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The Murder Book: An Alex Delaware Novel Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Length: 576 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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From Amazon

When L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware receives an elaborate album filled with gruesome crime-scene police photos of a series of apparently unconnected killings, he's stymied. He's also in the midst of a personal crisis--Robin, his long-suffering partner, has made it clear that it's up to Alex to heal the breach in their relationship that's been caused by his over-involvement in criminal investigations. The pictures mean nothing to him, but one image gets his policeman pal Milo Sturgis's immediate attention--the victim was one of his rookie cases, and her murder was never solved, perhaps because someone much higher up in the department didn't want it to be. Was the anonymous mailer attempting to reach Milo through Alex? If so, the package has the desired effect, as the two men team up to find the connection between the cases highlighted in the murder book and whoever sent it. The trail leads to a retired cop, an old mentor of Alex's, and a wealthy, powerful family that will stop at nothing to keep its secrets and its victims buried forever. Kellerman pays more attention to Alex's midlife blues than he needs to, but his focus on Milo's experiences as a gay cop in a homophobic department fits seamlessly into both plot and narrative. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1371 KB
  • Print Length: 576 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345508548
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (Oct. 1 2002)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FA64QE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,895 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Another Alex Delaware book, and that series continues to be
interesting and thought-provoking.
This time, a detailed book of gruesome photos shows up in Alex's
mailbox, and he is shocked to see such detailed crime-scene
photos, some stretching back many years, while others seem
recent. He puzzles over why anyone would send him such a book,
so he has to show it to his detective-friend, who suddenly recognizes one of the photos of his very first murder-victim.
And Milo has to admit that case was never solved, and he tells
about how he and his partner were transferred off the case very
soon, and how that case seemed to disappear from police concern.
Since that case is 20 yrs old, both men have a difficult time
figuring out what they are supposed to do, but both start thinking and questioning, and the further back they go trying to
unravel the mystery, the worse it becomes.
Milo's police career suddenly seems threatened, and both men are
warned off further investigation of the case of the young girl
who was murdered in brutal circumstances.
But they key to the mystery is far back in time, and they keep
uncovering some bizarre connections with moneyed businessmen
and their spoiled-brat children, and they can't quite drop their
Very entertaining, and the only bump in the minds of some readers will be the very liberal, always-forgiving nature of
these men, when some of their forgiveness seems so unlikely.
Real cops and real investigators of the truth would have a much
more difficult time forgiving and forgetting than Alex and Milo
do, so that attitude calls for some extra open-mindedness.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Let me start by saying that if you like the Alex Delaware series, you're going to like this book. All the elements are there: observant Alex, spinning his theories; the psychologists'-eye view of the universe; adult characters warped by childhood traumas. In addition, the book takes the series onto new ground. More than ever, we see Alex's weaknesses, both through his own eyes as he surveys the damage he's wrought to his relationship with Robin, his long-term love, and through those of his detective friend Milo, who serves as an alternative viewpoint character. We also see Alex contrasted to a superbly caring older psychologist named Bert-a colorful character who sees only magenta, black, and white, and who's appeared in at least one prior book.
But I can't give this book five stars, even though I myself am a professional fiction writer who owes a debt to Kellerman. There are two moderately large problems.
The first of the large ones is the decision to use Milo as an alternative viewpoint character. A book told entirely from Milo's viewpoint would be very interesting. But this one alternates Alex's first-person point of view with Milo's third-person viewpoint. It's an interesting experiment but inherently doomed. First-person POV weds the reader solidly to a single character. However interesting Milo's POV is (and he's a great viewpoint character), the switch from Alex is jarring. Kellerman is boldly attempting to break free of the mold he's cast for himself, but the mold is too strong.
The second problem is the Murder Book of the title. Other reviews have explained what it is, so I won't repeat. Suffice it to say that it's an extremely indirect attempt to communicate a message to Milo, via Alex.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
are at it again in this newest and most puzzling in this Kellerman series. 'A Murder Book' is tautly written and well executed by this master of the psychological novel.
After receiving an album of gruesome murder photos in the mail, with no return address, Alex is stumped; but not so Milo. He recognizes one in particular and one which has haunted him because it was swiftly whisked from his hands. And now here it is again. Staring him in the face! He knows the book was meant for him, but why send it to Alex? Milo starts his frenzied search for all the answers and we accompany him through the maze..perhaps a step or two behind at times.
How this one evolves is nothing short of sheer genius. I always think that Kellerman can't get any better and he always proves me wrong.
I especially enjoyed the way Milo has his day in this book. It brings so much of his personality, his presence to bear and shows him to be a worthy partner to Alex and one who can meet any challenge when it is presented. Of course, Alex is along to help his friend and also tries to straighten out his own personal problems which Kellerman skillfully intertwines with the ongoing story.
I do not wish to tell the story as it would spoil the integrity of this novel. It is a wonderful read and Kellerman is at his very, very best. You will enjoy this one.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Since the other reviewers have pretty much given away the plot, I'll focus on other aspects of the novel:
I have read one other Jonathon Kellerman book, and when I started to read this one, long after the first, I recognized the Alex Delaware character and thought --- Oh, no, that boring character. What hooked me was Milo, the 'partner' in detecting the criminal who-dunit. Milo's character was far more interesting, expanded and three dimensional than the Alex Delaware character...and honestly Mr. Kellerman...when are you going to write a series devoted to Milo? Alex Delaware seems to be guided around like a puppet, but Milo's charater has self-direction, exciting follow-up, and things happening to him versus the 'oh feel sorry for me, because my girlfriend left me' Alex's character.
I have to admit that I struggled to stay with this book through the first half, but it did get more interesting and had far more action in the second half of the book. There were way too many guilty 'bad guys' as the murderers and I found myself getting confused in the first part of the book when more and more 'bad guys' were introduced.
The positive things about this book is Mr. Kellerman's descriptions. He can make you feel like you are right there in the room with the characters, breathing and smelling and touching everything before them. Mr. Kellerman does have a wonderful sense of segueing back and forth between time lines and history, and a wonderful sense of dialogue between characters.
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