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Victims: An Alex Delaware Novel (Alex Delaware Novels) Hardcover – February 28, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Alex Delaware Novels
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1ST edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345505719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345505712
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (489 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In the latest Alex Delaware novel, solving a series of murders requires putting together a particularly difficult jigsaw puzzle. What do several seemingly unconnected victims have in common? As psychologist Delaware and LAPD detective Milo Sturgis struggle to put the pieces of the puzzle together, the body count keeps growing: a nasty, friendless woman; an accountant; a married couple; a homeless man. Clues are hard to come by, and even when Delaware begins to get a glimpse of the big picture, it’s fuzzy, the killer’s identity hidden, perhaps forever, in the shadows of history. The first Delaware novel, When the Bough Breaks, was published in 1985, but Kellerman has kept the series from devolving into mere formula by finding new variations on the psychological-forensic-thriller format. This one is presented as a procedural, and, as with Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct novels, it’s the step-by-step process of the investigation that keeps us turning the pages. In the long-running Delaware series, this one is in the top tier. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Kellerman’s books have sold more than 40 million copies; he has had three number-one New York Times best-sellers; and his Alex Delaware novels have won both Edgar and Anthony Awards. Now that’s a track record. --David Pitt

Review

'Sophisticated, cleverly plotted and satisfying' -- Sunday Telegraph 'High-octane entertainment' -- The Times 'Exceptionally exciting' -- New York Times 'Ingenious and horrifying' -- The Sunday Times --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.

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Customer Reviews

Too predictable and boring.
imsocrazy
Well written with good character and plot building.
K. M.
This one will keep you reading until the very end.
Nash Black

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

240 of 247 people found the following review helpful By Aaron C. Brown TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As I have mentioned in previous reviews of Alex Delaware novels, I am a huge fan of Jonathan Kellerman who has been disappointed by the progressive deterioration in the quality of Alex Delaware novels. The nadir was the previous entry Mystery, which had an absurd and unpleasant plot, conventional gore to shock the reader rather than any chills and characters who had become entirely divorced from reality doing predictable shticks--while the author's main concern seems to be keeping alive plot lines from prior books and planned sequels.

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.
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Richard B. Schwartz TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Reviewers have been concerned about some of the recent Kellerman novels, believing that JK has stumbled a bit and not been up to his former standard. Not to worry. This is a superb new novel, its success coming from its faithfulness to its core elements.

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.
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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Stout TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have read Kellerman's Alex Delaware series since the very first book When the Bough Breaks was published over 25 years ago (actually I've read all his books except his non-fiction). In the beginning he was probably one of my Top 10 favorite writers. Over the last few years, though, the spark seemed to have almost died out of his writing.

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.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Lois Lain VINE VOICE on January 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What I love best about Kellerman's books -- and I've read all the thrillers -- is his ability to make us care about the characters, even just minor bit part players. But in this book, while the mystery itself is sound and pretty interesting, I found myself not really giving a hoot whether the "bad guy" was caught or not. The victims were, as a whole, a fairly unappealing bunch. From a bully to an unscrupulous surgeon to a creepy street person... no one engendered much sympathy.

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.
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