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Private Eyes (Alex Delaware) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews
Book 6 of 30 in the Alex Delaware Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kellerman devises a psychologically complex, highly satisfying plot in this latest mystery (after Time Bomb ) to feature child psychologist Alex Delaware, although we wait too long for the best parts and although Delaware, his love life on hold, seems less emotionally present than in previous cases. Harvard-bound, 18-year-old heiress Melissa Dickinson, whom Delaware had successfully treated for anxiety 10 years earlier, calls him with concerns about leaving her wealthy mother, an agoraphobe. Years before Melissa's birth, Gina Dickinson Ramp had been disfigured by acid thrown for never-revealed reasons by a former lover, now out of prison and back in town. Widowed for many years, recently remarried and making progress in her own intensive therapy with a noted husband-and-wife team of behaviorial psychologists, Gina is still fragile. When she disappears, Melissa enlists Delaware's help and that of his friend, Milo Sturgis, on leave from the LAPD (for having slugged, on TV, a homophobic superior). Kellerman deftly handles the strings of his plot, keeping in question the plight of Gina and the identities of those wishing her ill, until final events make what came before seem inevitable. A brief reunion with his former lover Robin will leave readers hoping for a reconciliation in Delaware's next appearance. 150,000 first printing; major ad/promo.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Vividly realistic ... explores the subject with  haunting emotional power."-- Playboy

"A page-turner from beginning to  end." --Los Angeles Times

"A gut-wrenching scenario... might well be  Kellerman's finest."  --Booklist --Review

"Vividly realistic ... explores the subject with  haunting emotional power."-- Playboy

"A page-turner from beginning to  end." --Los Angeles Times

"A gut-wrenching scenario... might well be  Kellerman's finest." --Booklist
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345460707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345460707
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,254,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nine years ago, Alex Delaware successfully treated Melissa Dickinson, a tormented and phobic young girl, irrationally scared of almost everything. After two years of treatment, Melissa seems almost totally recovered, so her need for Dr Delaware ceases, and she becomes one of his most spectacular triumphs. Now, Melissa contacts Alex again, this time seeking advice concerning her mother. Gina Dickinson is a recluse, an ex-actress hiding away from the world ever since a vicious acid attack that left her scarred for life, even after extensive and traumatic plastic surgery. Even though Gina is now seeing, with some effect, a psychiatrist of her own, Melissa wants to know if Alex feels her mother could cope if she went away, accepting her place Harvard. Then, one day, Gina inexplicably climbs into her car, and drives off into thin air, leaving a tangled mystery to be unravelled in her wake.
I had started to think that this series was in danger of going stale. The prose is adequate and easy to read, but hardly full of spirit and at times seems a little perfunctory, and Alex Delaware has also remained a rather static - if very likeable - character. But now, after reading Kellerman's excellent standalone "The Butcher's Theatre", I returned to the series with "Private Eyes", and found it a wonderfully invigorating experience. This may be his lone of his longest Delaware books to date, but every word is fascinating, and there seems to me to be fresh fire in the writing. The characters are all very well developed, and although Kellerman never really takes any risks with his well-structured plot, it's a complex and clever book that really kicks the brain into gear, and presents one or two nice surprises along the way.
The psychology is dead-on, the relationships are all fascinating, the characterisation is acute, and the resolution is exciting, well-done, and satisfying. This may well turn out to be the rock of the Delaware series. To find out, i shall have to read on...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is definitely not a Vince Flynn novel. It's a character study of people in and around a wealthy, practically dysfunctional family.

Kellerman is a clinical psychologist, as well as writer. This is the first of the Alex Delaware series I've read. Delaware is also a psychologist, specializing in child psychology. He's sort of a Sherlock Holmes figure - working from data and facts, in this book, gathered by Milo Sturgis, a helpful detective who can actually go follow people and ask questions.

You can read the reviews and summaries here at Amazon. This book is clearly not for everyone's taste. Almost nothing happens until about the middle of the book. Up till then, we find out about the main characters, the supporting characters, the good guys and the bad guys. And sometimes it's hard to figure out who the Bad Guys are - there are clues along the way, and things gradually reveal themselves, like layers of an onion peeling away.

Things start to come together about 3/4 of the way through. They get complicated: too many people turn out not to be exactly what they seemed earlier.

I really think psychologists would like this one, because of the character (and phobia) development. I found it interesting enough to keep going, even when the going got a bit slow.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
After eight different tries with Kellerman, I removed him from my "authors to read" list. Then a friend gave me Private Eyes and I thought I'd give him another shot. 525 pages later, I haven't changed my mind. Private Eyes is extremely slow going, and if not for my need to finish every book I start, I would have gladly given the book back without reaching the very disappointing ending.
Alex Delaware is called by a former child patient after nine years. He is drawn into a severly dysfunctional family with secrets galore, a missing person, her former attacker now free from prison, greedy bankers and lawyers, odd-ball psychiatrists - all of whom could be guilty of the possible kidnapping/murder...if there was actually a kidnapping/murder. With his loyal minion Milo Sturgis, Delaware tries to untangle the intricate web Kellerman weaves for the reader. Great premise.
Unfortunately, what I found was more of Kellerman's verbose writing style in which he goes to great length to describe the highways and byways that Delaware takes to go to wherever he's going. I realize in reading other reviews, many readers enjoy Kellerman. Beyond Billy Straight and Survival of the Fittest, I can't say I'm in that same group of fans.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought I'd had all of Alex Delaware I could handle for awhile, until I read the story description on this..... and I was hooked again, just like that. The characters remain the same throughout all his books, which is comforting - as long as the story doesn't suddenly change direction! The twists and turns of a well written mystery takes a special talent, which Jonathon Kellerman has in abundance.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At this point I have read all his Alex Delaware books. Obviously a fan. Also a shrink. His earlier works had more psychological material, if I remember correctly. Still, Nice, easy reads. Some are better than others, but I can't remember that either.
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Format: Audio Cassette
This was the second of many book I have read by Jonathan Kellerman, and is

the best to date. Kellerman shows his expertise in psychology and suspense in this

page turner. I could not put this book down, and
lost a lot of sleep trying to finish

it. You'll learn more about a phobic personality than
you ever thought possible, and

you'll have a great time doing it. Tou may have your
own list of suspects by the end,

but you'll never figure this ending out!!<BR
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