Saturday, 20 June 2015

Quick review – The Butcher's Theater

The Butcher's Theater
by Jonathan Kellerman

Said to be one of Kellerman’s best, most ambitious works, his fourth novel is huge, not in size but in its panoramic scope. Part police procedural, part suspense thriller, part intense analysis of a psychotic killer, the story plays out vividly in an exciting city seething with passionate racial, political, and religious differences.

When the mutilated body of a young Arab girl is discovered in the hills around Jerusalem, Chief Inspector David Sharavi and his crack team, a cross section of the rich ethnic composition of the city, swing into action. The mutilation-murder of a second Arab girl drives the press to focus on the political significance of the case, resulting in turmoil--an Arab-Jewish riot and more bloodshed. The investigation leads Sharavi through the darkest recesses of the sprawling city and of his own mind, before ending in a chilling showdown where he and the killer meet in a gruesome fight to the death.

Wonderfully detailed descriptions of the culture, history, and life in modern-day Jerusalem bring the city to vibrant life, as strong a character as those who inhabit the pages of this book.

Conclusion – I've read many Kellerman books, and this is my favorite. Great story, well told.

~ Jonathan Kellerman was born in New York City in 1949. He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, mystery writer Faye Kellerman and their four children.

~ “I didn't want to do another book about Israel but I did bring Sharavi back in Survival of the Fittest as a fairly major character and I may bring him back again as a side protagonist in other books.” – from an interview on, May 2003

~ “Whether you're a writer creating fiction, or a musician, or a painter, the whole thing about being creative is doing something new. We call them novels for a reason: they're novel, they're new! I think creative people tend to have low tolerance for repetition. It gets boring. Thrown into the mix in my case is that there are a lot of built-in constraints to writing a series. There are limits to what I can do to Delaware [The Alex Delaware series]. I can stretch him up to a point but not past it. Given those limitations I'm always trying to move those boundaries and make things interesting.” – from an interview on, May 2003

~ Faye Kellerman on her husband’s work: "Jonathan's strength is his consistency in always writing a fantastic story, his ability to keep the story moving and his wonderful prose. He uses the perfect metaphor -- not five perfect metaphors. He's able to inject much more into his thrillers than the average thriller-writer because of his training as a psychologist and his keen insight into people." – from an interview on BookPage, Dec 2000


No comments: