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


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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

Review

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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 60 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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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robert Gold on March 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Disappointed in it! Not up to his usual high standards and was just a lot of words strung together. Not much drama or suspense in it. I have read all his books and he is one of my favorite authors, but his last few books have been big disappointments. I have the feeling he is just going thru the motions in order to meet the publisher's deadlines! May not buy any more of his books. Am really sad!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jiffy on May 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I have noted in previous reviews, Jonathan Kellerman is probably my favorite living author, and I look forward to every new book that he writes. I never thought I would have difficulty getting interested in one, but in this case I did. The story involves a custody dispute between two sisters--a free-spirited flower child who was the mother of a year-old daughter and a wealthy research doctor who wanted to raise the child and believed her sister was an unfit parent. Alex Delaware was asked to submit an evaluation to the court. Roughly the first third of the book deals with endless interviews with participants in the lawsuit, and it does not make the exciting reading that I expect from Jonathan Kellerman. It wasn't until page 119 that someone got killed, and then the story became the murder mystery that I do expect. In the last two-thirds of the book, I was eagerly turning pages and enjoying the plot twists but it took a long time to get there. I'm giving the book four stars because of the last 200-plus pages and because for me any Kellerman mystery deserves more than three. But this is definitely not his best work. If you've never read any of his books, for heaven's sakes, don't start with this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By deesboots on February 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Finished "Killer" by Jonathan Kellerman. It's #29 in his Alex Delaware series. Four stars. Solid writing, story was a different twist (although he might have been stretching it just a weeeee bit). Alex (Dr. Delaware) is called into give an expert opinion on a guardianship case between two sisters. The one who is NOT the mom is slightly crazy, and of course, the report states that the child would be best with the mom. Things get pretty off-the-wall at that point. This one is a little different than most, Milo (Lt. Sturgis) doesn't make an appearance for a few chapters. Kellerman is gifted and the book is a quick read.

Truthfully, with these books, and some by other crime authors I read, it's not really the story so much as the characters, because you love the characters. No matter how your own life changes, these characters stay basically the same, without being stagnant. It's comforting to read this series, I can remember reading them when Casey was even younger than Livvy is now. There has been character growth and change, but the characters are like friends you've known for years - always there. If you've never read this series, I recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sheila D. Jackson on April 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have eagerly awaited each new Alex Delaware novel and I never thought I would say this-but this one
was a huge disappointment! I found myself thinking that it was written by someone other than Jonathan
Kellerman. If this had been the first of the series I would have never bought another one. There was no
depth to the characterizations and the story line was boring. I made myself finish it, mostly because I
refused to accept how truly awful it was compared to the other 28 excellent Delaware novels he has written.
Maybe it is time to end the series if this is what is going to happen. Sad!
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