Trouble opens like a Scrubs episode-you can easily imagine Zach Braff as medical student Jonah Stem, wandering Times Square at 2 a.m., his shoes squishy with, uh, emergency-room detritus following a rough night on call.... But like Scrubs, in the end Trouble is a satisfying journey into the bizarre. 3 1/2 out of 4 stars
That Kellerman maintains such a grimly hilarious perspective on his subject is its own twisted tribute to the survival instincts of writers who go down to the depths to entertain their readers. In Jonah’s words, when he finds himself on the psych wing: “You had to laugh. If you didn’t, you’d drown.”
The New York Times
Kellerman, the son of bestsellers Faye and Jonathan Kellerman, shows that his impressive debut, Sunstroke, was no fluke with this gripping psychological page-turner that echoes the best of Hitchcock. Jonah Stem, a young medical resident at St. Agatha's, a midtown Manhattan teaching hospital, heroically intervenes when he encounters an attractive woman desperately fleeing a knife-wielding assailant early one morning on a street near Times Square. After Stem kills the man in self-defense, he enjoys a brief celebrity, but his life soon becomes complicated when the woman he rescued, Eve Gones, seeks him out and the two begin a frenzied affair. Taken aback by Gones's masochism, Stem attempts to end the relationship, but soon finds himself stalked relentlessly. Kellerman artfully conveys Stem's descent into near madness, making the step-by-step degradation of a decent man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time plausible and chilling. Author tour. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
This second thriller from Kellerman (yes, he is the son of Jonathan and Faye), which comes on the heels of the best-selling Sunstroke, shows that the author is clearly getting the hang of this writing thing. Jonah Stem, a third-year New York City medical student, has more trouble than he can possibly handle. Not only is his surgery rotation at a large Manhattan hospital a soul-crushing, grueling affair but he has girl problems in a big way. The novel opens with Jonah leaving the hospital in the early morning hours and coming upon a young woman being brutally stabbed. Jonah intervenes and ends up killing her assailant in self-defense. The media pounces, and Jonah is a hero. A passionate affair ensues between Jonah and the beautiful victim, Eve Gones (who makes a full recovery), but Jonah slowly realizes that Eve's behavior is not only unbalanced but increasingly and dangerously masochistic. When Jonah tries to end the relationship, Eve refuses to listen and begins ruthlessly to threaten and stalk her former lover. The pages fly as Jonah attempts to disentangle himself from the biggest trouble he's ever seen. Recommended for all fiction collections.
Andrea Y. Griffith
A shivery psychological thriller about a beautiful young female stalker. Jonah Stem, medical student at New York's St. Agatha Hospital, is undergoing the damnable tortures of the Third Year. Whereas these can be painful, exhausting and, often as not, humiliating, they're hardly a surprise to him, since "he's read the Book, heard it from the Ghosts of Third Years Past." He's prepared, he's coping, he's even enjoying it all a little. What's about to happen to him, however, is so unexpected and unsettling that it transcends the possibility of preparation. And forget about coping. On an otherwise ordinary night, on his way home from St. Aggie's, Jonah Stem kills a man. Traumatic as that is, it's only a link in a chain of events culminating in irreparable loss. He hears the terrified scream, sees her, her hand dripping blood. Next, there's her assailant, who an instant later becomes Jonah's. Finally, at the end of a brief but ferocious struggle, there's a knifing and death. Like a surgeon, "he'd removed a man's violence," he takes to telling himself in defense against guilt. She is Eve Jones-lovely and grateful, almost relentlessly grateful. The affair that springs up between them has the quality of the inevitable. But Eve is a dark one, with sides to her that are both complex and disturbing, so much so that Jonah decides to break off the relationship. Not his decision to make, says Eve, which is when Jonah begins to understand how much trouble he's in. And how wrong he's been about the woman he once thought of as a victim. After a relatively cheery debut, the talented Kellerman (Sunstroke, 2005) travels to Ruth Rendell country, and the bet here is you won't have read a more nightmarish novelall year. Agent: Liza Dawson/Liza Dawson Associates
"A satisfying journey into the bizarre." - People "A shivery psychological thriller." Kirkus Reviews, starred review