A Novel

Book - 2017
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Celine specializes in reuniting families, trying to make amends for a loss in her own past. She is asked for help by Gabriela, whose father, a photographer, went missing on the border of Montana and Wyoming. He was assumed to have died from a grizzly mauling, but his body was never found. Investigating a trail gone cold in Yellowstone National Park, it becomes clear the two women are being followed-- and this is a case someone desperately wants to keep closed.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2017
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780451493897
Characteristics: 333 pages ; 22 cm
Call Number: HELLER, P


From Library Staff

January 8, 2018

This book by a Colorado author tells a fictionalized story of his mother, a private eye whose methods are unconventional but very successful. Available in book, large print, e-book, audiobook CD, and e-audiobook formats.

Working out of her jewel box of an apartment at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, Celine has made a career of tracking down missing persons, and she has a better record at it than the FBI.

jabberbooky Mar 07, 2017

Based on Heller’s mother, a fascinating, complex woman. Captivating evocative novel/mystery

Wow! Just wow … writing that is absolutely elegant. A chic private eye attempts to learn the true story behind the disappearance of a photographer in Yellowstone. Was it a bear attack? Or not?

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Mar 05, 2018

Heller's novel The Painter was a real disappointment after the great work he did with Dog Stars. The characters in Celine are even thinner and the back story more disjointed. Suspension of disbelief proved impossible. It looks like Dog Stars might have been a fluke which is a real shame.

Nov 27, 2017

Very descriptive, well written book with interesting characters but the plot got lost somewhere and the ending was disappointing and unbelievable.

Jul 17, 2017

Young women, I hope we all agree, should be able to find the occasional superwoman heroine in various entertainment genres. So it is only just that seniors such as myself should be able to enjoy Peter Heller's private investigator Celine. Even if Celine's talents and nerve (and luck) strained my ability to "suspend disbelief" somewhat. However, Heller's style is so unique and the novel so beautifully written that I won't quibble, I'd prefer to just enjoy.

Jul 09, 2017

Very very good book - loved the characters !

Jun 25, 2017

I read this book in a single night fascinated by Celine and the cast of characters. I love the sweet relationship with her taciturn husband, who tries to sneak vegetables into her diet. In some ways this feels like picking up a mystery book in the middle of a series- you want to know about the cases that Celine has solved before, the story of her first marriage, where she learned her spy craft, gun skills, etc. More than anything the reader hopes that Celine will solve the mystery that hangs over her own life- the whereabouts of her lost daughter.

Jun 17, 2017

Well, I am going to disagree with the majority here. The plot is good, the characters believable and one attaches to them. But the way Heller provides the background of each character is so clunky. It's like when you see a good play but the lead character has overdone his make-up. The wrinkles are too etched and can be seen to be false from the audience; the costume just 2 degrees too cute. It made the book sophomoric to me. Some writers create the background with such subtlety that it the same way a person notices things. This was not that. This was a wet towel swatting you in the face with Celine's wealth, background, dress, etc etc ad nauseam.

amf_0 Jun 09, 2017

Involving mystery, good writing, interesting characters. I especially loved the description of the mountain landscapes - perhaps, because I'm from Rocky Mountain country myself?!

May 10, 2017

You know a book is really good when you don't want it to end ,

May 10, 2017

For those who love words.

Apr 12, 2017

The most haunting refrain from anyone's life: 'What might-have-been.'. Peter Heller weaves a tapestry portraying wistful ruminations on chance encounters, cherished experiences, opportunities which slipped away ... His transfixing novel Celine is a means of framing an ever fleeting landscape wherein fate is the hunter; our only defense delineated by the maxim carpe diem.

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Jul 11, 2017

Celine, my new novel, was a bit different, and very special, because it is about my mom. She died two and half years ago, and I think I wanted to spend another year with her. Like the protagonist she was a crack investigator who specialized in reuniting birth families. Like Celine, she could shoot—the scene in Idaho with the gun dealer when she blows seven cans and bottles off the log is true—and she really did bring in a bank fraud perp for the FBI—after spying on him with her opera glasses, and executing a high speed car chase in her old Volvo. She really was courageous and elegant, and the family backstory in France during the war is all true. I tried to write her as closely as I could.

The book, I guess, was a coming home for me. As writing fiction was, after so many years as a journalist.

-- Peter Heller, From an interview published online by Amazon Book Review March 2017.


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