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Billy Straight by Jonathan Kellerman
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Billy Straight (1998)

by Jonathan Kellerman

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1,299139,202 (3.61)12

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I still miss Milo in the books by Kellerman... But this time the story was written from police point of view in stead of Delawere's. That's okay too. Liked the story, its many story lines and the action overall. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Apr 23, 2017 |
One of Kellerman's few novels not focusing on forensic psychologist Alex Delaware, this one tells the story of a bright runaway boy who witnesses a brutal murder. Well-written and suspenseful, with adequate character development. But not up to the caliber of his Delaware books. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Sep 14, 2015 |
An twelve year old boy witnesses a murder in a park. He has already fled an abusive home situation and now he is on the run from a murderer. Petra Connor, a beautiful, tough and talented LAPD detective is assigned to the case with her partner who is distracted because his wife has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. All leads point to the victim's husband but it all looks too pat.

We are also introduced to the boy's background where we witness the life his mother has created for the two of them. The man she now lives with is brutal to both of them and eventually the boy, Billy flees to LA hiding in parks which is how he happened to see the murder. Even in flight, he has the misfortune to run into crazies who want to take his money or use him for sex. Kellerman sure paints an unattractive picture of life in LA after dark.

An intriguing read that has many characters who come in and out of the narrative much like they would in real life. A page turner. ( )
  lamour | Jul 30, 2015 |
Jonathan Kellerman's books are always compelling to me and this one is no exception, although it's not an Alex Delaware novel. ( )
  wareagle78 | Feb 8, 2014 |
Lisa, the estranged wife of TV superstar cop Cart Ramsey, is found murdered in a Los Angeles park. She'd divorced him for cruelty and the detectives on the case, Petra Connor and Stu Bishop, immediately elevate him to No 1 suspect. But a thorough investigation of the scene reveals that there was probably a witness to the killing. Reading the evidence on the ground Petra and Stu believe it is a homeless man, but in fact it is a homeless boy Billy Straight. He knows he has vital evidence, but he is too scared of being returned to his former existence to come forward. As Billy battles with his conscience, Petra and Stu have plenty of other leads to follow and a dual narrative of stunning complexity and suspense develops until they eventually combine into a single crescendo of tension. Jonathan Kellerman has produced a thriller which is genuinely unputdownable.
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
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Epigraph
Unique is she, my constant dove, my perfect one. Song of Songs 6:9
Dedication
To Faye. For Faye. At the core, it's always Faye.
First words
IN THE PARK YOU SEE THINGS.
But not what I saw tonight. God, God...
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345413865, Mass Market Paperback)

Kellerman isn't just an Edgar Award-winning thriller writer, he's a prominent child psychologist, and it shows in Billy Straight. The hero is a 12-year-old runaway whose sharp mind and straitlaced moral sense make him fit to survive the lurid jungles of Hollywood. One night hiding in Griffith Park, Billy witnesses the butchering of Lisa Ramsey, the cokehead ex-wife of Cart Ramsey, a crummy actor-golfer once busted for pummeling Lisa. Did Cart knife Lisa, or was it his pathetic old football sidekick Greg Balch?

When O.J. was on trial, Kellerman said, "This wouldn't make a good novel," but some of Kellerman's toughest critics say this funhouse-mirror version of an O.J.-like case is his best, better than his famous Alex Delaware series. Psychologist Dr. Delaware has a bit part here, but the heroine is Detective Petra Connor, his distaff equivalent. Kellerman's main strength is his vivid invention of secondary characters and his skill at juggling subplots. When Petra's media-whore boss puts Billy's police sketch in the paper with a $25,000 reward, two marvelously sub-simian bounty hunters join the chase: a vicious Russian ex-cop and the vile biker boyfriend of Billy's stoned-out, trailer-park mom.

Like the kid hero of Russell Banks's Rule of the Bone, Billy enriches his author's customary milieu by viewing it from a new, low angle. The tale is more taut than Kellerman's 1997 bestseller Survival of the Fittest and more riveting than the O.J. case--the cops are smart and justice has a prayer. --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:20 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

When twelve-year-old Billy Straight, a runaway struggling to survive L.A.'s most dangerous streets, becomes the sole eyewitness to a brutal murder, he becomes the target of the media, bounty hunters, and a killer, as L.A.P.D. homicide detective Petra Connor races against time to save his life.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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