Edgar Award winner Jonathan Kellerman once more explores the corruption of California's golden coast and produces a novel of complex characterizations and nonstop suspense. By the time psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware reached the school the damage was done: A sniper had opened fire on a crowded playground, but was gunned down before any children were hurt. While the TV news crews feasted on the scene an Alex began his therapy sessions with the traumatized children, he couldn't escape the image of a slight teenager clutching an oversized rifle. What was the identity behind the name and face: a would-be assassin, or just another victim beneath an indifferent California sky Intrigued by a request from the sniper's father to conduct a "psychological autopsy" of his child, Alex begins to uncover a strange pattern of innocence, neglect, and loss. Then suddenly it is more than a pattern -- it is a trail of blood. In the dead sniper's past was a dark and vicious plot. And in Alex Delaware's future is the stuff of grown-up nightmares: the face of real human evil. Also available on BDD Audio Cassette.
After a sniper opens fire at an elementary school in an L.A. suburb, LAPD Detective Milo Sturgis calls in his friend, child psychologist Alex Delaware (seen last in Silent Partner ). None of the children is hurt, but the shooter, a young woman named Holly Burden, is killed by the bodyguard of one of two politicos visiting the school. While helping the kids overcome the trauma of the shooting, Delaware becomes involved with the edgy, dedicated principal, Linda Overstreet. He also agrees to Holly's father's request to do a ``psychological autopsy'' to clear his daughter's name. As racist-motivated vandalism at the school accelerates, Milo discovers that a black friend of Holly's was recently killed by police; then one of the politicians is gunned down. Alex's life is threatened as he traces events to a revival of the German American Bund and an unexpected political alliance with roots in an explosion of 20 years earlier, echoed in the fiery resolution here. Kellerman's meticulously constructed thriller, while leaning hard on the anti-Semitic component of its plot, again demonstrates how well the role of sleuth fits that of therapist; Alex, a little lost without former girlfriend Robin, speaks with a a unique, convincing voice. 150,000 first printing; Mystery Guild selection; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates. (Oct.) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 28, 2003
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