Saturday, September 22, 2012

Devil's Waltz (Jonathan Kellerman)

This book had been sitting on my shelf for quite some time.  About a year ago, my mom put this book in my room and said, "I read this a long time ago and it was good."  Of course, I judged the cover and thought the book looked weird and old. 

So my lesson of the week: Don't judge a book based on the fact that it was written a long time ago.  And just because a book looks a little torn up doesn't mean it's bad - it probably just means that lots of people read it, therefore likely making it a good book (right?  I'll believe that logic).

Enjoying one of the last few
warm days of fall...
Jonathan Kellerman's book Devil's Waltz was written in 1993 - at least I was alive when it was written, unlike some of the other published books by Kellerman.  Despite the fact that the book was written nearly 20 years ago, I found it was still dealing with a topic that would be interesting to today's audience.  I was a young child when the book was published, and now, as a 20-something-year-old, I found the book exciting. 

The book is about a case that is going on at a hospital.  A two-year-old girl, Cassie Jones, is brought to the emergency room frequently with different symptoms.  By the time they get to the hospital and run tests each time, the doctors can't find anything wrong with her.  The doctor on the case, Stephanie, begins to suspect that this could be a case of Munchausen by proxy, which is basically when a parent does something to the child to cause them to be sick.  Alex Delaware, the main character in the story, is introduced to the case as a psychologist and is trying to figure out the mystery behind Cassie's illness.  Is the child actually sick or is someone purposely trying to harm this young child?

Throughout the book, I think I suspected just about every character at one time or another.  Is it Cassie's mother, Cindy, who is doing something to her own daughter, or could it be the father, Chip, who always seems very cooperative at the hospital.  Maybe it's the lead physician or the nurse dealing with Cassie, trying to advance their careers by bringing attention to her case.  Or possibly, it's Cassie's grandfather, who is actually the head of the hospital. 

It deals with such a complicated topic and analyzes the characters in so much depth.  There is so much more to the story than what it looks like on the outside and you really find yourself trying to figure out the mystery.  I would read a chapter and say, "It's definitely Cassie's mom, she's been acting a little weird lately."  Then, twenty minutes and a couple chapters later, I'd say, "No, scrap that, it's actually got to be the doctor.  She's hiding something, I can feel it."  It was a continuous guessing game and you keep finding out new information that keeps the story exciting. 

I loved the book and would recommend it to everyone.  It's very much a mystery book, but not a scary mystery - no one dies (well, almost no one) and it's not the type of novel that will keep you up at night.  (Well, it might keep you up at night since you won't want to put it down, but it won't keep you up with scary thoughts.)

No comments:

Post a Comment