Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mr. Monk on the Road-Lee Goldberg

Mr. Monk on the Road
Lee Goldberg
Obsidian, Jan 4 2011, $24.95
ISBN: 9780451232113

Adrian Monk suffers a severe case of obsessive compulsive disorder so intense that he is a walking encyclopedia of phobias that makes it impossible for him to operate in the outside world without assistance. With Natalie’s help, Monk, a former cop, earns a living as a consultant to the police mostly SFPD. He actually has recently found relief because t the murder of his wife Trudy back in 1997 has been solved. To celebrate, Monk decides to visit his agoraphobic brother Ambrose for his sibling’s birthday.

Monk wants to show the world to Ambrose who has not left his home in years. He puts sleeping pills in the cake and places a knocked out Ambrose in his RV camper. Shockingly Ambrose awakens and is not raging at his brother. Along the highway, Monk finds crimes that he cannot ignore though Natalie refuses to allow him to solve them because this is Ambrose’s time. Instead Monk silently works the puzzles in his head until he finds a frightening pattern of a serial killer in the area.

Lee Goldberg is the grandmaster of capturing the essences of TV mystery shows’ personalities as he has done with Monk through eleven novels and Diagnoses Murder. He does it again with this brisk Monk road show as the multi-phobic hero hits the highway with his agoraphobic sibling and his assistant Natalie. On the road, Monk solves crimes as Natalie pleads with him to take a respite and enjoy the scenery, but though she keeps them moving so he cannot narrowly focus on a crime rather than the trip she ends up also assisting him when she can no longer ignore him. Fans will enjoy the brisk ride as the siblings (and Natalie) get out of the house, sort of.

Harriet Klausner

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