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Self-Defense (Alex Delaware) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2002


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More from Jonathan Kellerman
When it comes to writing deftly layered, tightly coiled psychological thrillers, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman reigns supreme. Visit Amazon's Jonathan Kellerman Page.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345458834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345458834
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kellerman's latest thriller, in which a case of recovered memory may hold the clue to an unsolved murder, spent seven weeks on PW's bestseller list.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Psychologist and amateur sleuth Alex Delaware, who saved the day in last year's best-selling Bad Love (LJ 10/15/93), helps a woman whose repressed memories may solve a murder.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jonathan Kellerman is one of the world's most popular authors. He has brought his expertise as a clinical psychologist to more than thirty bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher's Theater, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, Twisted,and True Detectives. With his wife, the novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored the bestsellers Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. He is the author of numerous essays, short stories, scientific articles, two children's books, and three volumes of psychology, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children, as well as the lavishly illustrated With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards and has been nominated for a Shamus Award.

Jonathan and Faye Kellerman live in California and New Mexico. Their four children include the novelist Jesse Kellerman.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Book critic on August 31, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The best thing about Kellerman's novels is the experience as a psychologist he brings to his writing. He creates characters who have complex motivations and surprising, often unguessable behaviors -- just like real people. This may seem an absurdly obvious compliment, but when you consider how often other writers rely on 2-dimensional, stock characters, Kellerman's gift becomes more impressive. The character of Lucy in this novel -- the girl haunted by nightmares -- is so fascinating that I continued to read, as much to learn about her mind and feelings as I did to learn about "what happened" in the mystery. Both were eminently satisfying and thought-provoking. Also, in this book, Milo Sturgis gets to add another facet to his well-drawn, sympathetic character: the unwitting crush-object of a girl who doesn't know his orientation. Kellerman keeps finding new ways to explore his characters' rich lives. The intriguing plot of this book, with its central device of recurring dreams and repressed memories, is a particular treat.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 14, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lucy Lowell is literally living a nightmare. Her mother died when she was a child, her brother became a drug addict and her father, a disgusting, vile recluse was an aging 1960s flower child. He is singularly foul in appearance, hygiene (he is incontinent and wheelchair bound) and speech. He lives a reclusive life with a private nurse, bitter about having to provide skilled nursing care.

A serial killer invades Lucy's life. A disgusting creature, not too different in temperament from her father, the killer mutilates people and befouls their bodies. Lucy had to sit on the jury of this case.

She has recurring nightmares about these issues and Dr. Delaware is called in to investigate. He unearths a series of murder, extortion and mistaken identity cases. Each mystery is a segue to the next and in this book, the conclusion is plausible and satisfactory. Another positive note is that Robin, Delaware's live in girlfriend has more or less receded to the background. I never cared for Robin and never felt she contributed to any of the Alex Delaware stories in any meaningful way. Her main contribution is to serve as a bedmate and provide food. Passages about her almost ALWAYS involve food in some form and that got quite old from the start, from the first book in the series.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Annunziata on June 28, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dr. Alex Delaware is completely incorrigible! I love this character, but no wonder his pal Milo is going gray - keeping Alex out of trouble is a full time job! There is a scene in this one where Milo tells Alex straight out not to go snooping - he tells him, "I know you ..." Yeah, Milo knows him all right, and so do we, don't we? (And if you don't - read the books! They're great!)

Okay, Alex is a clinical psychologist who is semi-retired, does mostly forensic work now for the court and the police. His best friend Milo Sturgis is a homicide detective with the LAPD. Once Alex gets involved in a mystery, he is incapable of letting it go. In all fairness, it is Milo who gets him involved in this one.

Alex and his girlfriend Robin are rebuilding their house - she's a carpenter, so she's very hands-on with the rebuilding. In the meantime, they're living on the beach in Malibu. Sweet.

Milo is quite taken by one of the jurors involved in a particularly gruesome and high profile case. Ever since the trial, Lucy Lowell has been having nightmares and Milo asks his friend Alex to try to help her. She's quite a character and Alex is taken by her too. (Things get a little complicated when she reveals her crush on Milo - FINALLY! A woman falls for Milo! (I'm not the only one!) The fact he's gay does put a crimp in things, but no matter). While her recurring dream becomes more intense, other strange happenings have her - and everyone else - questioning her sanity. But there is obviously more going on than anyone originally thought and Alex is afraid maybe this dream is not a nightmare at all, but a long suppressed childhood memory. The memory of a murder.

Milo is tied up with another complicated case, so Alex goes off digging on his own - again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Egger, author of Grave Accusations on August 7, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What a treat! I love Kellerman books, and he's got a winner here! Lucy Lowell comes to psychologist Alex Kellerman after she is a juror in a serial killer case. The horror brought out by that case caused Lucy to have nightmares about a little girl watching what could be a rape, murder, or burial. She doesn't remember that the little 4-year-old girl is herself until she goes under hypnosis.

Alex, in his clever way, grabs cop friend Milo Sturgis and goes behind the scenes and tracks down the details of this case -- which is very real. People start dying all around them, and Alex and Milo realize they are on to something -- and it's not a dream.

This is a great Kellerman book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a spooky thriller. Going back into the past can be scary, and Kellerman makes it even more so in this case!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker on June 10, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book. Previously, "Bad Love" And "Private Eyes" had been favourites, but now this one in his great series has usurped both absolutely. These few books after "Private Eyes" seem to have achieved a greater maturity than some of his earlier ones, and it benefits them very well, lifting from five star great reads to ive start great books. He is [occasionally] able to create characters who seem so real and normal but have such great psychological depth that they are absolutely fantastic. In any other novel they might be dull, but because of Kellerman's probing and analytical style that become 3D and interesting.
The plot here is basically summarised thus:
Alex Delware is treating Lucy Lowell, having been referred to him by his friend Ilio Sturgis, a police Detective. Lucy was a juror in the trial of a vicious serial killer, and helped to put him away. Now, the horrid details of his killings are disturbing her, coming back to haunt her.
But, then, something far more sinister emerges during her therapy...She has been having a disturbing recurring dream - which Alex thinks is likely to have been stimulated by memories awoken by events of the trial - about a young girl, alone in the woods, a secret witness to three men disposing of the body of a young woman...
It's a cracking plot, it really is. Kellerman builds it up so that it's all very satisying. It weaves in and out of itself like a complex tapestry. The pace is absolutely perfect, and the reader is compelled to keep returning eagerly to the book after having put it down.
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