip Double Homicide. Both murder-mystery writers are best-selling authors on their own but, for the first time, husband and wife have penned a book together. Actually, the book is really two short novellas combined in one binding. One murder takes place in Boston. The other in Santa Fe. These murders are unrelated.
Starting in Boston, John Rubinstein narrates. At a college basketball game, a fight on the court leads to further confrontation at a local nightclub. When the star player from the winning side is shot, Detectives Dorothy Breton and Michael McCain are on the case. For Dorothy, the case has special meaning, as her older son was one of the victim's teammates.
By the end of the Boston tale, I did not care about the truth behind the unfortunate death. John Rubinstein's reading probably did not help. He is a good narrator, but his ability to project enough voices for all the various characters was rather weak. I have no idea how far in to the story I was before I realized that Dorothy was African-American. Everybody -- young or old, male or female -- sounded like they had been smoking two packs a day for the last 50 years. I often got lost with which character was saying what if the dialogue wasn't prefaced with who the speaker was.
The death in Santa Fe was a little more interesting. In this case, the murder of an art gallery owner is narrated by Lou Diamond Phillips. Unlike Rubinstein, Phillips can switch accents and pitch such that there is no problem jumping from character to character. I like how the authors took the time to give some depth to what a despicable person this art dealer was. The story also reveals how the two police officers, Darrel Two Moons and Steve Katz, have ended up at this point in their lives.
Unfortunately, this does not leave much time for the original storyline. I would like to have seen this investigation drawn out a little more. Due to time limitations the few suspects are quickly whittled down until (almost as if they realized the last CD was winding down) the killer is suddenly taken care of. Whereas I was glad that Boston finally finished, I was left feeling "That's it?!!???!" in Santa Fe.
I should point out that I am unsure if one story was written by Jonathan and the other by Faye or if they truly collaborated on them both. Either way, I don't think it really matters. I was not a Faye Kellerman fan and I was not familiar with Jonathan's work before receiving this audiobook. After listening to Double Homicide, I have no desire to seek out their prior releases. As for John Rubinstein, go back to reading Brian Haig novels. You portray a Sean Drummond better than Dorothy Breton.