Double Homicide

( 24 )

Overview

The "New York Times" bestseller by two masters of the crime novel—and husband and wife—writing together for the first time kick starts a new series of short crime novels, beginning with these two riveting tales of murder and suspense, set in Boston and Santa Fe.

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Double Homicide

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Overview

The "New York Times" bestseller by two masters of the crime novel—and husband and wife—writing together for the first time kick starts a new series of short crime novels, beginning with these two riveting tales of murder and suspense, set in Boston and Santa Fe.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Those who admire risk, take note: two authors at the top of their game have done something quite new. Those who fear change, take heart: the results are just fine. Faye and Jonathan Kellerman, each with a slew of bestsellers, have collaborated on a volume comprising two mystery novellas. Each stands on its own, with separate settings (Santa Fe and Boston) and separate pairs of homicide detectives. To further heighten the distinction, the book has two front covers, with the authors alternating first billing and a "flip" format. It's intriguing to imagine how these two pros went about writing together, but it's even more fun just to jump in and enjoy. The characters are all new, and so are the locales; that in itself is worthy of admiration. Surprisingly, the two novellas are uneven in quality. The Boston piece, about the mysterious death of a young basketball star, suffers from wordiness and a somewhat murky plot, troubles that short works can ill afford. But the strong Santa Fe story more than compensates, with its fully rounded characters and evocative sense of place. The final scene, haunting and heartbreaking, shows the assured hand of a master. (One-day laydown Oct. 5) Forecast: With a 300,000-copy first printing and the unusual husband-wife pairing, expect plenty of media attention and a run on bestseller lists. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The best-selling husband-and-wife crime writers kick off a new joint venture with these two short novels, published in a single reversible volume with two different covers. In "Still Life," Santa Fe detectives Darrel Two Moons and Steve Katz investigate the murder of an art gallery owner who made enemies as quickly as art sales. Set in Boston, the reverse novel, "In the Land of Giants," follows detectives Dorothy Breton and Michael McCain as they probe the apparent shooting death of a college basketball player. Sure to appeal to new readers as well as established fans, the stories are complementary but distinctly separate and without crossover characters. In both novels, the Kellermans' collaborative writing style drives home gritty drama, compelling dialog, and believable characters. Highly recommended for most public libraries. The Kellermans live in Southern California. [See Mystery Prepub, LJ 4/1/04; the next book in the series will be published by Ballantine, Jonathan's publisher. Ed.] Amy Brozio-Andrews, Albany P.L., NY for most public libraries. The Kellermans live in Southern California. [See Mystery Prepub, LJ 4/1/04; the next book in the series will be published by Ballantine, Jonathan's publisher. Ed.] Amy Brozio-Andrews, Albany P.L., NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The prolific Kellermans (he: The Conspiracy Code, 2003, etc.; she: Street Dreams, 2003, etc.) jointly pen a pair of crisp, smart novellas. Writing as a team for the first time, the Kellermans get it just right: pacing, plotting, even the prose, which in the past has been shaky for both. In "Still-Life," loathsome Santa Fe art dealer Larry Gustafson is found dead by ball-peen hammer, and the SRO suspect list includes an estranged wife, a cheated painter, a brace of embittered senior citizens, and others quite as likely. Laboriously, homicide detectives Darrel Two Moons and Steve Katz begin the dispiriting process of elimination. Two Moons tells his partner about Gustafson: "We keep peeling, he keeps smelling worse." Still, they do keep on peeling. "In the Land of the Giants" moves to Boston, where another pair of determined cops cope with the case of the slain college basketball idol. But is it in fact a homicide? At first, BPD detectives Mickey McCain and Dorothy Breton consider that a no-brainer. Witnesses by the dozens saw bullets fired into the monumental body of young Julius Van Beest, and he is certainly dead. Why, then, is the ME shaking his head skeptically? What fatal flaw did an autopsy pick up that a series of X-rays missed?Two sets of blue-collar dicks, working doggedly out of hard-pressed departments in a thoroughly believable way: nothing fancy here, but oh-so-refreshingly readable.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446614122
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/1/2005
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 555,117
  • Product dimensions: 4.12 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Kellerman

FAYE and JONATHAN KELLERMAN have conspired to produce four children and lots of the other good stuff that comes from an enduring, happy marriage. After some deliberation, they decided to write something together. The end result was good fun. And this book.

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

Double Homicide


By Jonathan Kellerman Faye Kellerman

Warner Books

Copyright © 2004 Jonathan Kellerman and Faye Kellerman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-53296-7


Chapter One

Darrel Two Moons and Steve Katz were having a late dinner at Cafe Karma when the call came in. The restaurant was Katz's choice. Again. Two Moons watched his partner put aside his Eden-Yield Organic Lamb Plus Eclectic Veggie Burrito with great reluctance and fiddle in his pocket for his chirping pager.

It was just after ten-thirty p.m. Probably another south side domestic violence. For five weeks running, Darrel and Katz had worked the four p.m. to two a.m. Special Investigations shift. Their calls had consisted of feuding spouses, gang assaults, various and sundry alcohol-related issues, all taking place below St. Michael's-the Mason-Dixon Line that split Santa Fe and was more than an arbitrary map squiggle.

It was three weeks before Christmas, and the first few days of December had signaled an easy winter, with daytime temperatures in the forties. But four days ago, the weather had taken a drop: fifteen degrees Fahrenheit at night. The snow that had fallen during this serious drought year remained white and fluffy. The air was cold and biting. Their shift was one big freezer burn.

At least the weirdos who ran Cafe Karma kept the dive warm. Downright hot. A big and tall kind of guy to begin with, Darrel was drowning in clothing, sweating in his black wool shirt and black tie, black corduroy sports coat, and heavy black gabardine slacks tailored in Germany and inherited from his father. His quilted black ski jacket was draped over a horribly hand-painted chair, but he kept the sports coat on to conceal the department-issue .45 in its X-harnessed cowhide shoulder holster. No problem hiding his unauthorized boot gun, a nickel-plated .22. It nuzzled his calf, snug in his left custom-stitched elephant-hide Tony Lama.

Katz had on what he'd worn every night since the weather had turned: a fuzzy brown and white plaid Pendleton shirt over a white cotton turtleneck, faded blue jeans, black and white high-top sneakers. Over his chair was that ratty gray wool overcoat-pure New Yawk. How could he keep his feet warm in those Keds?

Two Moons sipped coffee and ate his dinner as Katz finally freed the now-silent pager. Over by the pastry case, the multipierced Goth waitress who'd served them-or tried to-stood gazing into space. She'd taken their order with vacant eyes, then had proceeded to the coffee machines, where the detectives watched her spend six straight minutes foaming Katz's Green Tea Chai Latte. Six and a half, to be precise: The detectives had timed her.

Staring into the foam, like it held some kind of big cosmic secret.

Darrel and Katz had exchanged knowing glances, then Two Moons had muttered under his breath about what was really cooking in the back room. Katz had cracked up, his big red mustache rising and falling. This month, another team was handling narcotics.

Katz studied the number on the pager and said, "Dispatch." A bit more fumbling in another pocket and he produced his little blue cell phone.

Another meal cut short. Two Moons ate fast as Katz called in. He'd ordered as close to normal as possible at this loony bin: a mushroom burger with chipotle-spiced home fries and sliced tomatoes. Specifying no sprouts, but they'd stuck a tumbleweed of the stuff on his plate anyway. Darrel hated it; it reminded him of cattle fodder. Or something picked out of a comb. Just looking at it made him want to spit. He removed it and wrapped it in a napkin, whereupon Katz immediately grabbed it and snarfed it down.

If it were up to Katz, they'd be here every night. Darrel conceded that the food was consistently good, but atmosphere was another issue. With its snaky walkway embedded with pebbles and shards of mirror glass, antiwar petitions tacked to the Technicolor walls of the tiny entry, and cell-like rooms full of mismatched thrift shop furniture and incense fumes, Karma was what his gunnery sergeant father used to call "hippie-dippie left-wing lunacy crap."

Somewhere along the way, his father had changed, but Darrel's army-brat upbringing stuck with him. Give him a burger and plain old fries in politically neutral surroundings.

Katz reached dispatch. The office had been moved out of Santa Fe PD to the county building on Highway 14-police, fire, city, county, everything integrated-and most of the dispatchers were no longer familiar voices. But this time was different: Katz smiled and said, "Hey, Loretta, what's up?"

Then his face grew serious, and the big copper-wire mustache drooped. "Oh ... Yeah, sure ... Where? ... You're kidding."

He hung up. "Guess what, Big D?"

Darrel chomped on his burger, swallowed. "Serial killer."

"Half correct," said Katz. "Just a killer. Blunt-force homicide on Canyon."

Canyon Road was very high-rent, just east of the Plaza in the Historic District, a narrow, leafy, quiet, pretty place lined with gated compounds and galleries and expensive cafes. The hub of Santa Fe's art scene.

Darrel's pulse rate quickened from forty to fifty. "Private residence, right? Not a gallery at this hour."

"Oh, a gallery, amigo," said Katz, standing and sliding into the ratty gray coat. "Very much a gallery. The d.b.'s Larry Olafson."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Double Homicide by Jonathan Kellerman Faye Kellerman Copyright © 2004 by Jonathan Kellerman and Faye Kellerman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2007

    Okay, but not great

    The book ¿Double Homicide¿ by Jonathon and Faye Kellerman is a fictional book about murder. The book has a great usage of suspensfulness. It keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time and is just packed with all kinds of events that you would never believe. The story takes place in the 1900¿s in New York City it also takes place at the Spencer¿s home, and in Santa Fe. While Spencer¿s mom Dorothy was cleaning his room she went over to his backpack, noticing the smell of it. She opened it, and right there was a gun. She was so upset because she didn¿t know what a 14 year old needed a gun for. Also because she¿s a police officer so it gets her stressed out, and later she has to go to a club where she finds out her son might have been hurt in a drive by. Spencer¿s mom does the only thing she can to deal with her problem. First she questions him, next she tries to get evidence to see if he committed the crime, and third she locks him up to get more evidence. The author¿s style is him wanting you to know everyone¿s thoughts also the author likes to use some descriptive words, but every couple pages. This was a great book, accept for the Santa Fe part and it should be read by the more adult crowd or more mature people.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2004

    DOUBLE YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE

    Husband and wife Jonathan and Faye Kellerman both have produced a number of highly readable mysteries winning hosts of fans for both. They've tackled many a plot and many a character. The one thing they haven't done is write together - here it is. One Kellerman is outstanding, two doubles your pleasure. Another pair that doubles your pleasure is voice actors John Rubinstein and Lou Diamond Phillips. Each reads with dispatch yet clarity bringing both tales to a satisfying conclusion. For these ears Rubinstein is the more ruminative of the pair - each is exciting. Which Kellerman wrote which story? There isn't a clue. But lots of clues are scattered about in these two scenarios that take place in distinctly different locations. The setting for one is Boston. There's a basket ball game where an egregious foul takes place. That's bad enough but murder is something else. A young basket ball star dies; Detective Dorothy Breton knows his mother, so she's emotionally involved. Her partner, Michael McCain, also wants to bring the case to quick closure - after all, this is no way to spend a holiday season. Seque to Santa Fe home to art, artists, and, in this case, one dead art dealer. To solve the murder of a dealer to whom who many might wish a fatal accident another charismatic pair of cops is introduced. Steve Katz is a veteran of the NYPD where he saw perhaps a murder a day. Two Moon has less experience, but not to worry, he's an ex-Marine who easily relates to the native population. Good plots, good characters, and good listening - enjoy! - Gail Cooke

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    How PLEASE READ ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Long
    Is
    This
    Book
    ???????????

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    The first is a short mystery without some of the intricacies and interwoven situations that Faye Kellerman and sometimes Jonathan Kellerman employ in their writings. It was not their best work.

    I would not recommend this book to someone who really wants to get into complex mystery solving skills. It is okay to just relax with if you are tired and don't want to do much thinking.

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  • Posted May 19, 2011

    Disappointed

    I enjoy both of the authors, but I was very disappointed with this book. Two short novellas and the stories fell way short

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2007

    Fantastic Book!!!

    I enjoyed this book. It got me more interested in other Jonathan Kellerman books. I like Boston better than Santa Fe because it was more about the crime where as Santa Fe concentrated more on the detectives' personal lives than the crime.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2006

    Don't waste your time

    Being a huge J.Kellerman fan, I was very excited to begin this book. It was a crushing disappointment to read this rushed double story, especially coming from such talent. While I'd recommend any of his other titles without hesitation, this would NOT make the list. It lacked soul, and I couldn't find the easy, conversational style I'm used to finding with him.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2005

    Why Bother

    My wife read the Boston story, and called it a why bother. I read the Santa Fe story, and asked why I bothered. So the why bothers have it If you haven't read it, don't bother.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2005

    Great Book

    I love all of their books, just one thing to say about this one. A gunnery sergeant is a Marine not Army. But otherwise this is another great book by great writers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2005

    What a neat little book

    Not the usual Kellerman fare, but an enjoyable beach read. Both Jonathan and Faye know how to write.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2005

    Big let down

    I've been a huge fan of Faye Kellerman for a very long time, I've read all of her books and have loved them all, with the exception of 'moon music'(warewolves? what were you thinking?). This book however, was not only a dissapointment when compared to the rest of her books, it was a waste of time to read. In both stories, there was no suspense, no interesting storyline, and just left you thinking 'that was it? thats the whole story?' Let's hope Faye's next book will live up to her old standards.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2005

    Loved the cops in this story

    I loved the characters in this story. The writer captured the true essence of what real cops are like.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2004

    Not worth the time

    As a fan of both authors, I was sorely disappointed. Neither story was up to standard for either writer. I considered the stories mediocre at best - I'm glad I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2004

    Two of the Best Merge, but Miss the Mark

    I write this review with great remorse. I have been awaiting the release of a book offering the brillance of two of my favorite authors and couples coming together and conceiving their 'fifth' child. This one was to be the greatest, in that they had many years of practicing their art of parenting (writing). But sometimes when two great intellectuals come together, the combination is not one of brillance, but that of special needs. Both of the books left me with wanting more. They seem to be a tease of what is to be in the future. I am currently reading Twisted, and in that book there is a direct interjection of characters and involvement of their personality growth. The thought of the two of you writing together was grand, but I feel that all I have are two adequate short stories. Neither one really held my interest. If this was the only Kellerman reading that I had done, I would crossed them off my list. But I have read and own all of their fine works, and I feel that everyone is entitled to one bench sitting game. For the Kellerman's it is this book. I just was waiting for the filet, and only left after eating the salad, of somewhat wilted lettuce. Please go back to 'Twisted' and 'Street Dreams'. Perhaps the two brillant minds are as such because they are separate. Sorry, I write this with such regret because I admire the two of you so. The next novel that you share in, needs to be the DeMille of novels (long and full of details), like the two of you offer individually. What happended, in that, both the books were both so short and had so much that could have been still explored by your grand creativty. Thank you for the try. Any one else, I would have rating it much higher rating, but I know that both of you are capable of so much more. Get back into the singles game. Leave the doubles for authors like the PAttersons and the Kings, who seem to need it now and again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2004

    Save your time...don't buy it

    I really enjoyed the set on Boston. Santa Fe I found confusing and dull. The book was a dispointment as I thought the Kellermans would team their main characters up. Oh well...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2004

    Half Good

    This title is two separate stories in one book. One of the stories, 'Santa Fe', is a terrific story. The kind of entertainment that I've come to expect from Jonothan Kellerman. The Second story, 'Boston' is a shambles. The story line is disjointed and confusing; not feasible. This is fiction, of course, but when real places are used in a story they should be described accurately. This author has either never been to Boston, or has no memory for names and places.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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