Billy Straight

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A resourceful runaway alone in the wilds of Los Angeles, twelve-year-old Billy Straight suddenly witnesses a brutal stabbing in Griffith Park. Fleeing into the night, Billy cannot shake the horrific memory of the savage violence, nor the pursuit of a cold-blooded killer. For wherever Billy turns—from Hollywood Boulevard to the boardwalks of Venice—he is haunted by the chuck chuck sound of a knife sinking into flesh. As LAPD homicide detective Petra Connor desperately searches for the murderer, as the media swarms...

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Overview

A resourceful runaway alone in the wilds of Los Angeles, twelve-year-old Billy Straight suddenly witnesses a brutal stabbing in Griffith Park. Fleeing into the night, Billy cannot shake the horrific memory of the savage violence, nor the pursuit of a cold-blooded killer. For wherever Billy turns—from Hollywood Boulevard to the boardwalks of Venice—he is haunted by the chuck chuck sound of a knife sinking into flesh. As LAPD homicide detective Petra Connor desperately searches for the murderer, as the media swarms mercilessly around the story, the vicious madman stalks closer to his prey. Only Petra can save Billy. But it will take all her cunning to uncover a child lost in a fierce urban labyrinth—where a killer seems right at home. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
In a rare departure from his bestselling Alex Delaware series, Jonathan Kellerman now gives us his finest novel in several years: Billy Straight, an absorbing, multilayered suspense story built around the conjunction of a runaway child, a psychopathic killer, and a dedicated Los Angeles detective.

The runaway child is Billy Straight, an undersize 12-year-old who leaves his home in Watson, California, when life with his mother's new boyfriend, a 300-pound biker named Motor (a.k.a. Moron) Moran, becomes more than he can endure. Billy, who is both bright and resourceful, tries to make a life for himself in Los Angeles's Griffith Park. He establishes a rotating series of open-air nests, lives on garbage and the leavings of others, "borrows" books from a local branch of the L.A. Public Library, and learns to survive amid the constant predatory presence of junkies, dealers, prostitutes, and perverts. Then one day he witnesses the brutal murder of a beautiful young woman, an act that reinforces his belief in the essentially savage nature of the world around him.

The murder victim is Lisa Ramsey, former wife of television star Hart Ramsey, whose well-publicized history of domestic violence makes him an obvious — perhaps too obvious — suspect. The bulk of the subsequent narrative is told from the alternating perspectives of Billy Straight and a homicide detective named Petra Connor, who is handed the thankless task of spearheading an investigation that shows every sign of becoming a media circus in the manner of the O. J. Simpson case. Petra's investigationquicklyunearths the possibility that a witness was present at the murder scene; and Billy's picture, accompanied by a $25,000 bounty put up by the victim's parents, soon appears on the front page of all major Los Angeles newspapers.

From this point forward, Billy finds himself in constant jeopardy, pursued by Lisa Ramsey's killer and by a number of L.A. lowlifes interested only in the money. Eventually Billy's path intersects with those of both Petra and the murderer, and the novel ends with a moment of climactic violence. Before then, however, a number of other lives have been lost, or irrevocably altered, by the combined forces of stupidity, selfishness, and greed.

Kellerman's great strength, in addition to his knack for constructing complex, compulsively readable narratives, is his ability to understand and articulate the psychological state of a 12-year-old boy whom the world has swept aside. The majority of the characters in this book are viewed — and judged — by their capacity to confirm or contradict Billy's view of the universe as a hostile, loveless place. In the end, despite the fact that so many people want either to use him or do him harm, Billy encounters — through characters like Petra Connor and a good-hearted Holocaust survivor named Sam Ganzer — enough kindness and concern to justify the tentative, uncertain belief that he just might find a place of safety somewhere in the world.

For fans of the Alex Delaware series, there are two points worth noting. First, Delaware himself makes a brief appearance in the novel, helping Billy come to terms with the traumas of his recent life. Second, in a letter attached to the advance reader's edition, Kellerman notes that a new Delaware novel is in the final stages of completion, so that series will, apparently, continue. Still, Billy Straight represents a useful departure from the main line of Kellerman's career, allowing him to approach his characteristic concerns from an effective — and affecting — new perspective. If you're a Delaware fan, Billy Straight is essential reading. If you're not yet familiar with Kellerman's work, then his latest book, with its representative combination of suspense, compassion, and psychological acuity, is an ideal place to begin.

—Bill Sheehan

Bill Sheehan reviews horror, suspense, and science fiction for Cemetery Dance, The New York Review of Science Fiction, and other publications. He is currently working on a book-length critical study of the fiction of Peter Straub.

USA Today
Often mystery writers can either plot like devils or create believable characters. Kellerman stands out because he can do both. . . masterfully.
Detroit Free Press
Jonathan Kellerman doesn't just write psychological thrillers; he owns the genre.
Charles Winecoff
. . . this ambitious new novel by an old pro lacks the gritty feel of Hollywood sleaze that writers like Elmore Leonard live and breathe. . .In the end, the busy but thin plot can't shake the underlying saccharine tone. Billy's surname says it all.
-- Entertainment Weekly
Marilyn Stasio
...[T]he reason you're turning the pages so fast...[is] the winsome title character and frequent narrator....The kid is irresistible.
The New York Times Book Review
David Lehman
...Kellerman...has justly earned his reputation as a master of the psychological thriller....the writing is vivid, the suspense sustained...
People Magazine
Library Journal
For 12-year-old Billy, dubbed "Straight" because of his strong sense of moral duty, life on the run in L.A. is preferable to living with his addicted mother and her sadistic boyfriend. But after witnessing the stabbing murder of a celebrity's ex-wife, things get tougher for Billy; he saw the killer's license plate and knows he should tell, but he's terrified of both the killer and the police, so he runs for his life. LAPD Detective Petra Connor investigates the murder and begins to search for Billy--as do the media, bounty hunters, and the killer. Kellerman Survival of the Fittest, LJ 8/97 has given Detective Alex Delaware only a cameo role here, but Billy and Petra are poignant, likable characters in a fast-paced, riveting tale that will keep readers hanging until the very last page. Another winner from the master of the psychological thriller; highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/98.]--Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN
People
A master of the psychological thriller
New York Times Book Review
Kellerman really knows how to keep those pages turning.
Kirkus Reviews
While Alex Delaware, his psychologist-sleuth (The Clinic, 1997, etc.), is out on a one-book hiatus, Kellerman produces his best work yet. Young Billy Straight, fleeing domestic non-tranquility-his mom's a drunk, her boyfriend's a sadist-happens on a woman being stabbed to death. It traumatizes him, of course-not only the brutality of it, but its way of placing on his thin shoulders one more impossible burden. What should he do? Should he tell the police he's seen a license plate number? He's only 12, but Bill is named "Straight" for a reason: he's a boy who takes moral dilemmas seriously. But this time, nevertheless, he runs. Facing the police, risking a return to the misery of his home as well as possible exposure to a killer, is more good behavior than he can force on himself. The murder victim turns out to be the divorced wife of a well-known television star-and a case for the LAPD's Detective Petra Connor, who is less than overjoyed at it, knowing it will be high profile and a media magnet. Launching the kind of professional investigation she prides herself on is tricky business in a fish bowl. Brass will get nervous. In addition, her usually rock-solid partner is already distracted in a way that mystifies her, and he won't explain himself, making Petra feel put upon and deserted. But there's plenty of bulldog in this pretty Detective, belying her laid-back and understated look. Relentlessly, she tracks down the leads that at first point unerringly to the disgruntled and jealous former husband. Soon, however, other possibilities occur, until at last Petra connects with Billy during a climactic, blood-drenched shoot-out that resolves all. An engrossing tale in lean,straightforward prose. Readers leery of Kellerman's style will be hard put to find the purple patches usually associated with it. .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345413864
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/5/1999
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 4.15 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Kellerman

Jonathan Kellerman is one of the world’s most popular authors. He has brought his expertise as a clinical psychologist to numerous bestselling tales of suspense (which have been translated into two dozen languages), including his acclaimed Alex Delaware novels; The Butcher’s Theater, a story of serial killing in Jerusalem; and The Conspiracy Club, which features a young psychologist, Dr. Jeremy Carrier, thrust into a chilling hunt for a twenty-first-century Jack the Ripper. Kellerman’s new Alex Delaware novel is Therapy. He is also the author of numerous essays, short stories, and scientific articles, two children’s books, and three volumes of psychology, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards, and has been nominated for a Shamus Award. He and his wife, the novelist Faye Kellerman, have four children.

Biography

"I like to say that as a psychologist I was concerned with the rules of human behavior," Jonathan Kellerman has said. "As a novelist, I'm concerned with the exceptions." Both roles are evident in Kellerman's string of bestselling psychological thrillers, in which he probes the hidden corners of the human psyche with a clinician's expertise and a novelist's dark imagination.

Kellerman worked for years as a child psychologist, but his first love was writing, which he started doing at the age of nine. After reading Ross MacDonald's Lew Archer novels, however, Kellerman found his voice as a writer -- and his calling as a suspense novelist. His first published novel, When the Bough Breaks, featured a child psychologist, Dr. Alex Delaware, who helps solve a murder case in which the only apparent witness is a traumatized seven-year-old girl. The book was an instant hit; as New York's Newsday raved, "[T]his knockout of an entertainment is the kind of book which establishes a career in one stroke."

Kellerman has since written a slew more Alex Delaware thrillers; not surprisingly, the series hero shares much of Kellerman's own background. The books often center on problems of family psychopathology—something Kellerman had ample chance to observe in his day job. The Delaware novels have also chronicled the shifting social and cultural landscape of Los Angeles, where Kellerman lives with his wife (who is also a health care practitioner-turned-novelist) and their four children.

A prolific author who averages one book a year, Kellerman dislikes the suggestion that he simply cranks them out. He has a disciplined work schedule, and sits down to write in his office five days a week, whether he feels "inspired" or not. "I sit down and start typing. I think it's important to deromanticize the process and not to get puffed up about one's abilities," he said in a 1998 chat on Barnes & Noble.com. "Writing fiction's the greatest job in the world, but it's still a job. All the successful novelists I know share two qualities: talent and a good work ethic."

And he does plenty of research, drawing on medical databases and current journals as well as his own experience as a practicing psychologist. Then there are the field trips: before writing Monster, Kellerman spent time at a state hospital for the criminally insane.

Kellerman has taken periodic breaks from his Alex Delaware series to produce highly successful stand-alone novels that he claims have helped him to gain some needed distance from the series characters. It's a testament to Kellerman's storytelling powers that the series books and the stand-alones have both gone over well with readers; clearly, Kellerman's appeal lies more in his dexterity than in his reliance on a formula. "Often mystery writers can either plot like devils or create believable characters," wrote one USA Today reviewer. "Kellerman stands out because he can do both. Masterfully."

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Jonathan Kellerman:
"I am the proud husband of a brilliant novelist, Faye Kellerman. I am the proud father of a brilliant novelist, Jesse Kellerman. And three lovely, gifted daughters, one of whom, Aliza, may turn out to be one of the greatest novelists/poets of this century. "

"My first job was selling newspapers on a corner, age 12. Then I delivered liquor, age 16 -- the most engaging part of that gig was schlepping cartons of bottles up stairways in building without elevators. Adding insult to injury, tips generally ranged from a dime to a quarter. And, I was too young to sample the wares. Subsequent jobs included guitar teacher, freelance musician, newspaper cartoonist, Sunday School teacher, youth leader, research/teaching assistant. All of that simplified when I was 24 and earned a Ph.D. in psychology. Another great job. Then novelist? Oh, my, an embarrassment of riches. Thank you, thank you, thank you, kind readers. I'm the luckiest guy in the world.

"I paint, I play the guitar, I like to hang out with intelligent people whose thought processes aren't by stereotype, punditry, political correctness, etc. But enough about me. The important thing is The Book."

More fun facts:
After Kellerman called his literary agent to say that his wife, Faye, had written a novel, the agent reluctantly agreed to take a look ("Later, he told me his eyes rolled all the way back in his head," Kellerman said in an online chat). Two weeks later, a publisher snapped up Faye Kellerman's first book, The Ritual Bath. Faye Kellerman has since written many more mysteries featuring L.A. cop Peter Decker and his wife Rina Lazarus, including the bestsellers Justice and Jupiter's Bones.

When Kellerman wrote When the Bough Breaks in 1981, crime novels featuring gay characters were nearly nonexistent, so Alex Delaware's gay detective friend, Milo Sturgis, was a rarity. Kellerman admits it can be difficult for a straight writer to portray a gay character, but says the feedback he's gotten from readers -- gay and straight -- has been mostly positive.

In his spare time, Kellerman is a musician who collects vintage guitars. He once placed the winning online auction bid for a guitar signed by Don Henley and his bandmates from the Eagles; proceeds from the sale were donated to the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas.

In addition to his novels, Kellerman has written two children's books and three nonfiction books, including Savage Spawn, about the backgrounds and behaviors of child psychopaths.

But for a 1986 television adaptation of When the Bough Breaks, none of Kellerman's work has yet made it to screen. "I wish I could say that Hollywood's beating a path to my door," he said in a Barnes & Noble.com chat in 1998, "but the powers-that-be at the studios don't seem to feel that my books lend themselves to film adaptation. The most frequent problem cited is too much complexity."

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    1. Hometown:
      Beverly Hills, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 9, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A. in psychology, University of California-Los Angeles; Ph.D., University of Southern California, 1974
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

In the park you see things.
But not what I saw tonight.
God, God . . .
I wanted to be dreaming but I was awake, smelling chili meat and onions and the pine trees.

First, the car drove up to the edge of the parking lot. They got out and talked and he grabbed her, like in a hug. I thought maybe they were going to kiss and I'd watch that.
Then all of a sudden, she made a weird sound—surprised, squeaky, like a cat or dog that gets stepped on.

He let go of her and she fell. Then he bent down next to her and his arm started moving up and down really fast. I thought he was punching her, and that was bad enough, and I kept thinking should I do something. But then I heard another sound, fast, wet, like the butcher at Stater Brothers back in Watson chopping meat—chuck chuck chuck.

He kept doing it, moving his arm up and down.
I wasn't breathing. My heart was on fire. My legs were cold. Then they turned hot-wet.
Pissing my pants like a stupid baby!
The chuck chuck stopped. He stood up, big and wide, wiped his hands on his pants. Something was in his hand and he held it far from his body.
He looked all around. Then in my direction.
Could he see me, hear me—smell me?
He kept looking. I wanted to run but knew he'd hear me. But staying here could trap me—how could he see anything behind the rocks? They're like a cave with no roof, just cracks you can look through, which is the reason I picked them as one of my places.
My stomach started to churn around, and I wanted to run so badly my leg muscles were jumping under my skin.

A breeze came through the trees, blowing up pine smell and piss stink.
Would it blow against the chili-burger's wrapping paper and make noise? Would he smell me?
He looked around some more. My stomach hurt so bad.
All of a sudden he jumped ran back to the car, got in, drove away.
I didn't want to see when he passed under the lamp at the corner of the parking lot, didn't want to read the license plate.
plyr 1.

The letters burned into my mind.
Why did I look?
Why?

I'm still sitting here. My Casio says 1:12 a.m.
I need to get out of here, but what if he's just driving around and comes back—no, that would be stupid, why would he do that?
I can't stand it. She's down there, and I smell like piss and meat and onions and chili. Real dinner from the Oki-Rama on the Boulevard, that Chinese guy who never smiles or looks at your face. I paid $2.38 and now I want to throw it up.

My jeans are starting to get sticky and itchy. Going over to the public bathroom at the other end of the lot is too dangerous . . . that arm going up and down. Like he was just doing a job. He wasn't as big as Moron, but he was big enough. She trusted him, let him hug her . . . what did she do to make him so mad . . . could she still be alive?
No way. Impossible.

I listen carefully to see if she's making any sounds. Nothing but the freeway noise from across the east side of the park and traffic from the Boulevard. Not much traffic tonight. Sometimes, when the wind blows north, you hear ambulance sirens, motorcycles, car honks. The city's all around. The park looks like the country, but I know the difference.
Who is she?—forget that, I don't want to know.

What I want is to put tonight on rewind.
That squeaky sound—like he took the air right out of her. For sure she's . . . gone. But what if she isn't?
Even if she isn't, she will be soon, all that chucking. And what could I do for her, anyway? Breathe into her mouth, put my face in her blood?
What if he comes back while I'm doing it?
Would he come back? That would be stupid, but there are always surprises. She sure found that out.
I can't help her. I have to put this all out of my mind.
I'll sit here for ten more minutes—no, fifteen. Twenty. Then I'll get my Place Two stuff together and move.

Where to? Place One, up near the observatory, is too far, and so are Three and Four, even though Three would be good 'cause it has a stream for washing. That leaves Five, in the fern tangle behind the zoo, all those trees. A little closer, but still a long walk in the dark.
But it's also the hardest one to find.

Okay, I'll go to Five. Me and the animals. The way they cry and roar and smash against their cages makes it hard to sleep, but tonight I probably won't sleep anyway.
Meantime, I sit here and wait.
Pray.
Our Father in heaven, how about no more surprises?
Not that praying ever got me anything, and sometimes I wonder if there's anyone up there to pray to or just stars—humongous balls of gas in an empty black universe.
Then I get worried that I'm blaspheming.
Maybe some kind of God is up there; maybe He's saved me lots of times and I'm just too dumb to know it. Or not a good enough person to appreciate Him.
Maybe God saved me tonight, putting me behind the rocks, instead of out in the open.
But if he had seen me when he drove up, he probably would've changed his mind and not done anything to her.

So did God want her to . . .
No, he just would've gone somewhere else to do it . . . whatever.
In case You saved me, thank You, God.
In case You're up there, do You have a plan for me?

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter One

In the park you see things.

    But not what I saw tonight.

    God, God ...

    I wanted to be dreaming but I was awake, smelling chili meat and onions and the pine trees.

    First, the car drove up to the edge of the parking lot. They got out and talked and he grabbed her, like in a hug. I thought maybe they were going to kiss and I'd watch that.

    Then all of a sudden, she made a weird sound--surprised, squeaky, like a cat or dog that gets stepped on.

    He let go of her and she fell. Then he bent down next to her and his arm started moving up and down really fast. I thought he was punching her, and that was bad enough, and I kept thinking should I do something. But then I heard another sound, fast, wet, like the butcher at Stater Brothers back in Watson chopping meat--chuck chuck chuck.

    He kept doing it, moving his arm up and down.

    I wasn't breathing. My heart was on fire. My legs were cold. Then they turned hot-wet.

    Pissing my pants like a stupid baby!

    The chuck chuck stopped. He stood up, big and wide, wiped his hands on his pants. Something was in his hand and he held it far from his body.

    He looked all around. Then in my direction.

    Could he see me, hear me--smell me?

    He kept looking. I wanted to run but knew he'd hear me. But staying here could trap me--how could he see anything behind the rocks? They're like a cave with no roof, just cracks you can look through, which is the reason I picked them as one of my places.

    My stomach started to churn around, and I wanted to run so badly my leg muscles were jumping under my skin.

    A breeze came through the trees, blowing up pine smell and piss stink.

    Would it blow against the chili-burger's wrapping paper and make noise? Would he smell me?

    He looked around some more. My stomach hurt so bad.

    All of a sudden he jumped ran back to the car, got in, drove away.

    I didn't want to see when he passed under the lamp at the corner of the parking lot, didn't want to read the license plate.

    PLYR 1.

    The letters burned into my mind.

    Why did I look?

    Why?

*

I'm still sitting here. My Casio says 1:12 A.M.

    I need to get out of here, but what if he's just driving around and comes back--no, that would be stupid, why would he do that?

    I can't stand it. She's down there, and I smell like piss and meat and onions and chili. Real dinner from the Oki-Rama on the Boulevard, that Chinese guy who never smiles or looks at your face. I paid $2.38 and now I want to throw it up.

    My jeans are starting to get sticky and itchy. Going over to the public bathroom at the other end of the lot is too dangerous ... that arm going up and down. Like he was just doing a job. He wasn't as big as Moron, but he was big enough. She trusted him, let him hug her ... what did she do to make him so mad ... could she still be alive?

    No way. Impossible.

    I listen carefully to see if she's making any sounds. Nothing but the freeway noise from across the east side of the park and traffic from the Boulevard. Not much traffic tonight. Sometimes, when the wind blows north, you hear ambulance sirens, motorcycles, car honks. The city's all around. The park looks like the country, but I know the difference.

    Who is she?--forget that, I don't want to know.

    What I want is to put tonight on rewind.

    That squeaky sound--like he took the air right out of her. For sure she's ... gone. But what if she isn't?

    Even if she isn't, she will be soon, all that chucking. And what could I do for her, anyway? Breathe into her mouth, put my face in her blood?

    What if he comes back while I'm doing it?

    Would he come back? That would be stupid, but there are always surprises. She sure found that out.

    I can't help her. I have to put this all out of my mind.

    I'll sit here for ten more minutes--no, fifteen. Twenty. Then I'll get my Place Two stuff together and move.

    Where to? Place One, up near the observatory, is too far, and so are Three and Four, even though Three would be good 'cause it has a stream for washing. That leaves Five, in the fern tangle behind the zoo, all those trees. A little closer, but still a long walk in the dark.

    But it's also the hardest one to find.

    Okay, I'll go to Five. Me and the animals. The way they cry and roar and smash against their cages makes it hard to sleep, but tonight I probably won't sleep anyway.

    Meantime, I sit here and wait.

    Pray.

    Our Father in heaven, how about no more surprises?

    Not that praying ever got me anything, and sometimes I wonder if there's anyone up there to pray to or just stars--humongous balls of gas in an empty black universe.

    Then I get worried that I'm blaspheming.

    Maybe some kind of God is up there; maybe He's saved me lots of times and I'm just too dumb to know it. Or not a good enough person to appreciate Him.

    Maybe God saved me tonight, putting me behind the rocks, instead of out in the open.

    But if he had seen me when he drove up, he probably would've changed his mind and not done anything to her.

    So did God want her to ...

    No, he just would've gone somewhere else to do it ... whatever.

    In case You saved me, thank You, God.

    In case You're up there, do You have a plan for me?


Chapter Two

Monday, 5 A.M.

    When the call came into Hollywood Division, Petra Connor was well into overtime but up for more action.

    Sunday, she'd enjoyed unusually peaceful sleep from 8 A.M. to 4 P.M., no gnawing dreams, thoughts of ravaged brain tissue, empty wombs, things that would never be. Waking to a nice, warm afternoon, she took advantage of the light and spent an hour at her easel. Then, half a pastrami sandwich and a Coke, a hot shower, and off to the station to finalize the stakeout.

    She and Stu Bishop rolled out just after dark, cruising alleys and ignoring minor felonies; they had more important things on their minds. Selecting a spot, they sat watching the apartment building on Cherokee, not talking.

    Usually they chatted, managed to turn the boredom into semi-fun. But Stu had been acting weird lately. Remote, tight-lipped, as if the job no longer interested him.

    Maybe it was five days on graveyard.

    Petra was bugged, but what could she do--he was the senior partner. She put it aside, thought about Flemish pictures at the Getty. Amazing pigments, superb use of light.

    Two hours of butt-numbing stasis. Their patience paid off just after 2 A.M. and another imbecilic but elusive killer hooked up.

    Now she sat at a scabrous metal desk opposite Stu, completing the paperwork, thinking about going back to her apartment, maybe doing some sketching. The five days had energized her. Stu looked half-dead as he talked to his wife.

    It was a warm June, well before daybreak, and the fact that the two of them were still there at the tail end of a severely understaffed graveyard shift was a fluke.

    Petra had been a detective for exactly three years, the first twenty-eight months in Auto Theft, the remaining eight in daytime Homicide with Stu.

    Her partner was a nine-year vet and a family man. Day shift suited his lifestyle and his biorhythms. Petra had been a nighthawk from childhood, before the deep blue midnights of her artist days, when lying awake at night had been inspirational.

    Well before her marriage, when listening to Nick's breathing had lulled her to sleep.

    She lived alone now, loved the black of night more than ever. Black was her favorite color; as a teenager she'd worn nothing but. So wasn't it odd that she'd never asked for nighttime assignments since graduating the academy?

    It was adherence to duty that brought about the temporary switch.

    Wayne Carlos Freshwater crawled out at night, scoring weed and crack and pills on Hollywood side streets, killing prostitutes. No way was he going to be found when the sun shone.

    Over a six-month period, he'd strangled four streetgirls that Petra and Stu knew about, the last one a sixteen-year-old runaway from Idaho who he'd tossed in an alley Dumpster near Selma and Franklin. No cutting, but a pocketknife found at the scene yielded prints and led to a search for Freshwater.

    Incredibly stupid, dropping the blade, but no big surprise. Freshwater's file said his IQ had been tested twice by the state: 83 and 91. Not that it had stopped him from eluding them.

    Male black, thirty-six years old, five-foot-seven, 140, multiple arrests and convictions over the last twenty years, the last for an ag assault/attempted rape that sent him to Soledad for ten years--cut down, of course, to four.

    The usual sullen mug shot; bored with the process.

    Even when they caught him, he looked bored. No sudden moves, no attempt at escape, just standing there in a rancid hallway, pupils dilated, faking cool. But after the cuffs went on, he switched to wide-eyed surprise.

    Whud I do, Officer?

    The funny thing was, he looked innocent. Knowing his size, Petra had expected some Napoleon full of testosterone, but here was this dainty little twerp with a dainty little Michael Jackson voice. Neatly dressed, too. Preppy, brand-new Gap stuff, probably boosted. Later, the jailer told her Freshwater'd been wearing women's underwear under the pressed khakis.

    The ten-year Soledad invitation had been for choking a sixty-year-old grandmother in Watts. Freshwater was released angrier than ever and took a week to get going again, ratcheting up the violence level.

    Great system. Petra used the memory of Freshwater's moronic surprise to get herself smiling as she completed the report.

    Whud I do?

    You were a bad, bad boy.

    Stu was still on the phone with Kathy: Home soon, honey; kiss the kids for me.

    Six kids, lots of kissing. Petra had watched them line up for Stu before dinner, platinum heads, sparkling hands and nails.

    It had taken her a long time to be able to look at other people's kids without thinking of her own useless ovaries.

    Stu loosened his tie. She caught his eye, but he looked away. Going back on days would be good for him.

    He was thirty-seven, eight years Petra's senior, looked closer to thirty, a slim, nice-looking man with wavy blond hair and gold-hazel eyes. The two of them had been quickly labeled Ken and Barbie, even though Petra had the dark tresses. Stu had a taste for expensive traditional suits, white French-cuffed shirts, braided leather suspenders, and striped silk ties, carried the most frequently oiled 9mm in the department, and a Screen Actors Guild card from doing bit parts in TV cop shows. Last year he'd made Detective-III.

    Smart, ambitious, a devout Mormon; he and pretty Kathy and the half-dozen tykettes lived on a one-acre spread in La Crescenta. He'd been a great teacher for Petra--no sexism or personal garbage, a good listener. Like Petra, a work fiend, driven to achieve maximal arrests. Match made in heaven. Till a week ago. What was wrong?

    Something political? The first day they partnered he informed her he was thinking about shifting to the paper track eventually, going for lieutenant.

    Preparing her for good-bye, but he hadn't mentioned it since.

    Petra wondered if he was aiming even higher. His father was a successful ophthalmologist, and Stu had grown up in a huge house in Flintridge, surfed in Hawaii, skied in Utah; was used to good things.

    Captain Bishop. Deputy Chief Bishop. She could imagine him in a few years with graying temples, Cary Grant crinkles, charming the press, playing the game. But doing a solid job, because he was substance as well as style.

    Freshwater was a major bust. So why didn't it matter to him?

    Especially because he was the one who'd really solved it. The old-fashioned way. Despite the Joe Clean demeanor, nine years had made him an expert on streetlife, and he'd collected a stable of low-life confidential informants.

    Two separate C.I.'s had come through on Freshwater, each reporting that the hooker killer had a heavy crack habit, was selling stolen goods on the Boulevard at night and scoring rock at a flop apartment on Cherokee. Two gift-wraps: precise address, down to the apartment number, and exactly where the dealers' lookouts hung out.

    Stu and Petra staked out for three nights. On the third, they grabbed Freshwater as he entered the building from the back, and Petra got to clamp the cuffs.

    Delicate wrists. Whud I do, Officer? She chuckled out loud and filled the arrest form's inadequate spaces with her elegant draftsman's hand.

    Just as Stu hung up his phone, Petra's jangled. She picked up and the sergeant downstairs said, "Guess what, Barbie? Got a call from the park rangers over at Griffith. Woman down in a parking lot, probable 187. Tag, you're it"

    "Which lot in Griffith?"

    "East end, back behind one of the picnic areas. It's supposed to be chained off, but you know how that goes. Take Los Feliz like you're going to the zoo; instead of continuing on to the freeway, turn off. The blues'll be there along with a ranger car. Do it Code 2."

    "Sure, but why us?"

    "Why you?" The sergeant laughed. "Look around. See anyone else but you and Kenny? Blame the city council."

    She hung up.

    "What?" said Stu. His Carroll & Company foulard was tightly knotted and his hair was perfectly combed. But tired, definitely tired. Petra told him.

    He stood and buttoned his jacket. "Let's go."

    No gripe. Stu never complained.

Read More Show Less

Interviews & Essays

On Wednesday, January 13th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Jonathan Kellerman to discuss BILLY STRAIGHT.


Moderator: Welcome, Jonathan Kellerman! Thank you for joining us online this evening. How are you doing this evening?

Jonathan Kellerman: Great to be here. Thanks for having me. We writers operate in isolation, so it's always fun to get in touch with those kind enough to read our books.


Pearl from New Jersey: Where do you get inspiration for your particularly evil characters? I'm thinking of THE BUTCHER'S THEATER specifically, but in BILLY STRAIGHT too. Do you ever manage to scare yourself?

Jonathan Kellerman: I guess I have a warped mind. Actually, like many crime writers, I'm a bit of a coward, and I write about things that frighten and upset me. Yes, I definitely scare myself. I figure if my book's not keeping me up at night, it won't keep my readers up.


Martha from Metaire, LA: How has your past experience in child psychology influenced your writing? Is that too broad a question to answer?

Jonathan Kellerman: I struggled for many years to get published as a novelist and I believe that my experiences as a psychologist were what finally helped me succeed. Though I'd never, ever write about patients -- or real people, in general, for that matter -- because of my oath of confidentiality, I'd like to think that my clinical experience helps lend an air of authenticity to my novels.


Grady from Santa Monica, CA: Hello, Mr. Kellerman. How are you doing tonight? What to you are the most alluring things to write about when you have a setting of Los Angeles?

Jonathan Kellerman: Doing fine, thanks. I consider L.A. an actual character in my books. It's not a coincidence that some of the finest crime novels ever written were set in L.A. The discrepancies between rich and poor, the air of unreality brought about by the -- increasing -- influence of the film business, and the weather that allows more leisure time in which to get into trouble, all combine to create the ideal setting for murder and mayhem. I've lived in L.A. for most of my life, and the material never seems to run out.


Marhkie from Ft. Meyers, FL: Are you currently working on bringing any of your writing to the big screen? I would love it if you became a bit of an Elmore Leonard-esque author. (By the way, "Out of Sight" was the best movie adaptation of a good novel I have seen in a while.) Which brings me to my next question: What to you was the best movie adaptation of a good novel?

Jonathan Kellerman: I wish I could say that Hollywood's beating a path to my door, but the powers-that-be at the studios don't seem to feel that my books lend themselves to film adaptation. The most frequent problem cited is too much complexity. Nothing would please me more than having a first-rate director -- my choice would be the Coen brothers -- do one of my novels. I did have a multibook deal with Francis Ford Coppola to do TV movies, but it fell through. "Silence of the Lambs" seems to me to have been an ideal situation: terrific book adapted as terrific film.


Bradley from Albany, NY: I really like how both you and your wife strayed from the path of series and both conquered with what I believe is both of your best fiction to date(MOON MUSIC and BILLY STRAIGHT). Did you and Mrs. Kellerman decide to do this together?

Jonathan Kellerman: Thanks a lot for your kind words -- because some readers seem to resent it when one strays from the expected. Actually, it's quite strange that Faye and I each wrote nonseries books, because we never discuss projects before we begin. Also, both of us must be on some sort of ten-year cycle, as a decade ago Faye published THE QUALITY OF MERCY, and I published THE BUTCHER'S THEATER. I'd certainly like to bring Petra Connor back, in addition to trying out other nonseries ideas. Can't speak for Faye, because as I noted, we don't discuss unwritten works. But she is a highly imaginative and adventurous person, so it wouldn't surprise me if she felt the same.


Pac87@aol.com from New Jersey: Who in your opinion is the best thriller writer out there these days?

Jonathan Kellerman: I really can't single anyone out, and I always hesitate to list favorites, because there's always someone who'll be left out. There's a ton of talent out there. I've always admired James M. Cain, Ross MacDonald, John D. MacDonald, Elmore Leonard, Ruth Rendell, James Ellroy, Lawrence Block. Thank God I truly love my wife's writing -- I mean, I could love her but detest her writing, and that would make marriage a little difficult, eh?


Nita from Boston, MA: Mr. Kellerman, do you keep an Orthodox household? I can only assume that your familiarity with the customs is personal....

Jonathan Kellerman: Yes, we do.


Maureen from Ft. Collins, CO: Are you very competitive with your wife, in terms of writing?

Jonathan Kellerman: Not at all. Faye and I were married 13 years before either of us got published, so our relationship was pretty set -- and satisfying. In the beginning, it was a little rough for Faye. I struggled for a long time but when I got published, the books were bestsellers -- thank you, thank you, beautiful readers. Faye sold her first novel, but her ascent was a bit more gradual, so she had to deal with a few "Oh, you write, too?"s. However, love triumphs over all. Faye and I are best friends, and it's really terrific to live with someone who understands the idiosyncratic aspects of this business.


Bobbie from Grand Rapids, MI: How do you think your writing has changed over the years? Do you think there has been an evolution of sorts from the first novel?

Jonathan Kellerman: Tough question, because I don't go back and read my books. I'd like to think I've improved -- I do know that each book is harder to write than its predecessors, because one strives to stay fresh. If anyone out there wants to comment on my evolution/devolution, please feel free to pipe in.


Brownlie from Hiawatha, IA: Hello! Dr. Kellerman, I love your books but have yet to read BILLY STRAIGHT. It does sound great. Alex Delaware is one of my very favorite people. In fact, after I read the first book, I thought if I could just sit down to talk to him he could tell me what I needed to know about me, and I would have great understanding of myself. When I read about the koi pond I decided to build one for myself, except I put it in my living room.

Jonathan Kellerman: Thanks. One of the great things about writing Dr. D is I get to rewrite. So he comes across a lot more sensitive, intelligent, insightful, etc. than I could ever hope to, myself. Congrats on the koi. I have some, too, and they continue to grooow.


Lynn from Chicago, IL: First, thanks for getting your newest books out in January most years. My birthday is the 12th, and it makes it very easy for my husband in terms of "what to get." He knows all I want is your latest book each year. Second: Is Alex Delaware finally going to get a new car? The Seville is getting a bit long in the tooth, and the newer ones are so nice. He deserves a new car, don't you think?

Jonathan Kellerman: January seems to be a good pub date for me. During Christmas, people don't want to deal with crime, etc. Then they spend some time with their families and change their minds. Re: the Seville, my philosophy is, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Remember Travis McGee's Miss Agnes? Interestingly, when NBC did the 1986 Movie of the Week of WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS, they gave Dr. D. a BMW. I thought that was a bit slick, but the car was donated by a dealer, and budget is all.


Gretchen Kass from Vermont: How often do you come across writer's block? What is the Jonathan Kellerman remedy for writer's block?

Jonathan Kellerman: Never, probably, because I spend three to six months structuring and outlining before I actually write the book. My advice would be to do the same, so that you know where you're going. Even if the end product deviates from the outline, the act of outlining lends structure and confidence. Also, never think about writing a novel -- too monumental a concept, way too scary. My goal is to write five decent pages a day. And I always begin by rewriting the previous day's work. That makes for a better book, and it improves the narrative flow -- so that you end up with a coherent body of work rather than a collection of five-page segments.


Paul from Denver, CO: What inspired you to step back from Alex Delaware for a novel?

Jonathan Kellerman: It wasn't a matter of stepping back, it was that this particular story -- and the character of Billy Straight, himself -- had been resonating for a long time. I've completed another Delaware novel. Entitled MONSTER, it's due out in a year. And I'm about halfway through the next one. Believe it or not, I don't write quickly. But I do write steadily -- more tortoise than hare.


Paul from New York City: What to you is the most important element of a good thriller?

Jonathan Kellerman: I think the same rules apply to all good fiction: an interesting story featuring characters about whom we care. A good thriller should also be scary in the sense that it transports the reader, in a semihypnotic manner, to a darker world that he/she might not otherwise be able to access. Personally, I like to get into the minds of characters -- good and bad -- in order to explore motivation.


Barbara from Philadelphia, PA: Looking forward to reading BILLY STRAIGHT, but a question on Alex. I find him to be unusual in his awareness of past mistakes in relationships. Is this a facet of your own personality or just something you feel is important to his character? It is a highly unusual trait for a mystery novel character in my experience.

Jonathan Kellerman: Thank you. I suppose it comes out of my psychological background. When I conceived A.D., I was rebelling against the prevailing stereotype -- the alcoholic, highly psychopathologic antihero. I wanted to create a protagonist with at least a semblance of adjustment. Sometimes I'm criticized because Alex seems too "perfect," but at the time (1981), he was quite a revolutionary guy. The ability to deal with one's errors is crucial for successful relationships, wouldn't you say? I've certainly learned this after 26.5 years of marriage and four kids.


Marvin from Boston, MA: How much do you write every day? Can you tell me a little bit about your creative process?

Jonathan Kellerman: As noted, I aim for 5 good pages a day. Sometimes I manage 3, sometimes 20. During my early days, I practiced psychology full-time and wrote from 11pm to 1am in my garage, as well as between patients. Now, I prefer to write in the morning. No particular tricks or gimmicks. I sit down and start typing. I think it's important to deromanticize the process and not to get puffed up about one's abilities. Writing fiction's the greatest job in the world, but it's still a job. All the successful novelists I know share two qualities: talent and a good work ethic.


Chris from Chris22@aol.com: I have yet to read the book, but I can't wait. But I want to chat about Alex Delaware. What would you say is the number one inspiration behind him? Do we see a lot of Kellerman in Delaware?

Jonathan Kellerman: It's kind of a Walter Mitty fantasy. Delaware's better looking than me, more fit, and he gets into way more trouble than I could handle as -- basically -- a married guy with kids. We do share interest in guitar playing, good food, and, of course, psychology.


Lenea from Lenea734@aol.com: Do you know of any up-and-coming authors in your genre that you think we should keep a lookout for?

Jonathan Kellerman: There's always talent out there -- very gratifying to see. I just read the advance galley of a first novel entitled DARKNESS PEERING that was first rate. Forgot the author's name.


Anton Floyed-Jackson from Southfield, MI: How you got the idea of BILLY STRAIGHT?

Jonathan Kellerman: Billy fulminated in my head for several years. I wanted to see if I could write from the perspective of a child -- as well as from the POV of a woman (Detective Petra Connor, introduced in SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST). Billy's my homage to OLIVER TWIST, although this week's People magazine likened the book to HUCKLEBERRY FINN. No problem, here, comparing me to Mark Twain. But like I said, it's dangerous to believe your own publicity, so tomorrow morning I'll be back typing.


Deb from Upstate New York: Any chance of you and your wife working together on a book? Maybe combining the main characters and having them meet each other?

Jonathan Kellerman: We will not collaborate on a novel, because writing books is our only privacy. We may publish an anthology of our short fiction and essays -- Faye's stories, in particular, are first rate. Occasionally, we do have our characters brush up against one another, but never in any way that would intrude.


Mark Weinberg from New York City: Just wanted to say that I picked up BILLY STRAIGHT this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. Have to admit I missed Dr. Delaware, but I'm sure he'll reappear soon, right? By the way, can you say if Mrs. K. is writing another Decker novel, and when we should look for it? Thank you for so many years of reading pleasure.

Jonathan Kellerman: MONSTER will be published in January of -- shudder -- the new millennium. Faye's JUPITER'S BONES will be out this August. Thank you for your kind words.


Lydia from Oak Forest, IL: I am in awe of your writing and have read almost every book you have created. SILENT PARTNER remains in my mind as your finest creation. The intricacies of the plot and the complex personalities of the characters were unequaled by any author that I have had the pleasure to read, and I read a lot, not being a TV fan. Thank you for making my reading life so fantastically enjoyable. I'm looking forward to reading your latest.

Jonathan Kellerman: Once again, thanks. SILENT PARTNER grew out of my desire to explore Delaware's personality in some depth, after it became apparent that I was going to continue writing books in which he starred. Three of my novels, in particular, have featured A. D. as a direct protagonist, rather than merely as an observer/therapist/detective. They are WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS, SILENT PARTNER, and BAD LOVE. Every so often, we need to check in and see how the doctor's doing.


Pam from Chicago, IL: Most of your novels are A. D. novels. For a new reader of your works, do you think they should start at the beginning? Where would be a good book to start for a new reader?

Jonathan Kellerman: I try to write the novels so that a new reader can pick up any book in the series and be comfortable and not offended by in-jokes while, at the same time, a faithful fan can enjoy the comfort of the familiar. I suppose it makes sense to begin with the first one -- WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS -- and if you like it, keep going in order. BILLY STRAIGHT and THE BUTCHER'S THEATER stand alone.


Heath from California: Petra Connor kicks butt. How do you come up with these characters? Is she based on any people you know?

Jonathan Kellerman: Thanks. I don't really know how I come up with characters. I like to say that I get paid for doing what used to get me in trouble as a kid -- spacing out in class and making up stories. I think most novelists have hyperactive imaginations.


Martha from Metaire, LA: Is there an "Oath of Confidentiality" when it comes to fiction?

Jonathan Kellerman: If you're referring to the fictionalization of patients, there certainly is. Apart from the fact that the main fun of writing novels is making stuff up, I'm extremely careful not to violate the trust of my patients. The funny thing is, back when I was practicing psychology and writing novels, my patients never came into the office asking if I was putting them in the books. I'd like to think that was because they trusted me. However, kids would ask, "How does the book get from your computer into the binding?" That was one I really couldn't answer.


Paul from New York City: Do you prefer being a psychologist or an author? Do you ever see yourself going back to child psychology?

Jonathan Kellerman: I'm still a professor of pediatrics and psychology, and I teach occasionally -- mostly at the graduate school and medical school level. Right now, I really love writing novels and intend to keep doing it as long as the ideas flow and people buy the books. What the future holds...who knows? I never say never.


Moderator: Thank you, Jonathan Kellerman! Best of luck with BILLY STRAIGHT. Do you have any closing comments for the online audience?

Jonathan Kellerman: My pleasure, and thanks for having me. I do want to say -- without being corny -- that I really appreciate the response my books have received. I was a failed writer with a good day job for 14 years -- wrote nine novels that never got published. Even after WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS was bought, it was as a very small novel. My advance came out to three bucks an hour. It was only when word-of-mouth caused readers to go out and buy the book that it became a bestseller. So I owe all you good folks out there a tremendous debt. I'd like to think the best way I can pay you back is to do my best. Thanks, again. Jon Kellerman


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 20 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2001

    good but left me hanging...

    I found that this book was not as gripping as Kellerman's other titles, most of his books are real page turners. The only reason I kept turning the pages in this one was because Billy Straight. I just wanted to take him home, adopt him and make sure the rest of his life was fantastic! Poor wee man. How could you not get involved? I would've liked to have known more about what happened to him - the end of the book left me hanging...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2003

    No Alex Here

    I am an Alex Delaware fan as much as the next person, but this is a very intriguing departure from that series. Very enjoyable!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2000

    Predictable Ending

    Billy Straight was a very likable young boy and wish the story had more to do with him. The killer was predictable. The book was okay but took a long time to read although it wasn't boring it wasn't a page turner either. Would like to know what became of Billy Straight.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2000

    KELLERMAN AT HIS BEST!

    Normally, Kellerman's book's drag in the 1st few chapters, then pick up, but this book was a fast read. I could not put it down from the moment I read the first page. You really feel for the characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    Excellent Book

    Loved this book & the new characters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    Horror in Hollywood

    This book was great. A real page turner. I read it quite a while ago, and I'm tempted to buy again. A real look into the grimey streets of LA and Hollywood and homeless street kid.This was my first Johnathon Kellerman novel and it did not dissapoint.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    Worth reading

    Amazing thriller. Snatches you in and then spits you out. :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2004

    ripum billy

    The book Billy Straight was a pretty good book. The book is about a boy who is 12 years old and is from Watson, California. The first chapter is very interesting. The first chapter is about a beautiful lady who gets murdered that had happened in a park called Griffith park in L. A. Billy so happen to have seen the murder because he spends most of his time in the park rather then at home. Billy is so scared and worried that the killer could have seen him he pisses his pants and runs away and tries to forget about it. From here this book makes you want to read on to find out what Billy is going to do weather he¿s going to tell or not. The next couple of chapters is boring it talks about two detectives that are going to be researching the murder. It talks to much about there own life. The next chapters get interesting again Billy decides to run away to Hollywood. He can¿t handle living with his mom¿s new boyfriend who always picks on him. Billy has no idea where he is going and what he¿s going to do. He found 126 dollars in a tampax box his mom hid away and decides to take that to use as spending money. Billy jumps on a bus to Hollywood and tries to start a new life by himself. Billy is actually a really smart boy and finds away to educate him self. A reason why I like this book was because of Billy Straight because of him it made the book interesting. the reason I didn¿t like this book was when Billy wasn¿t talking. It was too boring and not interesting I kind of got lost when he wasn¿t talking. This book made me think about homeless kids and kids with no parents. It must be really hard for them growing up on their own and having to learn on their own. I think that your parent¿s play a really big roll in life and for kids with out parents must have a hard time. I don¿t know how I would compare this book to other books because I don¿t read books hardly every. I can¿t remember when I read last. I would say this was a good book for me even though I don¿t like to read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2001

    Kellerman never a disappointment!

    Great story with great characters....very enjoyable except for the end......cant say more but didn't like it!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2000

    Stylistic Experiment?

    An avid fan of J. Kellerman's books, I've always been very impressed with his writing style. While 'Billy Straight' is still a good book, stylistically it seems to pay homage to a variety of mystery writers' styles. Unfortunately, this homage gets a bit distracting at times. A side note: If a female character is not interested in styles, trends, or labels, why is it necessary for her to note the label in every article of clothing she wears?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 1999

    I liked the boy...

    <P>I liked Billy Straight and wished there had been more about him and less about the solving of another Hollywood murder. I found myself skimming the non-Billy story and then savoring each moment with the scared child. <P>I wasn't fooled by the murderer or the red herrings the author kept tossing about. I figured out 'who done it' right away, but I kept reading because I wanted to make sure that Billy survived the trauma of witnessing a brutal murder, trying to survive on the mean streets of LA and the loss of innocence. <P>I'm sure the author's been in touch with major motion picture studios in Hollywood. This story has all the makings of a box office hit. I just wish there had been more about Billy and Sam, the ancient Jewish man who finally befriends Billy. I liked Sam and would have put Billy in his charge. <P>I recommend this book....not as the best murder mystery on the block, but because I really liked the boy and his struggles to survive...and even prosper!

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    Posted October 8, 2011

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    Posted January 28, 2010

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    Posted August 13, 2011

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