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Deception: An Alex Delaware Novel (Alex Delaware Novels) Hardcover – March 30, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 208 customer reviews
Book 25 of 30 in the Alex Delaware Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Deputy Chief Weinberg assigns LAPD Lt. Milo Sturgis a particularly sensitive murder case at the outset of bestseller Kellerman's smooth if routine 25th Alex Delaware novel (after Evidence). Elise Freeman, a teacher and tutor at exclusive Windsor Preparatory Academy in Brentwood, is found dead in her Studio City apartment in a bathtub full of dry ice. Despite Elise's having left a DVD accusing three fellow teachers at the academy of repeated sexual harassment, Weinberg wants (for personal reasons) the investigation to involve the school as little as possible. As usual, psychologist Alex Delaware takes an active role in the investigation, which finds the victim had lots to hide. A boyfriend, students, teachers, and administrators are all anxious to keep those secrets hidden—and at least one of them is willing to kill again. Milo and Alex form an odd but effective duo as they trade banter and insights while sorting out the lies and deceptions. (Apr.)
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From Booklist

When Milo Sturgis, the LAPD homicide detective, catches a particularly tricky case, he naturally turns for help to his good friend and frequent partner, psychologist Alex Delaware. At first it looks like a straightforward suicide: a woman records a message on a DVD and then kills herself. But the facts are all wrong. The DVD isn’t a suicide message; it’s an accusation against some of her colleagues at an elite prep school. In addition, the victim’s home computer is missing, and she died by being submerged in dry ice, a particularly slow and painful means of death, hardly a common suicide method. Milo and Alex think it’s murder, and there’s no shortage of potential suspects—the victim’s colleagues, her boyfriend, and others—but, as usual, getting to the heart of the matter requires plenty of investigation and a certain amount of danger. The Delaware novels follow a pretty straightforward formula, but that’s OK: Delaware and Sturgis are engaging characters with whom fans enjoy spending time, as will devotees of Stephen J. Cannell (for the L.A. setting and the procedural aspects), Ridley Pearson (for the cop-psychologist team), and Mark Schorr (for the psychologist as amateur sleuth). --David Pitt
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Product Details

  • Series: Alex Delaware Novels
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345505670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345505675
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,318,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brian Baker VINE VOICE on April 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When Kellerman first brought the Delaware series forward, the books were a welcome and unique entry to the mystery genre: a psychologist who used his unique insights and training to solve crimes, especially those involving children, child psychology being Delaware's specialty as a shrink.

Milo Sturgis was a supporting character to whom Delaware would turn when he needed police support. But what made the series so appealing was the idea that Delaware was getting inadvertently involved in solving mysteries while trying to cure his patients, and his expertise as a psychologist would afford him the unique perspective from which to solve those crimes, in spite of the ineffectiveness of the police.

My, how times have changed.

Milo Sturgis is now the central character; Delaware's simply along for the ride, and to act as a sounding board for Milo so that we readers don't have to sit through endless exposition; his being a psychologist has become completely irrelevant, and isn't even used as a device anymore. Gone are the descriptive passages that establish place and setting, which were so evocative of LA in all its varied motifs. Gone are any personal story elements, such as those involving his girlfriend Robin or his dog; they've become nothing more than set dressing for the few passages when Delaware's in his house (presumably just to have something happen in a different physical scene). Dialogue consists of terse exchanges between Sturgis and Delaware; many of the scenes with witnesses or suspects remind me of the old "Dragnet" TV series, or maybe "Law & Order".

The series has become a hard-boiled detective series starring Sturgis; it's almost on the level of pulp fiction; certainly "police procedural" genre rather than psychological mystery/thriller.
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Format: Hardcover
Jonathan Kellerman has developed a winner in the characters of Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware. Each new novel promises the maximum amount of entertainment with a puzzling new case. Deception, the latest in a growing line of well written novels, promises to turn over a few well place rocks to reveal the creepy humans who hide there.

In Deception, Elise Freeman, a faculty member from prestigious Winsor Prep Academy is found murdered and a DVD is found next to her body. When played, the DVD reveals a woman who has suffered abuse at the hands of multiple abusers for more than a year. As the story unfolds, it appears that the culprits are fellow faculty members and co-workers. As the details become more warped, Detective Milo Sturgis is assigned to the case. Both he and Dr. Alex Delaware must untangle the clues to get to the truth. However, that task is complicated by the resistance of both the school and the wealthy clientele that send their Ivy League bound children there.

Deception is a hand wringer. Should the upper class be allowed to hide behind a curtain thus hiding their own sins and should those that cater to this class be allowed the same privilege? This is an interesting question, because it appears that the answer to this question is usually yes.

Kellerman does a good job in keeping the story fresh and the characters interesting. After-all, after 25 of these books, keeping things moving isn't easy.

All in all, I think you'll be glad you read Deception.
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Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately the first Alex Delaware novel ever, that i didn't finish, and i've read every one.It is obvious the authors find it hard to sustain their books as time goes on.The story became so jumbled up towards the end with characters that i didn't know, that i gave up
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read most of the books in the Alex Delaware/Milo Sturgis series, and this one was probably the absolute worst in the series. Recently, every new book by Jonathan Kellerman felt like an attempt to meet the publisher's deadline with no consideration for putting out a credible, engaging story. However, Kellerman was always ultimately saved from complete and utter failure by his talent, his gift at creating alluring plot twists, and the likability of his characters. This novel, however, has none of these ingredients.

Alex and Milo in this novel seem more like sad parodies of their former selves. Milo's endearing habit of enjoying food has degenerated into this character wolfing down every scrap of nourishment he enocunters in a truly disgusting way. Alex, who always suffered from being a little stuck up, is insufferably boring in "Deception." He never offers any insights, psychological or otherwise, which made me wonder why he was included in the story at all.

The plot of the novel is very limp. After a couple of half-hearted attempts to create some semblance of twists to the annoying plotline, the author gives up and introduces the solution to the so-called mystery. Both the mystery and the solution to it prove to be mind-numbingly boring.

As a long-term fan of the series, I sincerely hope that Kellerman will manage to get himself together and stop insulting his readers with inane efforts at mystery writing that we see in "Deception."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
verified purchase Deception: An Alex Delaware Novel

this is definitely not kellerman at his best it may even be kellerman at his worst. Delaware is not the central character and it almost feels as if he is a hanger on that the author thought should be included in this book. alex delaware is kellermans trademark and i guess he thought a book with delaware even though his contribution is minimal must be included to make it authentic. the novel has an over abundance of characters all of which are suspects until cleared. this resulted in the story becoming very confusing at times when trying to figure out who was where and what they had to do with the crime which in many cases was nothing. the plot re who the perpetrator is becomes a tangled mess which at times is hard to figure out. too many people are involved and after a while i was asking myself who is this character, and why is there very little or in most cases no solid evidence to support him/her from being suspected of the crime. this aforementioned fact resulted in that character being followed endlessly and harassed when being questioned re telling the truth, when in fact the truth is being told by that particular individual as we later find out. there is a lot of useless info pertaining to all suspects which if left out would not have made a difference. i managed to finish it but it was a chore. kellerman jumps from character to character and situation to situation before we can digest the sometimes superfluous info pertinent to each suspect one at a time. he lumps all of them together and trying to tie them to each other becomes ridiculous with long and senseless explanations of irrelevant rhetoric . if you want to read kellerman then read his books written years ago. they are much better and do not compare to this confusing waste of time.
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