Of all the literary land genres, I feel the most uncomfortable when reviewing crime novels. I say this not because I do not enjoy a good slasher fest now and again, but because I am quite the weak and uninformed fan when compared to the throngs of hardcore mystery readers out in the blogoshere. Now, with my disclaimer out of the way, I feel more comfortable sharing why I found Zeltserman’s novel impressive. I was not overly enthralled with the plot of this book, and the background of the main character Stan Green is fairly clichéd. I’ve encountered more than one workaholic, divorced, NYC detective in my channel surfin’ and novel readin’. However, Zeltserman still managed to rope me in with Green. In fact, Stan Green and supporting character Zachary Lynch are what make this novel a rewarding read. Green shines as the flawed, hardworking detective who continues to fight both personally and professionally when nothing seems to be going right. The perfect foil to Green's red-hot temper is the star witness, Zachary Lynch. Although Lynch is severely psychologically damaged, he possesses the unique gift of seeing the physical manifestation of a person’s soul. While I am not an experienced crime reader, I found the depth and believability of the characters to be the true energy behind A Killer's Essence. My pages turned not because I really needed to know who the killer was, but because I needed to know what happened to Stan and Zachary.
I would recommend this title to all adults interested in gritty detective mysteries.