cover image The Golem of Hollywood

The Golem of Hollywood

Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman. Putnam, $27.95 (560p) ISBN 978-0-399-16236-7

Both Kellermans, father (Killer) and son (Potboiler), have written better books than this muddled supernatural thriller, which may disappoint their fans as well as readers fond of paranormal mysteries. In the spring of 2011, a “hard-domed insect” attacks a serial killer in Prague as he stalks a victim. A year later, Det. Jacob Lev, a wise ass who has been relegated to analyzing data in an LAPD traffic unit, catches a break when he’s assigned to a bizarre murder case. At a house high in the Hollywood Hills, a severed head has been found on the living room floor; a burn mark on a kitchen counter spells out the Hebrew word for justice. In the course of the ensuing murder investigation, Lev repeatedly encounters a strange beetle. Eventually, his search for the truth takes him to Prague. Those looking for profound religious insights will have to seek elsewhere. (Sept.)