When L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware
receives an elaborate album filled with gruesome crime-scene police photos of a series of apparently unconnected killings, he's stymied. He's also in the midst of a personal crisis--Robin, his long-suffering partner, has made it clear that it's up to Alex to heal the breach in their relationship that's been caused by his over-involvement in criminal investigations. The pictures mean nothing to him, but one image gets his policeman pal Milo Sturgis's immediate attention--the victim was one of his rookie cases, and her murder was never solved, perhaps because someone much higher up in the department didn't want it to be. Was the anonymous mailer attempting to reach Milo through Alex? If so, the package has the desired effect, as the two men team up to find the connection between the cases highlighted in the murder book and whoever sent it. The trail leads to a retired cop, an old mentor of Alex's, and a wealthy, powerful family that will stop at nothing to keep its secrets and its victims buried forever. Kellerman pays more attention to Alex's midlife blues than he needs to, but his focus on Milo's experiences as a gay cop in a homophobic department fits seamlessly into both plot and narrative. --Jane Adams
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From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Kellerman's 16th Alex Delaware novel is a hoot of a whodunit, a classic puzzler to keep the most staid traditionalist gleefully scratching his or her head until the wee hours. It's also a noir of gothic proportions, a descent into a California hell, in which Delaware shares the spotlight with his longtime friend and colleague, Det. Milo Sturgis. When somebody sends Alex a three-ring binder full of grisly police photographs of crime scenes with "The Murder Book" in gold letters on the front cover, Milo is stunned to discover a picture of the mutilated body of Janie Ingalls, a Hollywood High sophomore, whose vicious murder he investigated 20 years before. Milo was just a rookie detective then, partnered with a hard-nosed veteran, Pierce Schwinn. The pair made some progress with the case, but were pulled off it and split up because Schwinn stepped on some big toes. Milo suspects the book has come from Schwinn, an invitation to take up the old case that has haunted them both for years. He and Alex begin to follow a trail that will lead them high up the social ladder and down among the dregs of society. It is a step-by-step, clue-by-clue process beloved of mystery fans, and Kellerman handles it masterfully. By the end there are an awful lot of characters to keep track of, and the biff-boom-bang finale seems too much, but no one's perfect. This may be the best Kellerman in years.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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