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Dr. Death (Alex Delaware) Mass Market Paperback – August 28, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Alex Delaware Novels
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (August 28, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345413881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345413888
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,109,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Dr. Eldon Mate, a.k.a. Dr. Death, has been the bane of the Los Angeles D.A.'s existence, the bête noir of all opposed to assisted suicide, and the angel of mercy to countless "travelers" who have gone to their reward via Mate's good offices. He's also turned up in the back of his van, attached to his own death-dealing "Humanitron" machine and too far away from most of his blood and a certain external organ.

Enter Milo Sturgis, L.A.'s only openly gay homicide detective, and for the 14th time in 15 years (1985's Edgar-winning When the Bough Breaks through 1999's Monster), enter also his good friend, child psychologist and LAPD consultant Dr. Alex Delaware. Unbeknownst to Sturgis, however, is a potentially case-stymieing doctor-patient conflict of interest. One of Delaware's young patients' mother was either the beneficiary or victim of Dr. Death's services, depending upon your point of view. The father, Richard Doss, is firmly in the latter camp, giving Delaware ample pause:

After hearing the details of the murder, I felt better. The butchery didn't seem like Richard's style. Though how sure of that could I be? Richard hadn't disclosed any more about himself than he'd wanted to. In control, always in control. One of those people who crowds every room he enters. Maybe that had been part of what led his wife to seek out Eldon Mate.
Maybe. But the fact is that there's no shortage of motivated suspects from both within and without the late doctor's circle of influence. And as usual, Jonathan Kellerman (himself a child psychologist and recognized authority in childhood psycho-pathology) guides Delaware's engaging first-person narrative with expertise, keeps Detective Sturgis real, and rudders his taut story to its satisfying end with sharp, true-to-the-ear dialogue. With Dr. Death, Kellerman's legion of Delaware fans will be very well pleased, and first-timers will almost certainly join the legion. --Michael Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

A series of well-publicized gentle deaths are the work of self-appointed angel of mercy Dr. Eldon Mate, who attends to the terminally ill in cheap hotel rooms or in the back of his van. Now Mate himself is dead, carved up and found by two joggers and their dog on a high road above Los Angeles. Like Kellerman's previous bestsellers, this title features psychologist Alex Delaware, whose self-righteous pomposity blends neatly, as it has before, into a narrative liberally dosed with psycho-angles and agreeably warped murder motives. This time out, Delaware works with cop Milo Sturgis and counsels Stacy and Eric Doss, two teenage children getting over their mother Joanne's death, which Dr. Mate seemingly helped to hasten. In his dual role, Delaware encounters a rogue FBI agent tracking a killer obsessed with Mate; Mate's disturbed son; and Richard Doss, the kids' father, who by slipping cash to a shady character in a dark bar is marked as a prime murder suspect. Joanne's illness too proves mysterious. But Kellerman isn't in top form here. Most annoyingly, the FBI guy does the bulk of the sleuthing legwork, while Delaware spends much of the book either making love or pontificating on motivations for characters all very similarly flawed. The ending is agreeably tricky, but by then great gobs of Delaware have either delighted Kellerman's faithful or else turned readers' stomachs in a way that serial deaths, gentle or otherwise, may have somehow failed to do. Kellerman's rep and the book's strong, geometric cover will send this one on to the lists. (Dec. 5)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

The mystery part is always good and keeps me guessing--I read for entertainment and really don't try very hard to guess.
R. A. Taylor
The most difficult book to get interested in~~~too many characters in the storyline, jumps around too much, and a lot of unnecessary info.
Sue Gary
Tony Award-winner John Rubinstein has read the audio book versions of each of Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels.
Gail Cooke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 23, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
Tony Award-winner John Rubinstein has read the audio book versions of each of Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels. "Performed" might be a more appropriate word than "read" as his deliveries are riveting. (Need we say that Kellerman, a master of the psychological thriller, writes can't-put-down tales?)
There's a diabolical twist in this story as the man some have described as a killer is killed - Dr. Eldon Mate, a proponent of euthanasia, is murdered in the back of his own vehicle, attached to the mechanism he has used to assist others in ending their lives.
Of course, the LAPD seeks assistance from Dr. Alex Delaware who has a few qualms of his own regarding the case.
Rife with menacing characters and psychological detail, "Dr. Death" is Kellerman at the peak of his authorial prowess. In the case of the audiobook Rubinstein's emotionally intense voice is frosting on this devil's food cake.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Christian on March 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Eldon Mate, also known as "Dr. Death", is not a very popular guy. With his "humanitron", he assists those who wish to die achieve their goals in a "humane and dignified manner"...even if sometimes he leaves the bodies in cheap hotel rooms for someone to find. Most would consider it a very good day when Mate's body is found, brutally butchered inside his own van, hooked up to the "humanitron". It is far too obvious to Detective Milo Sturgis and his long-time confidant, Dr. Alex Delaware, that Mate didn't die in the most humane way. Nor did he "off himself" with his own machine. Their investigation leads them down many paths...chasing numerous suspects and cogitating just as many motives.
As a long-time fan of Kellerman's "Alex Delaware" series, this reader has analyzed the reasons "Dr. Death", and Kellerman's previous novel, "Monster", don't live up to Kellerman's obvious potential. When Kellerman was writing what he knows, and that is child psychology, his writing shines with knowledge and suspense. Delaware had a personal interest in not only his patients, but the victims of the tragedies that beset them. In more recent novels, Kellerman drifts away from the comfort zone and into areas that are already deluged with stories...most of them better plotted, and well-thought out. While "Dr. Death" has its moments, with some well-spoken phrases and vivid scenes, his stories lack real depth. Where once his passion was his motivation, now it's as if he's just some guy sitting behind a desk thinking up stories. "Dr. Death" is socially relevant to our times, but tends to become a bit preachy, and long-winded in spots. The child characters seem mere cardboard cutouts, gratuitous and out of place in "Dr. Death". Kellerman disappoints with this latest story. It barely held my interest long enough to find out whodunnit.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Nick G on December 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Eldon Mate, better known as Dr. Death, helps with the aid of killing terminally ill people, but when he is found butchered in his DEATH van, Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware are called onto the case to find out who killed the killer.
As Delaware and Sturgis begin looking into the dark corners of the late Dr. Death's life they find any number of suspects...from relatives of those he killed, to his own family members.
"Dr. Death" is a disappointment from this bestselling author; the novel has too many characters, and drags on SLOWLY in too many spots. Fans of the previous novels in this series will be bored with this new book.
Jonathan Kellerman has been the leading practioner of the pyschological thriller, but with his last few novels he is losing steam...his novels are no longer the page-turners they once were, instead they are slowly paced character studies with some suspense thrown in.
Nick Gonnella
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Solid on April 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
...by buying this book! Kellerman's not my style to begin with, but he's done much better. Like James "Book-A-Week" Patterson, Kellerman has plied out a shamefully ill-written novel to cash in on his name. To keep it simple, you have about 30 pages of actual "Dr. Death", 200+ pages of pointless swerve material with un-interesting characters with little revelance to the ending(other than for Kellerman to flex his rather bland and suspect "psych profiling" style), and 30 end pages with a blink and you missed it wrap-up and tawdry "hot button" ending. Beyond the pale, Kellerman also chooses to plug a former work ("Billy Jack") in several scenes that add NOTHING to the story. Sticking a blatant commercial in a book is pretty low from such a "big name" author. Do yourself a favor and stay away from this, send a message to Jonathan Kellerman that his fans want quality in his works, not quantity.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "jola43" on December 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Death (aka Dr. Eldon Mate) is responsible for many assisted suicides. Dr. Mate is brutually murdered and the story revolves around who killed the doctor. There are too many extraneous plots and suspects. I felt that these were techniques used to only add pages to the storyline and to add a little suspense here and there. By page 116 (out of 352 pages) I was beginning not to care who did it. I am a great fan of Jonathan Kellerman, particularly the Alex Delaware series, and have read all of his books. This book is not his best and definitely not of the high standards as his other psychological thrillers.
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