Customer Reviews: Evidence
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VINE VOICEon October 10, 2009
Over the years, Kellerman's style has changed, and this Delaware book is a far cry from the early entries - such as "When the Bough Breaks" - that cemented his place at the top of the psychological thriller genre.

First, though labeled as "An Alex Delaware Novel", buddy Milo Sturgis is really the central character of this book. Delaware is along for the ride, and is primarily merely an observer, adding almost nothing to the actual advancement of the story. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Milo as a character and have liked the couple of books in which he was intended as the lead. But the Delaware character seems to have been subsumed by Sturgis.

Kellerman's style has become very terse and brief, lacking the descriptive elements and insights into Delaware's thoughts and emotions that characterized earlier works. In some ways this stylistic evolution is interesting, as there's a crispness that was lacking in earlier works, but it also seems to me to dehumanize the stories to some extent, and certainly turns Alex into a shadow presence in the story.

This book is, at its essence, much more of a strict police procedural - like an Ed McBain novel - than a psychological thriller. Looked at in that light, it's a pretty good book. But let's be honest: is that what the long-time Delaware fans are really looking for?

Caveat emptor.
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VINE VOICEon October 7, 2009
The last few books in the Alex Delaware-Milo Sturgis series just haven't done it for me. On a whim I picked this up this morning at a local bookstore and started to read it shortly there after...and continued to read. Had popcorn for lunch while I read. A candy bar for dinner while I read. And finished it a couple of hours ago.

This is one of Kellerman's best. The book opens with a couple found dead by a night watchman in a compromising, artfully arranged position in one of the better neighborhoods in Los Angeles. At first glance they appear to be lovers caught in a tryst, but to Delaware and Sturgis the evidence suggests something darker and more sinister.

As Alex and Milo follow the evidence they experience twists and turns, but what is unique about this book is the focus on Milo rather than Alex. We get to watch him solve the crime and Alex becomes more of a background character. There are a lot of suspects from the dead man's boss to the home's owner, an Arabian prince. As Milo and Alex work their way through the suspects and the evidence, the story remains credible and exciting. Sturgis has some wonderful scenes from battling the FBI to interrogating a suspect.

This book goes a long way to revitalizing the series! Will be looking forward to book #25.
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on October 22, 2009
I am so disappointed. The last few of his books have been so dry and terse. There is NO insight into the characters at all. It's like Delaware is just observing, offers no insight into the possible murderer(s). In the end it's still a big mystery as to why whoever killed, did do it. You get no background on the killer. (Don't want to give it away) I hate this new writing style. I think I will go back and reread the 1st few books!
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on October 13, 2009
EVIDENCE, Jonathan Kellerman's latest book, is subtitled "An Alex Delaware Novel," but this branding is not quite accurate. Psychologist Delaware is certainly a presence throughout, and the first-person narration that tells the tale is in Delaware's voice. But the real focus of the novel is on LAPD Homicide Detective Milo Sturgis, who doggedly pursues a solution to a mysterious double homicide.

From the very beginning, there is nothing ordinary about EVIDENCE. The story commences with the discovery of two bodies in a half-finished house, which, even in its incomplete state, is a monument to ostentatiousness. The corpses are in carnal embrace, the man shot and the woman strangled. The identity of the female is unknown, but the male is Desmond E. Backer, a principal with a local architectural firm that has recently gone belly up. Backer, as it turns out, is quite the ladies' man, having dipped his pen in the company ink (among other places). Sturgis has no lack for suspects, as one of Backer's jealous lovers or one of their spouses possibly could have had the motivation to commit the dastardly deed. But the "who" isn't the only intriguing aspect of this case for Sturgis; he is also puzzled by the fact that the house where Backer and his ill-fortuned friend were found has sat unfinished for two years and that the identity of the owner seems to be a state secret.

With the always observant Delaware in tow, Sturgis begins making inquiries, slowly and methodically working his way through a labyrinth of connections that seem to lead to the rumored disappearance of another woman who no one seems to know. Sturgis is a determined investigator, but, as we learn through Delaware's intense and detailed narrative, the interrogation is where the detective really shines. In EVIDENCE, he does so on two occasions while following a trail that leads overseas and back, to a private air hanger, and, ultimately, all too close to home.

The plot and its two primary characters are more than enough reward for the time and money invested in experiencing Kellerman's latest work. However, the real star remains the city and environs of Los Angeles, which provides a never-ending wellspring for his stories. Kellerman introduces an important and unforgettable character, waiting until the last quarter of the novel to do so, and the gentleman almost steals the entire book in just a few paragraphs. And let's not forget the Los Angeles culinary experience in the Delaware/Sturgis series. Sturgis is a foodie of sorts; the tour of Los Angeles eateries continues here, making one ask the question: when might we look forward to the Milo Sturgis Dining Guide? Whether that volume ever comes into existence or not, there is much to love and enjoy in EVIDENCE, which satisfies and makes one yearn for more.

--- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
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on October 29, 2009
I have read all the Alex Delaware books and this series has gone downhill. The current book makes no use of Delaware's expertise as a psychologist, which was one of the interesting and special aspects of the earlier books. The plots have gotten more fantastic over the life of the series and this plot is unbelievable. The actions of the characters especially the bad guys make no sense at all. Some other very odd factors are not explained. Why would someone hire a security guard for only 3 hrs of a 24 hr day? I don't want to reveal any plot details so I won't ruin the book for anyone who has not yet read it, but it's hard to believe Delaware readers will like this book. It's a very quick read, but the motives of the criminals aren't realistic and the whole story doesn't hang together. The usual characters (Milo, Alex, Robyn) don't progress at all. What a waste of money and time!
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on October 23, 2009
This was really Milo's story, but for some reason it just never drew me in. The narrative is a lot drier and more detached than I am used to in Kellerman's earlier books. Maybe it is because of the almost total lack of Alex's viewpoint and voice. The story just unfolds, point by point, as though Kellerman laid down an outline and forgot to fill it in. The parts all work, but the transitions are missing, and there is no life to the story, and not much to care about. At the end, I thought that it was an interesting solution but one that the reader couldn't possibly have solved, having not been made aware of much of the information. There were too many leads that went nowhere, and too many people who turned out not to be important after all. It made my head hurt.
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on December 15, 2009
I've been disappointed in the last couple Kellerman books. The plot has been routine, and the trademark psychological insights and revelations have been tired. Kellerman has slipped from my "buy the day it comes out in hardback" to "wait till I can pick up a used paperback" categories. He was one of my faves, so this is a loss.
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on January 22, 2010
I have been a long-time fan of Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels. So, I looked forward to reading "Evidence." Unfortunately, this is one of the most boring books I have ever read. I recommend that if you are considering this book, save your time and your money. The plot is confusing. I could not get into the characters at all. Just poor writing from a one-time great novelist.
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on January 14, 2010
There was a time when I looked forward to the Alex Delaware series; however, this book ended that. I thought this was the most boring book I ever tried to read and finally put it down because I just did not care how it ended. I will donate this to the library and hope they can get some good from it. Wasted money.
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on December 18, 2009
It used to be that there was a waiting list at the library for the new Kellerman books but that is no longer the case. "Evidence" lacks the complexity and psychological depth that made his earlier books so good. Character development is a thing of the past, the plot convoluted rather than complex and there is far too much useless dialog. Alex is merely a ride along dining companion for Milo these days and that is just about how engaged Kellerman seems to be in his writing.
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