The Golem of Paris by Jonathan Kellerman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Golem of Paris is the second installment in the Jacob Lev books by Jonathon Kellerman along with is son Jesse Kellerman. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. I read The Golem of Paris on the first leg of a flight overseas which are flights that I typically cannot sleep despite their length. In this book, Jacob is in his new assignment where it appears he is being punished for failure to follow orders of his new team lead in the special ops team he was moved to in the first book. Despite being reassigned to the traffic division, the members of his special ops team are still keeping an eye on him because they expect Mai, the person they are trying to catch to reach out to Jacob again. They are not sure of Jacob's loyalty and whether he is willing to divulge any communication he has had with Mai.
Jacob is moved back to the special operations team where he is given another task that appears to be just busy work, but he comes across a case that was intentionally left for him as he scanned old cases onto the network. It is a cold case where a mother and her young son were murdered and left out in the open. Jacob begins investigating on his own time and eventually convinces the team leader that it is a case that should be investigated officially. While he investigates he is also spending time with his mother at the nursing facility. He tries different tactics to reach her and finally seems to reach her when she accidentally sees the details of the case he is investigating. It eventually leads him to a current like crime that just occurred in Paris, France. He travels to Paris with one of the team members to watch over him. Jacob finds that the case involves a Russian oligarch that is going to be hard to reach.
As the reader is given a deeper glimpse into Jacob's relationship with his mother the story delves into his mother's history. We meet her as a teen still living at home with her parents who are both very damaged by their history as Jews in Eastern Europe. As a result, Bina was never raised as Jewish though she is aware that it is her family's history. We see how Jacob's parents met and learn about how his mother was damaged mentally. What Jacob finds in his current investigation eventually dovetails with his mother's history and we learn some shocking things about Bina. Jacob also learns things that allow him to give his relationship with his father a second look. The Golem of Paris has a great mystery and also contains some urban fantasy aspects that touch on Jewish mythology. The story is action-packed and does contain some violent aspects that almost have a horror aspect. I look forward to reading more in this series.