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Compulsion: An Alex Delaware Novel by [Kellerman, Jonathan]
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Compulsion: An Alex Delaware Novel Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 452 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Rubinstein, who has had a long, successful run as the voice of Kellerman's popular hero, Dr. Alex Delaware, has seldom been more appreciated than on this rather mediocre entry in the series. While the doctor and his gruff, gay LAPD detective pal Milo Sturgis slog through a now too-familiar witness-to-witness search for a killer (in this case, a particularly loathsome one who uses disguises and pricy black automobiles), Rubinstein revs up the action, providing the secondary characters with an energetic array of on-target vocals and refining and deepening his stellar interpretations of the leads. Thanks to him, there's a nuanced wistfulness in Delaware's approach to both the hunt for the killer and his ever-shifting relationship with girlfriend Robin. And Sturgis's gravelly growl has a definitive quality that suggests a maturity both tougher and more thoughtful than in the past.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


'Jonathan Kellerman has shaped the psychological mystery novel into an art form' Los Angeles Times

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1069 KB
  • Print Length: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (March 25 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,118 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
A series of seemingly unrelated murders sets up this captivating Kellerman tale. As it is with all of Kellerman's novels, the story moves quickly, the plot twists coming at a fast and furious pace. Delaware and Sturgis are equally important in the search for an increasingly frustrating killer and remain two of the more likeable protagonists of any thriller series. A sub-plot involving a missing teen last seen selling magazine subscriptions is less interesting and rather forgettable but does not distract from the main plot.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
For the first time in a few books, I felt like Alex was back and he was... happy? He seemed less gloomy and more stable. I enjoyed the deduction work, the clues flung all over and the relationship with Milo. It felt a bit slow but well developped.
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By NS3 on Aug. 4 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read the book about a week ago and I enjoyed it so much that I went out and bought 2 more books by Jonathan Kellerman -- Gone and Obsession. It was a fun read and I completed the book in 2 days -- read the book every chance I got. I have now passed the book onto my husband and encouraged him to read it which he is in the process of doing right now. He is enjoying it as well. This book left me wanting more.
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Format: Hardcover
Why do we like to read about monsters? By bringing them out of the dark, they become merely menacing . . . rather than terrifically frightening. That allows us to relax and feel better. The problem with the police procedural and crime novel genres is that the monsters are pretty predictable. As such, they don't satisfy.

Jonathan Kellerman manages to twist the usual psycho model enough to make Compulsion more interesting reading than the plot that shelters the unique character. The story could have been trimmed down by about 100 pages and the book would have been more entertaining. The police procedural element mostly detracts from the interesting criminal.

If you don't like reading about weird criminals, you will probably think this is a two-star book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9c8f7f9c) out of 5 stars 162 reviews
79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c8fc5b8) out of 5 stars 2008 Installment in the Alex Delaware Crime Series March 25 2008
By Susan K. Schoonover - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It's early spring, time for Jonathan Kellerman's latest addition to his Alex Delaware crime novel series. For those who don't know Alex is an LA psychologists who often works with LAPD detective Milo Sturgis to solve crimes perpetrated by crazed psychopaths. The strength of these novels is Kellerman's clear crisp writing and his knack for describing LA life (in this latest novel Alex also makes a quick trip to Manhattan) for the poor, the mighty and those in between. The weakness is the preposterous elements of some of his latest plots though this years COMPULSION is actually better than last years really unlikely OBSESSION. Another weakness in many of the latest books in the series is Alex's ever annoying, "perfect", girlfriend, Robin, but thankfully she is off stage for most of this outing. Milo, Alex's gay detective sidekick is a much more interesting and sympathetic character.

The plot of COMPULSION involves a series of disparate murders and the victims include a twenty something shop clerk, a retired school teacher and two beauty salon workers. All these crimes seem to have in common is the murderer arrived in a large dark luxury car and the murders were especially brutal. Will Alex and Milo be able to tie the cases together and solve them with one suspect? Well, what do you think? There is also a subplot about a young boy who has been missing for years and of course our heroes are able to tie that crime up too. COMPULSION is a fast paced very readable novel and Kellerman is a good enough writer that this reader forgives his increasing "by the numbers" approach to plotting.
60 of 69 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c8fc60c) out of 5 stars Mediocre outing -- even JK seems tired of our buddy Alex! April 13 2008
By Jerry Bull - Published on
Format: Paperback
We've read every single Alex Delaware novel, so are big fans, well-informed about this series. What started out great - the child psychologist by profession who consults with the police; specifically Milo Sturgis, a gay, very interesting, and persistent homicide cop; on murders where the police feel they need a consultant's help - has resolved into little more than two detective buddies, one paid, the other an amateur hardly more skillful than we at surfing the web, chasing clues until typical procedure dissolves into dénouement. Alex joins Milo seemingly whenever he wants (presumably being paid at premium consultants' rates), often as little more than a pastime, not because his skills are pertinent, which is pretty far-fetched in terms of the state of most public budgets! His relationship with live-in girlfriend Robin, always an on-again, off-again, "affair", barely gets a nod herein, with a silly custom musical instrument buyer paying too much attention to her a lame attempt at stalker suspense, resolved equally poorly in our opinion. Meanwhile, the excuse for the plot, a serious of murders involving luxury autos, barely holds our attention, and while we plodded along to see whodunit, we hardly cared by the time we got there.

To us, the series has run its course. While Milo per se is one of the more interesting police characters to come along over the last couple of decades, and while the original premise of Delaware's involvement was novel, there's virtually nothing left to excite or entertain us. It seems to us we're at that deadly state of an author not knowing what to do or where to go except to the bank, as he churns out contract-fulfilling installments of mediocrity. Sorry `bout that!
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c8fca44) out of 5 stars Compulsion March 28 2008
By Stephen Morange - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have enjoyed all of Jonathan Kellerman's novel, particularly the ones featuring his Alex Delaware character. Unfortunately, this latest effort stretches the reader's imagination with some particularly convoluted plot logic. We are expected to accept the fact that an internet search for crimes committed with the perpetrator using a large black luxury car should readily yield a common denominator who is then found and brought to justice. No matter that years and continents have separated the victims and the circumstances. I've had many comfortable hours with Jonathan Kellerman's characters and I've been able to excuse most of the plot excesses in the past, but I'm afraid this one is just too much of a stretch.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c8fce04) out of 5 stars Some problems April 9 2008
By Richard B. Schwartz - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Compulsion is evoking diametrically opposed responses. Some say it's JK's best, some say his worse. I think the answer lies in between. The relationship between Alex and Milo is handled well and it's good to see Milo's assistant, Sean. The relationship between Alex and Robin, which is not to my taste, is here handled very nicely, with a touching coda at the end. The problem with the novel is that the plot is somewhat disjunct in the second act. The beginning is fine and the resolution is fine. It's simply a little difficult to follow in the middle. We need some more signposts--not to tip us off but to keep us clear on the who's who and the possible relationships between people and events. The book is still very readable. It's not perfect, but neither is it awful.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c8fcdb0) out of 5 stars for shame, jonathan, for shame April 7 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Kellerman's work for a long time and have read every single book he's written. I have to say that this is not only the worst Kellerman novel to date, but it's one of the worst books I've read in a long time.

Disjointed, confusing, not suspenseful in the least. There was little to enjoy and even the series distinguised and well-developed stars, Alex and Milo, came across dull and one-dimensional.

The story starts slow and convoluted. With a number of "seemingly" random crimes that are obviously connected yet fail to deliver a compelling backbone to the story. Then there's the other mystery the duo follows involving a death row inmate's deathbed confession. Cliche, obvious, and little more than a distraction to an already dull story.

I was looking forward to this novel after the surprisingly good Obsession but I would not recommend this book, escpecially for anyone discovering Kellerman for the first time. Read some of his earlier works instead. This book was a disappointed.