From Publishers Weekly
In this run-of-the-mill police procedural from bestseller Kellerman, his 23rd novel to feature L.A. consulting psychologist Alex Delaware (after Compulsion
), high school miscreant Chance Brandt has been assigned to perform community service at the Bird Marsh, a nature sanctuary near Marina del Rey. After Chance dismisses as a prank an anonymous phone call warning him that there's a corpse buried in the marsh, Lt. Milo Sturgis, now Special Case Investigator for the LAPD, and Sturgis's team find four bodies there, all women missing their right hand. When Sturgis identifies one of the victims as Selena Bass, who worked as a piano teacher for the wealthy Vander family, the police focus on Travis Huck, the manager of the Vanders' Pacific Palisades estate, as the prime suspect because Travis has a criminal past. Kellerman fans wanting more of the same should be satisfied, though Sturgis gets less benefit from Delaware's psychological expertise than usual. (Nov.)
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Two intriguing preliminary chapters suck readers right in to Kellerman’s latest Alex Delaware thriller, even though Delaware is disappointingly less active than usual in the story—doing hardly more than relating the circumstances surrounding the crime that he and his cop buddy, Lieutenant Milo Sturgis, are determined to solve. The mutilated corpse of a young music teacher, who turns out to be less than prim and proper, is dumped in a protected wetland. Nearby, buried in the marsh, are several more bodies, all of prostitutes whose right hands have been hacked off. Clues lead Sturgis and Delaware to the palatial digs of the music teacher’s young student, who is nowhere to be found. The only one home is the family’s gofer, who apparently has a juvenile record. Sturgis’ antennae really start twitching, though, when the young man disappears. Surely that’s the act of a guilty man. If the whole isn’t quite as suspenseful as initial chapters promise, Kellerman’s intriguing, often oddball characters (including a rookie detective) deliver the goods in this briskly paced procedural. Not among the long-running series’ best entries, but fans will be sufficiently entertained. --Stephanie Zvirin