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Killer: An Alex Delaware Novel Paperback – Large Print, February 11, 2014
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Psychologist Alex Delaware’s custody consultations can get ugly, but Alex enters uncharted territory when his best friend, LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis, warns him that there’s a contract out on Alex’s life. Successful (and apparently unhinged) scientist Connie Sykes has just been denied custody of her sister Cherie’s daughter, and she’s exacting revenge for Alex’s recommendation in Cherie’s favor. Hours after the LAPD’s hit-man sting operation fails to snag her, Sykes is murdered. In quick succession, two men she named in court as the baby’s possible fathers are also killed, and Cherie and the baby go missing. Is Cherie eliminating custody threats, or is someone else involved? With Milo focusing on Cherie, Alex follows his gut instinct that she’s no killer and hunts for other leads. As usual, the rapport between Alex and Milo is a show-stealer, and longtime fans—some of whom may have noted an unevenness in the series recently—will love the well-executed flashbacks to Alex’s professional past. This twenty-ninth entry reads like a straightforward thriller until the appropriately insane ending twist. --Christine Tran --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Praise for Killer
“Killer is well plotted and paced. . . . One of [Kellerman’s] best.”—Bookreporter
“As usual, the rapport between Alex and Milo is a show-stealer, and longtime fans . . . will love the well-executed flashbacks to Alex’s professional past.”—Booklist
“Kellerman kicks this one up to a whole new level.”—RT Book Reviews
Praise for Jonathan Kellerman
“Jonathan Kellerman has justly earned his reputation as a master of the psychological thriller.”—People
“Kellerman really knows how to keep those pages turning.”—The New York Times Book Review
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Top Customer Reviews
The best part is several brilliantly-drawn minor characters with interesting psychological profiles. They're not as pathological as the sickest characters in the series, most are functional but troubled. It's interesting to see a mystery that results from the interactions of relatively minor problems rather than the clichéd twisted genius pyschopath.
Unfortunately, the threads never weave together tightly, the story is more like billiard balls bouncing off one another than a classic Kellerman masterpiece. Many things are unexplained. Why do two successful lawyers dress like hookers? What's going on with the good guy cut-price lawyer and the bad gal star lawyer? Why is Milo trying to give away money inappropriately? In fact both Milo and Robin appear to have mailed in their contributions, decorating the margins of the story without really being in it. Since no other character makes up more than a small fraction of the book's attention, Killer is too Alex-heavy (one Kellerman's few faults is a tendency to wallow in Alex's self-indulgent mild depression, most readers have plenty of friends willing to supply such stimulus).
Another criticism is the characters seem stuck in the mid-90s. Mobile devices and the Internet seem like afterthoughts, there's a lot more use of landlines, answering machines and human answering services than is common in 2014. Social services, probate and gang control really have made some progress in the last 20 years, not enough to fix the kinds of issues described in the book, but the reality is no longer as troubled and bleak as presented here.
The net result is the book feels like a series of short stories, some missing their last page. Some stories are good, some great, but they don't add up to a satisfying novel. Alex Delaware fans will be enjoy this book, but it won't be anyone's favorite. Non-fans should start with better ones like When the Bough Breaks or the more recent Victims.
And especially with the knowledge of psychology Kellerman shared with us. I found this book to be easy to put down;it just doesn't hold my interest or teach me anything. Part of the problem is my shift to non-fiction.
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