Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gun Games

I don't know what Faye Kellerman has planned for Gabe Whitman.  Is he a replacement for the Deckers' grown children or is he the central character in a story arc within a long running series?  Kellerman introduced Gabe in Hangman.  Kellerman, as usual, deftly integrated Gabe's assimilation into the Deckers' home life and a string of serial killings, but she also brought back Gabe's father Chris Donetti.  Chris is a compelling character, but I find recurring villains unsatisfying and their subsequent appearances forced.  Chris's appearances have avoided extraordinary levels of coincidence so far, but I remain wary.

Gabe takes the lead in Gun Games which devotes equal time and weight to Gabe's personal story and Peter Decker's investigation of a pair of teen suicides.  There's only one obvious connection between Gregory Hesse and Myra Gelb.  They attended the same private school, surrounded by rich kids whose Daddies will buy them out of any trouble.  It's a slightly above average mystery, and Decker, Marge Dunn, and Scott Oliver solve it though the combination of plodding, hunches, and inter-team comfort you expect from people who've worked together for decades.  This time "who" is a bit less of a mystery than "why" or "how" and that's a nice twist on the police procedural.

The detectives also get some help from Gabe.  The brilliant and talented 15-year-old has already complete his high school curriculum and his encounter with the suspects takes place against the backdrop of his clandestine romance with the younger sister of one of Hannah Decker's classmates.  It starts as a non-date date to the opera (Yasmin's sister backed out and if Gabe didn't go, the ticket would go to waste), but soon the sheltered Orthodox 14-year-old and the emotionally battered boy are meeting before school.  This leads to stolen afternoons, frequent text messages, and a violent attack that leads Decker to culprits of the "suicides," as well as the brief appearance of Chris Donetti.  I said at the start of this review that I don't know why Faye Kellerman brought Gabe Whitman into the Deckers' home.  That's not quite true.  I have an idea, but Spoilers, darling.

No comments:

Post a Comment