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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2003
I love the entire Alex Delaware series. I buy the books as soon as they come out. This book was great and the theme of the book was slightly different than the others in the series. This book dives deeper into Milo's experiences rather than Alex's. It gives you good insight into the "big guy". Every time I read one of these books, I can't wait for another!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2003
Alex Delaware is always a favorite hero along with Milo Sturgis. Usually though we hear more about Alex and his crime solving than about Milo. In the Murder Book we get more character developoment on Milo who is super educated, gay, and a loner in the L. A. police department. It's no secret that Alex and Milo have worked together on other cases and are long time friends.
Dr. Delaware receives a "Murder Book" which is actually an album of crime scene police photos of many different murders. There is no note and no apparent reason for the book to have been delivered to Alex. After a quick look through the book Alex calls Milo and together they discover that one of the murders is an old unsolved case that Milo worked when he was a young cop. His partner at the time was hostile and unwilling to provide any real mentoring as they worked together. Now years later, Milo learns that the partner had a grudging respect for him, and was himself corrupt and on drugs.
Alex and Milo began investigating the years-old cold case and discover layers of coverups. Throughout the book Alex laments the fact that Robin, his long time girl friend has finally left him. He becomes involved in a new relationship that lacks the intensity that he had in previous books with Robin. For a psychologist and an analytic guy, Alex is pretty inept in his dealings with women he cares abut.
The Murder Book is really Milo's story and the suspense unfolds as he reopens the case without much backup and a lot of interference in the department. It's a good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Los Angeles psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware is stunned to receive the binder containing grisly police photographs of crime scenes with an outside logo, "THE MURDER BOOK". He shows his "gift" to his friend, long term police veteran Detective Milo Sturgis, who is equally shocked by the book, but one particular picture haunts him. The book includes the picture of one of his first cases, the mutilated body of Hollywood High student Janie Ingalls, killed two decades ago.

Milo remembers that as a rookie he was teamed with veteran Pierce Schwinn, but as they began to put the case together, they were removed. Milo believs his first detective partner sent the book in order to tease the duo into investigating the cold case. Milo and Alex follow a trail that takes back to high society, a place where Schwinn reached twenty years ago before they were yanked off the investigation, but the trail remains frozen though the duo methodically progress one slow clue at a time.

THE MURDER BOOK is a powerful police procedural that is the best Delaware tale in several years. The story line absorbs the audience with the systematic scrutiny of the evidence one ugly step at a time. The support cast is abundant and overwhelming at times, but the lead sleuthing couple keeps things in perspective and provides the bonus of seeing Milo as a tyro. Jonathan Kellerman, who has a mantelpiece filled with deserving awards, may have his SHAMUS this time.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2002
Jonathan Kellerman has a way of writing that puts you there, you can picture the characters and the setting very clearly. I have always enjoyed his novels and found The Murder Book right in line with his others. I was happy more background on Milo Sturgis' character was included. I have always been curious about Milo's police career and more so about his personal relationship with his companion Rick. This novel expounds on both, with more details on Milo's early detective days and experiences as a gay detective in LAPD and also we witness more dialogue between Rick and Milo. Alex's problems with Robin seem to be at a critical point. She is equipment manager on a tour that has just been extended and the conversations between the two are strained at the least. The novel ends with just a hint of a possible new "interest" for Alex. The actual murder case that is the basis of the book is a bit tiresome. The usual bunch of spoiled rich boys getting away with murder for twenty years and then being brought to justice had a nice twist. The "justice" turns out to be a series of deadly "accidents" that dispatch the guilty quickly. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I'm looking forward to the next installment of Alex Delawares's life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2005
Plot: I had never read an 'Alex Delaware' book before, and am always a bit leary picking up a book in a series of books because I may not understand the workings of the character built up before the novel I happen to read. However, this book was well written and so detailed I didn't feel like I had ever missed a thing. Written from the point of view of Alex, as well as his best friend, Milo, you really get a sense of the character's motives and flaws. Another thing I enjoyed about this story is that it is not a predictable ending, and it didn't feel forced. I hate when a book feels like it just hurried up and tied all the loose ends so it can wrap up. I never got that feeling from this book, which was a joy.

From the Audio standpoint: I have never heard an audio book where the reader did such a superb job. I truly felt that I was listening to a variety of characters, each had their own pitch, inflection and you could hear the emotions in the voice. I could put in a tape at random and tell you what character was speaking, even though there were well over 10 characters in this storyline. Very well represented!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2003
If you're at all into the Alex Delaware books, do not skip this one! It has revealing background on both Alex and Milo. As in the previous book in the series, the tie-in between past and present gives the story extra depth. Milo's early career is especially intriguing, and, as always, Kellerman makes the characters come alive. But . . .
I found some descriptions unnecessarily long and tedious. I either slogged through or only skimmed too many sections. Every once in a while, a phrase struck me as cliche. So the story frequently dragged and lost momentum.
The parts that move are exciting, and throughout (yes, including the sloggy parts) you want to keep reading to find out the next development.
Though it could've used a few snips, THE MURDER BOOK's a stirring and provocative read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2003
There are two reasons that I always enjoy the Alex Delaware books - Milo and Spike. This book definitely gives the reader plenty of Milo but Spike is sorely missing. The book, as all of Kellermans stories, kept me reading well into the night but by the time I was finished my head was spinning with trying to keep all the characters straight in my mind. I also found the ending to be rather abrupt and disappointing. Definitely not one of my favorite Alex Delaware books.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 24, 2005
This is not one of Kellerman's best books. I was so looking forward to the book coming out, but I was sadly disappointed with it.

The premise of the story was fine, Dr. Alex Delaware receives a scrapbook in the mail containing murder scene photos. These photos bring back haunting memories to Delawares friend, Milo Sturgis, who is a homicide detective. As a matter of fact, these photos look familiar. This was a great way to start the story, and I was hooked, but soon it all became confusing with too many characters and in a effort to keep the identity of the killer secret til the end of the book, the plot got fuzzy. I usually love his books, but he missed the mark on this one.

If you are reading Kellerman for the first time, don't get this one. If you are a returning fan, skip this one and use the 8 bucks for something better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2009
An intriguing start. I was all set to enjoy myself. Then the meandering started and continued and continued. I kept at it (somewhat foolishly, I guess) but it didn't get any better. The outcome was--well--not all that great of a surprise. Think you have to be a fan of the series. . .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Alex Delaware rocks as an infallible and lovable main character, a psychologist who has relationship problems like anyone else! In this novel of the series, someone sends a "murder book," or a book showing the most gruesome crime scene photos with a commentary of what happened to the case. Alex and his cop buddy, Milo Sturgis, soon begin untangling a web of lies, deceit and disgust as Milo recognizes one victim as a case he cut his teeth on as a young rookie, years past. It always bothered him that the case, a brutal rape and murder, was never solved. Together, the two set out to do just that -- and solve a slew of other crimes in one fell swoop.

As always, Kellerman shines in his characterization. I have a hard time reminding myself that these characters exist only in Kellerman's mind -- and the minds of readers. They seem so real as to jump off the pages!

The Murder Book was action after action and made me not want to put it down for a second. However, the vast amount of characters made it difficult to keep track of, and caused me to keep turning back and rereading.

This is a stellar read for those who love gritty crime and thrillers. It's a mad chase for justice in a situation where no one really wins. Kellerman's heroes plunge into the investigation and tune into the politics only to look for a sick, twisted pervert.

I highly recommend this as one of Jonathan Kellerman's better books. A cut above the rest!
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