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Billy Straight
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New or Used: 16 copies from $4.05
Lisa, the estranged wife of TV superstar cop Cart Ramsey, is found murdered in a Los Angeles park. She'd divorced him for cruelty and the detectives on the case, Petra Connor and Stu Bishop, immediately elevate him to No 1 suspect. But a thorough investigation of the scene reveals that there was probably a witness to the killing. Reading the evidence on the ground Petra and Stu believe it is a homeless man, but in fact it is a homeless boy - Billy Straight. He knows he has vital evidence, but he is too scared of being returned to his former existence to come forward. As Billy battles with his conscience, Petra and Stu have plenty of other leads to follow and a dual narrative of stunning complexity and suspense develops until they eventually combine into a single crescendo of tension. Jonathan Kellerman has produced a thriller which is genuinely unputdownable.
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Promotional Information

MAJOR GBP50,000++ PROMOTION * High-impact national press ad campaign to run for one month from publication date in the DAILY MAIL, EXPRESS and THE TIMES * Separate Scottish and Irish campaigns * POS to include poster and 36-copy display bin with custom header * Author PR tour at the beginning of March to coincide with hb publication of MONSTER * Review and feature coverage anticipated across the national press, men's and women's magazines * Trade promotions inc. travel points and airports * Reading copies available

About the Author

Jonathan Kellerman was a child psychologist before becoming a full-time novelist. He is married to the writer Faye Kellerman and they live in Los Angeles with their four children.

Reviews

After a 12-year-old runaway named Billy witnesses the vicious murder of a TV star's former wife, he is pursued by reporters, bounty hunters‘and the murderer. LAPD homicide detective Petra Connor is also in the race, trying to save Billy. The multiple formats speak volumes.

Prolific crime writer Jonathan Kellerman has done it again. Billy Straight is the intriguing, page-turning, can't-put-down kind of book that all good crime novels should be. A young boy by the name of Billy escapes a miserable life in a caravan park, where he lived with his addict mother and her abusive boyfriend, in favour of life on the LA streets, where he gives himself an education by stealing books from the library. While sleeping out one night, he witnesses a gruesome murder, which, when police start investigating, appears to be one in a series of events. The victim is the ex-wife of a famous actor/TV cop who is a known perpetrator of domestic violence; here the novel takes on an O J Simpson theme. Billy is somewhat reminiscent of Salinger's Holden Caulfield, and as the only witness and subject of a reward, he is in a very dangerous position. Enter Detective Petra Connor, who is still struggling with a marriage breakdown and her partner, whose wife has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Startling events are uncovered and new characters keep popping up until the killer is finally brought to justice. Kellerman's smoothly incorporated use of descriptive flashbacks to pad out the characters' backgrounds is excellent, as is his realistic Hollywood setting. Intricate links between the characters and strategically placed clues are cleverly worked into the plot. Kellerman will be in Australia in August with his wife and fellow writer, Faye, for the Melbourne Writers' Festival, and the related publicity should help make this a sure-fire bestseller. A definite recommendation. Joanne Shiells is a bookseller at Dymocks Brighton (Vic). C. 1998 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors

Although this is only the second of Kellerman's 14 novels not to feature psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware (the first was Butcher's Theater, 1988), it has all the author's familiar strengths: a broad cast of well-defined characters, a fast-moving plot and themes sponged from the daily news yet turned fresh. (And Delaware makes a brief appearance at the end.) Twelve-year-old Billy Straight, a precocious homeless kid with a taste for reading, flees Los Angeles in terror after witnessing a murder in Griffith Park. The homicide inquiry is headed by Petra Connor, a determined, intuitive detective, and her partner, Stu Bishop, who is distracted by a family tragedy. The murder victim turns out to be Lisa Ramsey, ex-wife of the famous, and abusive, Cart Ramsey, who plays a private eye on a late-night television series. Kellerman does a fine job revealing how memories of the Simpson case shadow the Ramsey investigation, affecting the ways Petra and Stu are allowed to go about their work. The search for Billy by the cops and several villains forces a comparison with John Grisham's The Client, but Kellerman's novel is far more complex, switching points of view among a multitude of characters and amid a series of distinctive subplots. By the dramatic climax, Kellerman has pushed a number of familiar buttons‘but with enough panache and surprises to satisfy his most demanding fans. (Jan.)

Sophisticated, cleverly plotted and satisfying SUNDAY TELEGRAPH Kellerman's plotting is as ingenious as ever, with the narrative adding layers of complexity to what is already a dramatic whodunnit. EXPRESS BILLY STRAIGHT is a well-balanced vessel slipping easily between presentation of its character s' private lives and the ones they enact in the glare of the media. TLS In a world that is a fickle as a movie producer's promise, Petra Connor emerges as the embodiment of the kind of noble warrior that they are not supposed to make any more. EXPRESS

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