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Blood Test (Alex Delaware Novels) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1995


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dr. Alexander Davenport, a child psychologist in Los Angeles, is called in to evaluate the case of a leukemia patient whose parents want to discontinue chemotherapy. When the boy disappears from the hospital and his parents are found dead, the only leads are the boy's sensual older sister and a holistic-meditative cult called The Touch. Davenport's search for the child takes him to a small town near the Mexican border where he finally unearths the dark secrets kept by the boy's family and the townspeople. He also uncovers drugs and group sex in the commune and survives a few harrowing attempts on his life. (Particularly well-drawn is a failed assassination at the tale's end, which has intriguing mythic echoes.) As in his praised first novel, When the Bough Breaks, Kellerman draws on his experience as a clinical psychologist to enrich and broaden his considerable storytelling talents. Imbued with a vivid sense of place and featuring a strong supporting cast, including Milo Sturgis, Davenport's burly gay detective friend, this second adventure points happily toward an Alex Davenport series. Paperback rights to NAL.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A suspenseful thriller whose solution lies in the darker recesses of the human soul." -- The Wall Street Journal --The Wall Street Journal

"A suspenseful thriller whose solution lies in the darker recesses of the human soul." --The Wall Street Journal
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Product Details

  • Series: Alex Delaware Novels
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (January 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553569635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553569636
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,368,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Kellerman is one of the world's most popular authors. He has brought his expertise as a clinical psychologist to more than thirty bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher's Theater, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, Twisted,and True Detectives. With his wife, the novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored the bestsellers Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. He is the author of numerous essays, short stories, scientific articles, two children's books, and three volumes of psychology, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children, as well as the lavishly illustrated With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards and has been nominated for a Shamus Award.

Jonathan and Faye Kellerman live in California and New Mexico. Their four children include the novelist Jesse Kellerman.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 VINE VOICE on January 29, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dr. Alex Delaware is still on a high from having successfully solved a series of interlocking mysteries from "As The Bough Breaks." In this installment, set in 1986, Alex must beat the clock to save a 5-year-old boy with treatable cancer.

The boy, Heywood "Woody" Swope appears to be the one normal foil for his reclusive, fruit obsessed parents and hostile 20-year-old sister, Nona. Named for an apple, Annona Blossom Swope is described in almost feral terms.

Matters come to a painful head when Woody is kidnapped from the hospital. The boy's parents and sister also disappear, and Dr. Alex Delaware is immediately in pursuit of this mysterious family.

Dr. Delaware and his long time friend, Officer Milo Sturgis travel down some very seedy and unsavory roads in Southern California. A cult called the Touch is high on the list of suspects. Members of the cult would visit Woody's family in the hospital and were bringing fresh, organic fruits. A doctor who sympathized with the Touch was high on the list of suspects as were a disgruntled male model/escort who worked with Nona at a messenger/escort service.

The clever detective work and the chapters detailing Dr. Delaware's expose of the Touch and their compound, a converted monastery in the fictitious border town of La Vista make for very compelling reading. The theme of bearing fruit is rampant throughout the book and is very effectively used. Dr. Delaware's live in girlfriend, the selfish and tiresome Robin is barely mentioned in this story, which is also good. I never cared for her.

Questions still abound. Where are the Swopes? And what of Woody? How was the Touch involved? And what of the doctors who worked at the hospital where Woody was being treated? A well crafted mystery that will certainly leave a lasting impression.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'VE READ SEVERAL OF KELLERMAN'S ALEX DELAWARE NOVELS AND HAVE NOT BEEN DISAPPOINTED YET. BLOOD TEST IS NO EXCEPTION. IT GRABS YOUR ATTENTION FROM THE START AND IS DIFFICULT TO PUT DOWN. I DIDN'T WANT IT TO END.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Peter Werner on October 18, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
You immediately realize that this is an early Delaware novel. It seems as if Kellerman was still practicing then. He did not create the convincing characters we can find in his later novels when he wrote this book. And the plot is a little heavy, too. The climax is somewhat forced and improbable and comes before the actual ending, which is too transparent and obvious. We know exactly what is coming. Nevertheless, the book is quite a good read, a simple thriller, not too demanding, and it cannot cope with later novels by Kellerman.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy on May 12, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Child abuse, juvenile cancer, drugs, prostitution, and a quasi-religious cult built on perverse notions of sexual liberation make up the plot of Jonathan Kellerman's second novel, Blood Test. Despite the dark subject matter, this second book to feature child psychologist turned part-time criminal investigator Alex Delaware is as well written and enjoyable as the first.

When Alex Delaware agrees to assist a former colleague in convincing an angry family not to remove their cancer-stricken child from hospital care, he quickly discovers that all is not as it appears. When the patient disappears, Alex is quickly swept up in a complex web of conspiracy and deceit ultimately leading to a showdown with a cult guru and a fight to the death with an ax-wielding maniac.

If the plot sounds a tad far-flung, that's because it is. Yet Kellerman's deft first-person narrative style and tight prose tie the various story threads together into a suspense-filled and surprisingly emotional tale about the misuse of power and the unintended effects of so-called victimless crimes. Basically, though the author probably didn't intend this, it's a story about the far-reaching consequences of sin.

As a psychological thriller, Blood Test succeeds. It is exciting and creepy and satisfying. Readers should be aware, however, that it contains rather graphic depictions of the evil acts carried out by some of the characters, including drug use, prostitution, and physical and emotional abuse, along with one very disturbing description of a sex ritual. It should also be noted that Alex Delaware's best friend is gay, though the author primarily uses this very likeable character not to promote a homosexual lifestyle but as a means of exploring prejudice and social injustice.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Darren Jacks on November 26, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kellerman is a master of mystery and suspense; he just cannot write a bad book!!!
In this edition of the series, it is a case psychologist Dr Alex Delaware has never encountered before. Five year old Woody Swope is sick, but that is not the REAL problem.
It is his parents.
They refuse to any treatment that could save their child.
Alex embarks on a mission to convince the Swope's-only to discover they have boplted from the hospital-and taken their ill son.
Worse, the motel room where they were staying is empty , except for a shocking bloodstain.
The Swopes and their ill son have disappeared into the corrupt shadows of the city.
Now Alex and his homicide investigator friend Milo have no choice but to pursue them. They have entered a realm where drugs, fantasies, and sex are for sale.
Kellerman has scored another touchdown with this book and those that enjoy suspense with a twist, enter Kellerman's world if u dare.
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