Excerpt from Billy Straight by Jonathan Kellerman, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Billy Straight

by Jonathan Kellerman

Billy Straight
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Dec 1998, 467 pages
    Oct 1999, 428 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Preparing her for good-bye, but he hadn't mentioned it since.

Petra wondered if he was aiming even higher. His father was a successful ophthalmologist, and Stu had grown up in a huge house in Flintridge, surfed in Hawaii, skied in Utah; was used to good things.

Captain Bishop. Deputy Chief Bishop. She could imagine him in a few years with graying temples, Cary Grant crinkles, charming the press, playing the game. But doing a solid job, because he was substance as well as style.

Freshwater was a major bust. So why didn't it matter to him?

Especially because he was the one who'd really solved it. The old-fashioned way. Despite the Joe Clean demeanor, nine years had made him an expert on streetlife, and he'd collected a stable of low-life confidential informants.

Two separate C.I.'s had come through on Freshwater, each reporting that the hooker killer had a heavy crack habit, was selling stolen goods on the Boulevard at night and scoring rock at a flop apartment on Cherokee. Two gift-wraps: precise address, down to the apartment number, and exactly where the dealers' lookouts hung out.

Stu and Petra staked out for three nights. On the third, they grabbed Freshwater as he entered the building from the back, and Petra got to clamp the cuffs.

Delicate wrists. Whud I do, Officer? She chuckled out loud and filled the arrest form's inadequate spaces with her elegant draftsman's hand.

Just as Stu hung up his phone, Petra's jangled. She picked up and the sergeant downstairs said, "Guess what, Barbie? Got a call from the park rangers over at Griffith. Woman down in a parking lot, probable 187. Tag, you're it."

"Which lot in Griffith?"

"East end, back behind one of the picnic areas. It's supposed to be chained off, but you know how that goes. Take Los Feliz like you're going to the zoo; instead of continuing on to the freeway, turn off. The blues'll be there along with a ranger car. Do it Code 2."

"Sure, but why us?"

"Why you?" The sergeant laughed. "Look around. See anyone else but you and Kenny? Blame the city council."

She hung up.

"What?" said Stu. His Carroll & Company foulard was tightly knotted and his hair was perfectly combed. But tired, definitely tired. Petra told him.

He stood and buttoned his jacket. "Let's go."

No gripe. Stu never complained.

I take things, but that doesn't make me a thief.

I found the same octopus book in the library, borrowed it, brought it back.

I took the presidents book and kept it.

But no one had checked it out for nine months; that's what the card in back said.

Back in Watson the library was pathetic, just a store next to the VFW hall that nobody used, and it was mostly closed. The lady behind the desk always looked at me like I was going to take something, and the funny thing was I never was.

At the Hillhurst library, there's also an old one, but she mostly stays in her office and the one who actually checks books out is young, pretty, and Mexican, with really long hair. She smiled at me once, but I ignored her and the smile dropped from her face like I'd torn it off.

I can't get a library card because I have no address. My technique is I go in there looking like a kid from King Middle School with homework to do, sit down by myself at a table, and read and write for a while, usually math problems. Then I go back to the shelves.

I'll return the presidents book one day.

Even if I kept it forever, no one would miss it. Probably.

An advantage of looking like a harmless little kid is sometimes you can go into a store and take stuff without being noticed. I know it's a sin, but without food, you die, and suicide's a sin too.

Use of this material may be made only for the purpose of promoting Billy Straight by Jonathan Kellerman with no editing - except for length - or additions whatsoever, and must be accompanied by the following copyright notice: Copyright © 1998 by Jonathan Kellerman. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    News of the World
    by Paulette Jiles

    Exquisitely rendered and morally complex--a brilliant work of historical fiction.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Comet Seekers
    by Helen Sedgwick

    A magical, intoxicating debut novel, both intimate and epic.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.