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Killer: An Alex Delaware Novel Hardcover – February 11, 2014

1,142 customer reviews
Book 29 of 30 in the Alex Delaware Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Psychologist Alex Delaware’s custody consultations can get ugly, but Alex enters uncharted territory when his best friend, LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis, warns him that there’s a contract out on Alex’s life. Successful (and apparently unhinged) scientist Connie Sykes has just been denied custody of her sister Cherie’s daughter, and she’s exacting revenge for Alex’s recommendation in Cherie’s favor. Hours after the LAPD’s hit-man sting operation fails to snag her, Sykes is murdered. In quick succession, two men she named in court as the baby’s possible fathers are also killed, and Cherie and the baby go missing. Is Cherie eliminating custody threats, or is someone else involved? With Milo focusing on Cherie, Alex follows his gut instinct that she’s no killer and hunts for other leads. As usual, the rapport between Alex and Milo is a show-stealer, and longtime fans—some of whom may have noted an unevenness in the series recently—will love the well-executed flashbacks to Alex’s professional past. This twenty-ninth entry reads like a straightforward thriller until the appropriately insane ending twist. --Christine Tran


Praise for Killer
Killer is well plotted and paced. . . . One of [Kellerman’s] best.”—Bookreporter

“As usual, the rapport between Alex and Milo is a show-stealer, and longtime fans . . . will love the well-executed flashbacks to Alex’s professional past.”Booklist
“Kellerman kicks this one up to a whole new level.”RT Book Reviews

Praise for Jonathan Kellerman
“Jonathan Kellerman has justly earned his reputation as a master of the psychological thriller.”People
“Kellerman really knows how to keep those pages turning.”—The New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

  • Series: Alex Delaware (Book 29)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (February 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345505751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345505750
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reviewer on February 9, 2014
Format: Audible Audio Edition
Killer: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman is yet another exciting episode in the child psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware series in which Alex is consulted on a child custody battle between two diametrically opposite sisters - a fun loving, free-spirited single mom Cherie and her older sister Connie who is a successful pathologist. When Alex gives his opinion in favor of the real mother, the irate pathologist put out a hit on him setting off a chain of events which become too hot for Alex to handle alone.

Jonathan Kellerman brilliantly crafted a mystery thriller, building up the suspense and turning what initially appears to be a simple case of child custody suit into a full blooded story of kidnapping, murder and mayhem. It is a puzzling case that has stupefied Alex, his detective friend, Milo Sturgis, and the entire police department as the drama which started in the courtrooms shifted to the backstreets of LA.

Opinion on this 29th Alex Delaware series is likely to differ. As a long-running series the characters may become too familiar and stale for some readers, and the story in itself may not be able to sustain interest. However, many readers will relish the idea of Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis joining hands again to solve a puzzling mystery. I enjoyed the series and this is one of the best. The custody case and murder investigation is simply electrifying and keeps you guessing until the end. There is an element of suspense all throughout the book. Killer by Jonathan Kellerman is a tough to put down thriller which you will enjoy.
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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Aaron C. Brown TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The best Alex Delaware novels are among the best psychological mysteries ever written, combining fascinating scientific psychology with skillful plots, unforgettable characters and genuine chills. This is not that. It's worse than the average in the series, but better than the worst. That makes it a very good mystery by the standards of most authors, but a subpar effort for Kellerman.

The best part is several brilliantly-drawn minor characters with interesting psychological profiles. They're not as pathological as the sickest characters in the series, most are functional but troubled. It's interesting to see a mystery that results from the interactions of relatively minor problems rather than the clichéd twisted genius pyschopath.

Unfortunately, the threads never weave together tightly, the story is more like billiard balls bouncing off one another than a classic Kellerman masterpiece. Many things are unexplained. Why do two successful lawyers dress like hookers? What's going on with the good guy cut-price lawyer and the bad gal star lawyer? Why is Milo trying to give away money inappropriately? In fact both Milo and Robin appear to have mailed in their contributions, decorating the margins of the story without really being in it. Since no other character makes up more than a small fraction of the book's attention, Killer is too Alex-heavy (one Kellerman's few faults is a tendency to wallow in Alex's self-indulgent mild depression, most readers have plenty of friends willing to supply such stimulus).

Another criticism is the characters seem stuck in the mid-90s. Mobile devices and the Internet seem like afterthoughts, there's a lot more use of landlines, answering machines and human answering services than is common in 2014.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Turner on February 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I will state upfront that I am a fan of Jonathan Kellerman's novels and always look forward to the release of his latest. However, if you have never read one of his novels, don't start with this one. I don't feel this was his best effort. I thought it started out slow with a lot of introspective narrative on the part of Alex Delaware. There was also a lot of explanation about the characters histories...Alex's house burning, Milo's sexual preferences, etc. These passages felt awkward and I wondered why the information wasn't woven into the narrative more skillfully. I found myself thinking this didn't even feel like Jonathan Kellerman's writing. Also, there were several different storyline 'threads' and uncharacteristically, it never felt as if they were woven together. The resolution of the main conflict was puzzling. It felt as if the solution was plucked out of thin air. Yes, I was disappointed with this latest novel of Mr. Kellerman's. Will I buy his next release? Yes...because I know how good his novels can be.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Cliched characters and an illogical plot with insufficient development. Not what I expect from this author. Ending was too quick and not fully explained. Too many loose ends & unexplained consequences
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Suncoast TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Jonathan Kellerman has been writing the Alex Delaware series since 1985 and "Killer" is #29 in the bestselling series about a forensic psychologist sleuth who helps LAPD with their homicide investigations and the courts with psychological assessments. After so many in the series this book is still well worth reading when other authors of long series would have reached their use by date or relied on co-authoring by this time.

Delaware is asked by the courts to assess what appears to be a straightforward case between a single mother Cherie (Ree);and her sister Connie for custody of Ree's sixteen month daughter Rambla. Ree is a single parent, an unsophisticated original flower child throwback, and her elder sister Connie is a dominating, cold hearted, emotionless and successful owner of a pathology laboratory. Things turn nasty when Connie, realising that Alex's decision is not in her favour, tells Alex "I'm not going to shoot you, Doctor Delaware. Even though I should."

Alex knows that he is in grave danger when he hears rumours that Connie has put out a contract on the streets for his assassination. The danger doesn't last long when Connie is found stabbed and strangled, Ree and her baby disappear and Ree's aged rocker friends are in danger.

What started as a straightforward psychological assessment turns into a murder investigation. Alex helps his best friend LAPD Homicide Lieutenant Milo Sturgis to track down the killer and find Ree and her baby - possibly before it is too late.

Kellerman is a trained psychologist and this clearly shows in his characterisation of Alex Delaware and the way he treats his clients. His compassion is clearly evident and his clients trust him, even one of the most vicious gangsters in LA.
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