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Victims: An Alex Delaware Novel (Alex Delaware Novels) Hardcover – February 28, 2012
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I would not have even picked this one up, except it was available on Vine and I retain enough affection or the earlier and non-Delaware books to give it one more try. I am glad I did. From the first line of the book, "This one was different," it promises and delivers a fresh, exciting mystery, and an education to boot.
The basic story is familiar enough, a series of brutal murders with psychotic mutilations calls for a combination of meticulous procedural police work from the bottom up, and brilliant psychological insight from the top down. As in the best novels in this series, Alex and Milo play off each other effortlessly. Important clues are (or seem to be) a man in a heavy shearling coat inappropriate for the weather, some unpleasant interactions the victims had before being killed and details that point faintly to mysterious treatments in a long-closed psychiatric facility. There are some terrific recreations of places in the book, Alex doesn't spend the whole time in mildly-depressed musings next to his koi pond listening to Robin's wood shaving. The characters are true, but their minor issues and quirks don't overwhelm the story.Read more ›
Those core elements lie in the central conceit: the usefulness of a trained clinical psychologist to a grizzled, gay Robbery/Homicide lieutenant. Alex and Milo seem to be opposites and in many ways they are, but they work together beautifully and almost seamlessly. In Victims we get great dollops of both. This is their case and their story. Robin and her luthier business are far off in the distant background. Puppy dog Blanche makes an appearance or two, but this is not her story either; it's Alex and Milo's.
The plot arc is a sequential investigation--talking to people, checking records, driving from point a to point b, digging up the elusive truth, testing hypotheses, avoiding blind alleys. The body of a middle -aged woman is found. She has been eviscerated in an exotic, violent fashion. Everyone hated her. Suddenly the body of a man is found. He has been eviscerated in the same fashion as the woman. Everyone loved him? What in the world has happened here? And why?
The answers are found in the past and they center on a now-closed hospital for the deeply troubled, including the criminally insane. Alex once interned there and his experience and skills will be of considerable use in the investigation. The hospital also had a `special' wing for `special' treatments. Alex was dissuaded from ever visiting it. Could it still exist, in some form or other?
The investigation is fascinating and the narrative sparkles with great one-liners. I never thought Jonathan Kellerman was gone, but for those who did think so--he's back. And he and Milo are walking down some very mean streets with some very dark inhabitants.
Well, it's back! I enjoyed "Victims." It was almost like meeting old friends again. Milo and Alex are back.
While the plot line wasn't a totally original one, Kellerman handled the story with aplomb, building the suspense, dropping clues, peeking inside the minds of monsters - which is really what he does so well.
The story was believable, even though horrifying. We didn't have to spend half a book reading about Alex's marriage problems or Milo's many idiosyncrasies. We got to read about the crimes, the psychology behind them, and the solving of said crimes.
Good job. I'm overjoyed that I got to read this as an Advanced Reading Copy.
All the same, the mystery was an interesting intellectual exercise, and all the regular characters were there, from Blanche to Robin to Milo and Petra. WRitten in a smooth Kellerman style, the writing is impeccable and the story moves along at a rapid pace.
All in all, not a bad book, but not one of my favorites.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another wonderful psychological thriller with Dr. Delaware and Milo Sturgis. I just love books by this author, they always keep me on the edge of my seat.Published 1 month ago by SH
Another great story from Alex Delaware..keeps your interest and you don't want to put it down. Always a good read..great characters.Published 2 months ago by Kathy
Love to read Jonathan Kellerman and this one did not disappoint! Great read.Published 3 months ago by Linda M. Baker
Left with questions unanswered, both Alex and Milo shaken, must be like what happens to real D's and psychologists engaged in this end of the human spectrum. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jane Gyorgy
Interesting plot with some novel crime scene details and fun relationship banter between Milo and Alex.Published 3 months ago by Consumer Carol
This book had many twists and turns. It is a very good book and I would recommend it. Enjoy it!Published 3 months ago by Margaret Dickelman
The usual great read. Finely woven and disturbing plot. Great use of of the history of a mental hospital to flesh out the plot.Published 3 months ago by M. Stewart