In seventeen consecutive bestselling novels, Jonathan Kellerman has distinguished himself as the master of the psychological thriller. Now in Kellerman's most compelling and powerful novel yet, L.A. psychologist-detective Alex Delaware confronts a long-unsolved murder of unspeakable brutality-an ice-cold case whose resolution threatens his survival, and that of longtime friend, homicide detective, Milo Sturgis.The nightmare begins when Alex receives a strange package in the mail with no return address. Inside is an ornate album filled with gruesome crime scene photos-a homicide scrapbook entitled The Murder Book. Alex can find no reason for anyone to send him this compendium of death, but when Milo views the book, he is immediately shaken by one of the images: a young woman, tortured, strangled, and dumped near a freeway ramp.
Bestseller Kellerman's 16th Alex Delaware novel is a hoot of a whodunit, a classic puzzler to keep the most staid traditionalist gleefully scratching his or her head until the wee hours. It's also a noir of gothic proportions, a descent into a California hell, in which Delaware shares the spotlight with his longtime friend and colleague, Det. Milo Sturgis. When somebody sends Alex a three-ring binder full of grisly police photographs of crime scenes with "The Murder Book" in gold letters on the front cover, Milo is stunned to discover a picture of the mutilated body of Janie Ingalls, a Hollywood High sophomore, whose vicious murder he investigated 20 years before. Milo was just a rookie detective then, partnered with a hard-nosed veteran, Pierce Schwinn. The pair made some progress with the case, but were pulled off it and split up because Schwinn stepped on some big toes. Milo suspects the book has come from Schwinn, an invitation to take up the old case that has haunted them both for years. He and Alex begin to follow a trail that will lead them high up the social ladder and down among the dregs of society. It is a step-by-step, clue-by-clue process beloved of mystery fans, and Kellerman handles it masterfully. By the end there are an awful lot of characters to keep track of, and the biff-boom-bang finale seems too much, but no one's perfect. This may be the best Kellerman in years. (Oct. 1) Forecast: Kellerman has won Edgar, Anthony and Goldwyn awards and been nominated for a Shamus. National media appearances and advertising on Court TV and CNN will help ensure another run up bestseller lists. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
April 01, 2003
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Murder Book by Jonathan Kellerman
The day I got the murder book, I was still thinking about Paris. Red wine, bare trees, gray river, city of love. Everything that happened there. Now, this.
Robin and I flew in to Charles de Gaulle airport on a murky Monday in January. The trip had been my idea of a surprise. I'd pulled it together in one manic night, booking tickets on Air France and a room at a small hotel on the outskirts of the Eighth arrondissement, packing a suitcase for two, speeding the 125 freeway miles to San Diego. Showing up at Robin's room at the Del Coronado just before midnight with a dozen coral roses and a voila! grin.
She came to the door wearing a white T-shirt and a hip-riding red sarong, auburn curls loose, chocolate eyes tired, no makeup. We embraced, then she pulled away and looked down at the suitcase. When I showed her the tickets, she turned her back and shielded me from her tears. Outside her window the night black ocean rolled, but this was no holiday on the beach. She'd left L.A. because I'd lied to her and put myself in danger. Listening to her cry now, I wondered if the damage was irreparable.
I asked what was wrong. As if I had nothing to do with it.
She said, "I'm just . . . surprised."
We ordered room-service sandwiches, she closed the drapes, we made love.
"Paris," she said, slipping into a hotel bathrobe. "I can't believe you did all this." She sat down, brushed her hair, then stood. Approached the bed, stood over me, touched me. She let the robe slither from her body, straddled me, shut her eyes, lowered a breast to my mouth. When she came the second time, she rolled away, went silent.
I played with her hair and, as she fell asleep, the corners of her mouth lifted. Mona Lisa smile. In a couple of days, we'd be queuing up as robotically as any other tourists, straining for a glimpse of the real thing.
She'd fled to San Diego because a high school chum lived there-a thrice-married oral surgeon named Debra Dyer, whose current love interest was a banker from Mexico City. ("So many white teeth, Alex!") Francisco had suggested a day of shlock-shopping in Tijuana followed by an indeterminate stay at a leased beach house in Cabo San Lucas. Robin, feeling like a fifth wheel, had begged off, and called me, asking if I'd join her.
She'd been nervous about it. Apologizing for abandoning me. I didn't see it that way, at all. Figured her for the injured party.
I'd gotten myself in a bad situation because of poor planning. Blood had spilled and someone had died. Rationalizing the whole thing wasn't that tough: Innocent lives had been at stake, the good guys had won, I'd ended up on my feet. But as Robin roared away in her truck, I faced the truth: