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"Evidence" of the change in Kellerman's style
on 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?