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Rage (Alex Delaware) Hardcover – May 24, 2005

3.6 out of 5 stars 167 customer reviews
Book 19 of 30 in the Alex Delaware Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware stars again after playing second fiddle to Hollywood homicide detective Petra Connor in last year's Twisted. It's been eight years since Alex provided a psychiatric evaluation of two teenagers, Troy Turner and Rand Duchay, who confessed to abducting and killing a two-year-old girl. Troy is now dead, murdered in prison, and Rand has been released—and he promptly calls Alex to tell him he has some important information. Alex agrees to a meeting, but Rand's not where he said he'd be; shortly thereafter he's found dead. Kellerman always fashions fiendishly complicated cases, both literally and psychologically, for Alex to unravel, and this one is no different. During the course of the investigation, he and longtime pal L.A. police lieutenant Milo Sturgis encounter a host of wayward children, a foster family from hell, infidelities that have to be charted to be kept straight and a serial killer who's the exact opposite of the genre's usual madman slasher but just as deadly. The action occurs mostly in the calculating brains of the two detectives as they turn and sift evidence piece by piece, working every angle until they finally come up with a coherent picture. It's an impressive piece of detection, and readers who enjoy watching the delicate untangling of a Gordian knot–like plot will find this one a winner. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

It has been eight years since two-year-old Kristal Malley was brutally murdered by two young teenage boys, and Alex Delaware has pushed his role in the drama out of his mind. Then a phone call from one of the boys, Rand Duchay, now released at age 21, brings the sad, sordid circumstances back. When Rand is found murdered--with Delaware's phone number in his pocket--the cops come knocking, in the person of Delaware's friend, Lieutenant Milo Sturgis. Delaware and Sturgis take on the familiar roles of compatriots in crime solving, as they try to determine if Kristal's murder has any bearing on Rand's death. Before they can figure that out, though, they must slash their way through a morass of lies, abuse, and dirty secrets, which envelop nearly everyone involved in the original tragedy. There's less suspense here than in some of Kellerman's past Delaware novels; Alex and Milo spend a great deal of time swapping theories in the kitchen, in the car, and at restaurants, methodically piecing together gossamer-thin trails of evidence. But there's still enough surprise along the way to keep things interesting, especially at the close, when both Delaware and Sturgis face a moral quandary with which readers will sympathize. Less action, more substance for Kellerman fans. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Alex Delaware Novels
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (May 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034546706X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345467065
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #906,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Thriller Lover VINE VOICE on September 25, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think Jonathan Kellerman is an underrated writer. He's been writing thrillers for over twenty years, and I still enjoy his novels and his writing style. RAGE is his nineteenth novel featuring his primary hero, Dr. Alex Delaware. I found the book enjoyable, but minor.

This novel is essentially a murder mystery involving the death of a young child, and the repercussions that follow. The first third of RAGE is actually pretty stellar, a first-rate whodunit. Kellerman does a good job describing the initial crime and Delaware's role in the subsequent court proceeding. As always, the dialogue and characterization is well done.

Unfortunately, the novel goes downhill after the first 100 or so pages. The remainder of the book consists of Alex and his cop friend Milo investigating a series of grisly new murders that are potentially related to the child's death. This leads to an increasingly convoluted storyline that I eventually found confusing.

Furthermore, there is too much boring dialogue between Alex and Milo speculating about about who committed the crime. Most of this dialogue only serves to slow down the narrative pace of the book. Also, when the killer's identity is finally revealed, his motive for the crime is absurd -- pure over-the-top insanity. No rational explanation is given for such psychotic behavior. To me, this is just lazy plotting on the part of Kellerman.

To make matters worse, the ending of this novel is surprisingly weak and open-ended, and left me heavily dissatisfied. Given the rather horrid behavior detailed in this novel, I was hoping for an ending that supplied more closure.

This book is a decent mystery novel, but if you're new to Kellerman, my advice is to skip this novel and begin with his earlier work, such as WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS.
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Format: Hardcover
A good crime novel needs to be well tethered in time and place, as well as steadily developing its central characters.

I'm not sure that Jonathon Kellerman is any longer doing this. His Los Angeles is only cursorily sketched in this latest novel, and there's next to nothing which locates it in the early 21st Century rather than, say, ten years earlier. A half hearted sub-plot strongly hints at a change in Alex's love life, but like the plot as a whole this depends on excessive co-incidence.

I don't think the plot convinces on other levels. Rather too much flash back, an inordinate amount of speculative dialogue between Milo and Alex, and the precipitate conclusion all diminish satisfaction. The minor characters are not established as effectively as in early novels, partly because they take less part in the narrative, which is chiefly propelled by the dialogue between the two main protagonists.

Kellerman writes well, as usual, with only an occasional over-straining after effect. He continues obsessively to describe every item of clothing worn by every character, which is wearing, and one has to wonder at the memories of Alex and some other characters.

All in all, I was disappointed. The fruit is rotting on the vine.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I look forward to all the alex delaware books, but some are better than others, and this one is very good. Other reviewers have described the plot; I will just say that it was pleasurably twisty. About a third of the way through the book I thought the solution was obvious, and I was disappointed, but I was wrong!

A minor flaw is that the book ended too abruptly. It needed a little more of a wind-down.


There is a hint toward the end of the book that Alex and Allison may be heading for a split and Robin may reappear...Mr Kellerman, if you read these reviews, DON'T DO IT. While one criticism I would level at all of the Alex D. books is that the two female love interests do not have very well-developed characters, as far as they go, Allison is preferable. Robin is kind on whiney.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of Kellerman's for some time now and have read all of his books; I particularly enjoy the Alex Delaware series, especially since I'm a psychologist myself. However, like many other reviewers, I've felt that Kellerman had started to lose his touch in some of the most recent Dr. Delaware books; it seemed that he was recycling similar themes or incorporating ideas that were so far-fetched as to go beyond the boundaries of poetic license. Happily, RAGE is an improvement, and it gets back to the heart of what makes these books so engaging: the suspense-ladden storyline combined with the relationship between Alex and his police detective (now lieutenant) friend, Milo Sturges.

Here, Alex and Milo are trying to solve the murder of a mentally challenged young man who himself was accused of murder eight years before, a case in which Alex acted as a consultant. As always, the process of solving this mystery leads Alex and Milo to speculate about other connections and links to the crime. Unlike in some of the previous Dr. Delaware novels, however, the conjectures seem to follow from the evidence at hand, making the plot more believable. On the other hand, I was a bit disappointed in the book's ending, as the conclusion did not provide definitive answers to many of the questions raised throughout the story. Still, I enjoyed this book and look forward to finding out where Alex's adventures might take him next, including in terms of his love life.
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