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Sunstroke

por Jesse Kellerman

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4321244,942 (2.89)9
Gloria is 36, single and obsessed with her boss, Carl. For him, she is the 'world's best secretary'. For her, he is her future husband and the man she thinks about every waking hour. So when Carl disappears and is later found murdered whilst on a mysterious trip to a small town in Mexico, Gloria's world falls apart.… (mais)
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    The Brutal Art por Jesse Kellerman (orange_suspense)
    orange_suspense: Although the plots are very different, this novel is also a slowly told suspense thriller.
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I didn't think this was much of a thriller. ( )
  RobertaLea | Feb 23, 2019 |
Read as part of book club. Not something I would normally pick up. Premise was interesting -- guy disappears, possibly dead, and the only person who goes looking for him is his secretary who has a bit of a love obsession over him. The resulting twists and turns, coupled with flashbacks, were intriguing (and a bit confusing), but by the end I found I really didn't care much because 1) I forgot which version of the back story was the real version and 2) I really didn't care about any of the main characters and therefore, really wasn't cheering for them. (There was a kid working at a gas station I liked, but alas, he didn't get enough page time).

The author's use of words was pretty masterful. The visual image created was almost poetic. But this was marred by the needless and continuous use of F-bombs, sex, and borderline stereotypes passing as characters. And of course, there was violence, which was pretty descriptive.

Speaking of characters - I appreciate the authors use of minority characters in the main roles, but wish they were better developed. They were borderline stereotypes. The Mexican looking for a quick buck, the African-American cop with attitude (and big penis), the Jewish lawyer with the bimbo wife. It just seems, given how well crafted the foundation of the book was, Kellerman has the skills do more for his characters.

All in all, a good read that could have been a great read. ( )
  Rigfield | Jul 25, 2014 |
The story is a little bit hard to follow and a bit far fetched.
( )
  bsquaredinoz | Mar 31, 2013 |
Started to read this because I do like Jonathan Kellerman and thought the apple might not fall far from the tree. Wrong - at least in my estimation. Got to page 33 and just couldn't make myself go any further. On the back of the book are acclimations by Harlan Coben, Sue Grafton, Robert B. Parker, Tony Hillerman, and Nelson DeMille. Most of them are my favorite writers. Of course, they raved about Jesse's writing. Do they do these reviews because they might have a child who decides to write a book and need the Kellerman's to be in their debt? I don't know but I sure disagree with their estimation of the writing. Can't recommend this to anyone. ( )
  bitsy08 | Jun 8, 2011 |
Sunstroke was the first novel I read from Jesse Kellerman and I had high expectations because of what I heard in the forefield. Since I neither read Jonathan nor Faye Kellerman before I had no need to compare Jesse to his parents.

The plot of Sunstroke is the weakest point, if I may say so. Not that it's bad, don't get me wrong on that, but maybe a bit more creativity would have done some good. I don't want to go into the details here, just find out on your own.

But the plot isn't the outstanding element of the novel. It's the reading experience created by the author using perfectly drawn characters, well depicted locations and the recurring element of relentless Mexican heat. You can feel your breath running dry while reading. Aguas Vivas with its strange inhabitants and its weird history is just the appropriate place to watch the story slowly, very slowly develop. The characters are carried away with thoughts of their pasts, interrupting the storyline, and then, in a sudden moment of quick-wittedness, wind back into reality.

Due to the ever burning sun, you realize how the protagonists get more and more loaded: as well as with fatigue as with a disturbed sense of reality that culminates in an unexpected supersonic fast outburst – like a boiler that was running for weeks and that couldn’t stand the enormous pressure any longer. Are they, maybe all, suffering from an overdose of sun, a collective sunstroke that slowly burns into their heads and drive them crazy and hypersensitive – over weeks, years?

Maybe not, but the absence of water and the reign of dust und dryness, symbolically executed in the past of Aguas Vivas and its dusty present, indicates slow dehydration and gradual loss of sanity. This is also one possible explanation why the plot – intentionally? – isn’t as exciting as it could have been: because the beastly temperatures secretly drive you crazy and so your actions, in comparison to the overall situation, sometimes seem foolish and also unreasonable to some extent. Are there permanent injuries to the brain as results of an overdose of sun and excitement? The dry but bizarre end indicates as much, doesn’t it? Blistering noir. ( )
  orange_suspense | Dec 30, 2010 |
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Gloria is 36, single and obsessed with her boss, Carl. For him, she is the 'world's best secretary'. For her, he is her future husband and the man she thinks about every waking hour. So when Carl disappears and is later found murdered whilst on a mysterious trip to a small town in Mexico, Gloria's world falls apart.

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