The Golem of Hollywood
When is a Kellerman Not a Kellerman?
As you can see, the cover of The Golem of Hollywood spreads the name Jonathan Kellerman across the front in a huge font. A reader contemplating purchasing the book barely notices Jesse Kellerman’s name, and, if he does, would logically expect the book to be mainly the prowess of Kellerman senior.
The book, a Los Angeles mystery, is based on the legend of the Golem of Prague, a Jewish mythical creature that supposedly protected the Prague ghetto from anti-Semitic attacks. The remains of the Golem are now believed to lie dormant in the garret of a synagogue in Prague.
When Detective Jacob Lev is assigned to a grisly murder in which the only evidence is an unidentified head with the word “justice” in Hebrew burnt into a nearby kitchen counter, he ends up traveling the US and Europe in an attempt to solve the mystery.
Lev’s story is intertwined throughout the book with a biblical parallel that begins with Cain and Abel.
For me, expecting a Jonathan Kellerman-type of suspense read since his name was the prominent one on the cover, this book was extremely disappointing. Jonathan Kellerman is one of my very favorite authors. His wife's suspense books, (Faye Kellerman) which always include large amounts of Jewish tradition and add it at length to the story line, are not books that I enjoy reading. If I have an interest in learning more about a religion, I'll read a book on the subject. I won't look to a suspense book to educate me.
To me, this book read a lot more like a Faye Kellerman novel than either a Jonathan or a Jesse novel. I haven't been a big fan of Jesse's books either, so I was hoping this father-son combo would result in something fantastic. It didn't. Not unless the reader enjoys a crime story that constantly switches back and forth between the real world and a biblical fantasy.
Is there a lesson to be learned here for us Indie authors?
1) Your loyal readers will be expecting more of the same. Don’t let them down.
2) If you are going to make a switch in genre or theme, be sure to advertise the book in a way the reader understands what he is getting.
3) Always remember – An established writer like Kellerman can take liberties on occasion and get away with it. You cannot!
I firmly believe there is a wealth of writing information to be learned from reading our favorite authors. Please don’t let this review keep you from reading Jonathan Kellerman’s books. His Alex Delaware series is an excellent example of how to fashion a successful series, one that followers will love and new readers be able to dip into at any point. Each book can easily be read as a stand-alone, something that is not easy to accomplish.
Take care and keep reading and writing,