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Gone: An Alex Delaware Novel Mass Market Paperback – May 28, 2013

130 customer reviews
Book 20 of 30 in the Alex Delaware Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In bestseller Kellerman's pulse-pounding 20th Alex Delaware novel (after 2005's Rage), the Los Angeles psychologist looks into the murder of attractive 23-year-old Michaela Brand, an aspiring actress. Soon after Michaela and a fellow acting student, 24-year-old Dylan Meserve, achieve their 15 minutes of fame by staging their abduction, their hoax is exposed and Michaela turns up dead in circumstances reminiscent of her faked assault. Delaware joins forces with his sometimes official partner in crime, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, and together they pursue an investigative trail littered with corpses leading to an unconventional acting school and the family of the eccentric woman who runs it. While the murderer's identity may not be that surprising, the author's ability to convey the unrelenting sadness of his characters' lives and his deep psychological insights will satisfy those looking for more than mere thrills. (On sale Mar. 28)Correction:In the Q&A with Alice Quinn that ran in our Feb. 20 issue, the photo credit should have read Robert Falcetti.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

In "a reality show episode that backfired," two twentysomethings fake a kidnapping to jump-start their acting careers. When criminal psychologist Alex Delaware is called in to evaluate one of the pair, Michaela Brand, he learns a few details that come in handy later, after she's found brutally murdered, and the case has fallen into the lap of Alex's buddy, Lieutenant Milo Sturges. The murder trail leads back to an acting studio operated by wealthy, drug-addled Nora Dowd; a steady stream of starstruck would-be thespians arrive at the studio--and then sometimes disappear. Gradually, the pool of suspects widens, as more people turn up missing and dead. As usual, Kellerman maintains a tight balance between suspense and characterization, using dialogue to push things quickly along: Delaware and Sturges bounce theories off one another in rapid succession--as much from habit as necessity. Neither gets everything right; the truth is much more horrifying than either suspected. As number 19 in the long-running series, this fast, clever thriller proves again why Kellerman's books reside on best-seller lists. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Alex Delaware (Book 20)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (May 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345540255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345540256
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 79 people found the following review helpful By M. S. Butch VINE VOICE on April 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I looked forward to this book, bought it the day of release, but was disappointed. On a relative scale, a below-par Jonathan Kellerman book it still better than most mystery/thrillers -- nevertheless, given the high standard that Kellerman has created for himself, it is a "3" compared to the "5"s of his other books. Why? (1) I identified the villain early, and Alex and Milo seemed oddly blinkered; (2)I'm not sure why, but the book seemed emotionless (more than usual) - I just didn't care about the vics, or for that matter, Milo and Alex; (3) a subplot that felt like padding; (4) I'm tired of the Robin/Allison thing and reading this book made me realize that neither one has much character beyond the purely physical descriptions (5)most of all, I see no character development over of the many books, and I think that an Alex Delaware with no inner life in book 20 is a lot less interesting than an Alex Delaware several books ago, before this was apparent. He is very passive, and his back-and-forth between Robin and Allison almost seems to be a matter of indifference to him, not to mention all of the victims.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Roy E. Perry on April 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Time for a reality check. Jonathan Kellerman's 20th "Alex Delaware" murder mystery, Gone, is a disappointing yarn. It falls short of satisfaction on several counts.

The last 35 pages of the book are anticlimactic. After the killers are captured, it takes Mr. Kellerman an inordinately long time to write "Finis" to this work.

Kellerman is obsessed with describing, in boring detail, the clothes people wear, the houses they live in, the furniture in these houses, and other repetitious minutiae.

Another weakness is the glacial pace taken by clinical psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware and his longtime pal, L.A. homicide detective Lieut. Milo Sturgis, to locate the serial killer on their radar screen.

Meanwhile, we, the readers, are yelling at them, "Look there! Look there!" but they are frustratingly oblivious to the obvious. When Milo and Alex finally take a suspicious look at the sociopath--"poison palming itself off as perfume," we mutter, "It's about time!"

The plot of Gone revolves around wannabe thespians who are drawn, like moths to a flame, to Hollywood's fantasy world and become victims of a psychopathic predator. The victims of choice are beautiful young blondes such as Michaela Brand and Tori Giacomo.

At the novel's climax, Delaware and Sturgis discover the predator's lair and gruesome evidence of brutal scenes of horror. But what were the killer's motives? Gone is both a whodunit and a "whydunit."

A strong point of Gone is Kellerman's engaging descriptions of the camaraderie between Delaware and Sturgis. We chuckle often at their playful banter. And we are impressed by their dogged pursuit of seemingly tangential clues.

The bad news, again, is that this police procedural is fristratingly repetitive.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Snowbrocade VINE VOICE on May 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The appeal for me of the Alex Delaware series is the addition of psychological complexity brought by the psychologist main character to a fairly standard mystery thriller. In addition, having been a former Los Angeles resident, I enjoy reading about LA locations, restaurants. I have read all of the series from the beginning and read each one as they come out.

Kellerman continues to deliver a fine quality of writing and an unusual psychologically disturbing plot. I think that the character is experiencing some mid-life crisis which causes some staleness to the character. Either Kellerman is losing some interest, or it is time for the character to go thru some major changes--which could cause loss of readership.

It must be difficult to write a series of books about the same character year after year. Do you stick to your formula and write the same novel with different details? Or do you allow the character to change like a human person.

Overall I was not as interested in this book--but again, I am not sure if I am tired of Alex or if the author is tired of Alex. An adequate plane read or second book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By booksforabuck VINE VOICE on August 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When a pair of actors fakes their own abduction in an attempt to gain some attention, Dr. Alex Delaware is asked to perform a psychological analysis of the woman. But once the D.A.'s office agrees to plea out the case, it seems that Alex is finished. Until, that is, the woman's murdered body turns up. When his friend, Lieutenant Milo Sturgis is assigned the case and invites Alex along (Alex ia an authorized police assistant), Alex is happy to put his unhappy home life on hold and go out in search of clues.

The two actors both attended an acting school managed by a never-was actress. It seems that the woman could have encouraged the stunt--but does that have anything to do with the deaths. When they see the attractive people who attend the acting school (everyone in L.A. seems desperate to be discovered, to survive the brutal process that weeds out the wanna-bes and untalented), Milo and Alex recognize a perfect hunting ground for anyone who wants to stalk beautiful women like Michaela, Alex's former client. Acting on a hunch, Milo searches for other beautiful actresses who disappeared and detects a pattern.

The list of suspects starts to grow. Could it be the head of the school? Perhaps it was Michaela's partner in the stunt, a male actor who has disappeared. Perhaps it is a couple who also disappeared a couple of years earlier--when their dreams of success in Hollywood met reality. The known pervert who cleans at the acting school is certainly a candidate. Then there's the functioning autistic brother of the school teacher. Could he have decided to act out on his child-like fantasies.

Alex's psychological training is put to the test as he tries to make sense of the killings.
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