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The Conspiracy Club [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Jonathan Kellerman
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 25 2003 Jonathan Kellerman
Over the course of twenty acclaimed novels of suspense, most recently The Murder Book and A Cold Heart, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman has pitted psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware against adversaries as disturbed and dangerous as Delaware is clever and compassionate. Now in Kellerman’s gripping new novel, a different hero will hold the reader spellbound: a dedicated young psychologist, unschooled in the ways of violent crime and incalculable evil–until his life is irreversibly touched by both . . . and he is thrust into a chilling hunt for a twenty-first-century Jack the Ripper.

When his brief, passionate romance with nurse Jocelyn Banks is cut short by her kidnapping and brutal murder, Dr. Jeremy Carrier is left emotionally devastated, haunted by his lover’s grisly demise and warily eyed by police still seeking a prime suspect in the unsolved slaying. To escape the pain, he buries himself in his work as staff psychologist at City Central Hospital–only to be drawn deeper into a waking nightmare when more women turn up murdered in the same gruesome fashion as Jocelyn Banks . . . and the suspicion surrounding Jeremy intensifies. Now, the only way to prove his innocence and put his torment to rest is to follow the trail of a cunning psychopath.

Spurring on Jeremy’s investigation is Dr. Arthur Chess, an enigmatic pathologist who specializes in examining the dead, but harbors a keen fascination with the darker deeds committed by the living. Arthurdraws Jeremy into an unexpected friendship, and into the confidence of a cryptic society devoted to matters unknown and unspoken. When he suddenly slips away, Jeremy is left to contend with an onslaught of anonymous clues–and the growing realization that a harrowing game of cat and mouse has been set in motion.

But who besides Jeremy is playing–and who is making the rules? Before the killer strikes again, Jeremy races to connect the disturbing puzzle pieces being fed to him. Yet his search for answers only seems to yield more questions. And deepening the mystery is the undeniable presence of someone watching it all–and guiding Jeremy’s investigation from behind the scenes. As the game intensifies, Jeremy must decide if a secret ally is setting him on the right path . . . or a sadistic enemy is setting him up for a fate far beyond even the most twisted imagination.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Kellerman re-invigorates a number of tried-and-true mystery conventions in this gripping, intricately plotted, non-Alex Delaware stand-alone novel of psychological suspense. A psychologist at City Central Hospital, Jeremy Carrier, is attempting to put his life back together after the brutal murder of his girlfriend, Jocelyn, when he is approached by elderly Dr. Arthur Chess with an offer of friendship. Jeremy, still too traumatized by Jocelyn's death to attempt even the most casual of relationships, initially rejects Chess's solicitation. After further conversation, he accepts an invitation to an elegant dinner at a very private club with Chess and five other older men and women of high intellectual and social rank, all of whom have an extreme interest in crime and the nature of evil. Just as a halting, tentative rapport with fellow doctor Angela Rios begins to develop, Jeremy receives the first in a series of mysterious, anonymous messages. By piecing these messages together with other clues from Dr. Chess, he comes to understand that someone is trying to point him toward the killer of his beloved Jocelyn and a number of other local women. Kellerman is a master at building character and slowly unfolding events, divulging just the right amount of information. Jeremy uncovers more murders, both past and present, and eventually realizes he's had everything wrong from the very beginning. Savvy mystery readers will not be surprised that the likable Jeremy finally comes to the correct conclusions and identifies the killer, earns the respect of his elderly friends and the love of his new lady.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Readers devoted to Alex Delaware may miss the L.A. psychologist, who has entertained them with more than a dozen mysteries. But not for long; Kellerman's Jeremy Carrier has a lot of similarities to his literary precursor, including his profession. Unlike Delaware, thirtysomething Carrier isn't in private practice, but his occupation still gets him inside people's heads. Unfortunately, it's his own emotional state that needs leveling out. Still reeling from the brutal murder of his girlfriend, for which he's long been under suspicion, Carrier is barely able to attend to his patients let alone handle his own grief and anger. Then four things happen: he meets attractive Dr. Angela Rios; he's invited to dine with an odd group, each of whom, he eventually learns, has suffered an unresolved loss; he begins receiving strange articles in his office mail; and murders bearing a definite similarity to his lover's horrific death begin happening again. It's a bit of a chore to get past Jeremy's angst at the outset, but once Carrier catches on to the clues, things move along much faster. The best part, though, is the end: just when you think Carrier has it figured out, there's one last odd twist. Suspend disbelief and follow along. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Different but Good. April 14 2004
This is a story from author Kellerman which is a bit
of a departure for him, in that he usually writes about his
hero Alex Delaware and his odd pal, Milo, who operate in
the psych and homicide world of L.A. The best of those stories
usually grab your attention and move at a fast, complex pace.
Here, Kellerman does give us a different perspective with his
hero a Ph.D psychologist working in the psych unit of a hospital
in an unnamed city. Dr.Jeremy Carter's life falls suddenly into
new depths when his beautiful girl friend is found murdered,
and the details of her death are so gruesome the detectives
won't talk about them to anyone.
And, of course, since there are few clues, the hidebound police
detectives suspect the boy friend, Jeremy, and they try to work
him into the murder.
Jeremy tries to build a new life, but it is a slow, painful
process; then he meets another beautiful young woman, and they
move toward a more intimate friendship. But he can never forget
his earlier girlfriend and her fate, but the police still won't
tell him anything, but they are obviously losing interest in
what is becoming an old case.
Then Jeremy is suddenly befriended by an older man on staff,
who is a pathologist, and the older doc invites Jeremy to a
dinner, which turns out to be very mysterious indeed. The
handful of participants are all older, seemingly wealthy, and
they have something secret in their past, which they hint of
but never detail.
The pathologist then disappears, and Jeremy begins receiving postcards from around the world, and about the same time, someone is slipping into his interoffice mail copies of bizarre
articles in medical journals.
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2.0 out of 5 stars What happened here? March 3 2004
Kellerman is best known for his Alex Delaware novels, and rightfully so. When an author wants to break from a popular character, there's always the possibility of scepticism from the readers. Some authors are able to make this work (Jeffrey Deaver, for example). Others fall flat, as Mr. Kellerman has on this one. I honestly don't know what happened here. This is perhaps the slowest paced novel I've ever read from a veteran author. How this ever got past his agent or editor I'll never know. You are well over halfway through the book before anything happens, and I'm not exaggerating here in the least. It's almost like following someone's boring life with morbid curiousity for a while, waiting for something to go wrong. The ending, when it mercifully comes, isn't worth the build up. The Conspiracy Club from the book's title really doesn't do anything that a single character couldn't have done. It's like this is a novel he'd written years ago but put away and suddenly he had a deadline and had to grab it. The potential for a great story was here, but it would have meant losing the first half of the book and starting from there. I look forward to his next novel, but I hope it'll be back to his old standard of great storytelling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised March 1 2004
By A Customer
I am an avid Kellerman reader & I've read many reviews from people who have bashed him having read only one book out of his Alex Delarware series & am highly disappointed that they would consider themselves an expert on good novels having not been privy to the character developments. However, w/ the introduction of a new central character, I found myself in this position of having to learn to warm up to a new hero. I read the first chapter on a website before the book was released & figured I would NEVER read the book, but out of boredom I dove into it w/ an open mind & found by the 3rd chapter I was enthralled & intrigued by Dr. Carrier. And although I hope he doesn't completely abandon the characters we've grown to love in the Alex Delaware novels, I do hope to hear much more about the new characters as well. Although these characters are very similar, i feel for people who read Series novels, it's a great way to get the quality you enjoy and still mix it up w/ out all the redundancy that comes w/ having to read the descriptions of all the same people, places, & things you've been reading about for years.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this different and unique book Feb. 2 2004
I read a few of the negative reviews before I got my hands on Conspiracy Club, and thankfully the bad reviews didn't spoil my fun.
First, I read one Kellerman novel several years ago so I had no opinions on this author when I got this book. Even at 370 pages, this is a quick read.
Dr. Carrier is a pschyciatrist at a big city hospital. His girlfriend has recently been murdered. Dr. Authur Chess befriends him and at the same time Carrier begins receiving strange packages and notes leading him to clues about various killings and killers.
This book is from the point of view of Dr. Carrier. It covers his relationships with his patients, coworkers and new girlfriend Angela.
The unique part of this book is there is absolutely no forshadowing or hint of what is to come. You read about everthing as it happens to Dr. Carrier. Nothing much happens in the book, but you do get to follow Dr. Carrier's journey as he is slowly lead on a path that could lead answers or more death.
The Conspiracy Club of the title not really part of the book, yet its existence does leave a few unanswered questions. Those aren't really relevant to this review.
I enjoyed this book, and might actually give Kellerman's books another shot after not being impressed with his first one.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great summer read
This is now my third book by Jonathan Kellerman and it is my favorite. It had a great plot that offered intrigue and suspense. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Diana E. Young
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Ever
I was a big fan of Jonathan Kellerman, that was until this book! A see-through plot and "the Club" was just bizarre to say the least. Read more
Published on March 30 2005 by KIM M MACDONALD
5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner
This is the best novel Kellerman has written in a long time. It has less gore and more mystery. I love having to follow the trail of nuggets left by the older physician for the... Read more
Published on July 17 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars It's different!!
Many reviews here stated that this novel by Jonathan Kellerman not as good as his other novels with Alex Delaware as a main character. I disagree. It's just different. Read more
Published on June 10 2004 by Vahania63
1.0 out of 5 stars not so much boring as annoying
I too have been a great Kellerman fan, and have read all his books. But this one is bad, and not just because it isn't Alex Delaware or because it has little if any real plot. Read more
Published on May 18 2004 by hanger on cliffs
3.0 out of 5 stars wait for the paperback
This is the first J. Kellerman book I've read. Other reviews will inform you better about the plot itself. My small contribution will focus on the story's degree of suspense. Read more
Published on April 29 2004 by UrbanDixie
1.0 out of 5 stars Not you too, Jonathan!
I have not or cannot finish reading this book. It is soooo slooow and seems to be going nowhere and I don't really care about Jeremy at all. Why is that? Read more
Published on April 25 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Second-rate
As tired as I've gotten of Alex and Robin's love trials, I couldn't help but miss that dysfunctional and self-important duo while reading "Conspiracy Club. Read more
Published on April 24 2004 by Dangle's girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally something new.
At last something else besides boring Alex Deleware. The writing is better, the plot more interesting and for now more interesting new characters. Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by W. P. Strange
1.0 out of 5 stars this is the WORST JK book -- if you are a fan, don't buy it
This is BY FAR the worst Jonathan Kellerman book ever. I have been reading JK for over 10 years and have read almost every book of his. Read more
Published on April 20 2004 by Melissa Clark
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