The details of the nightmarish event are shocking and brutal: The couple was carjacked at gunpoint by a masked assailant and subjected to a horrific regimen of confinement, starvation, and assault.
But before long, doubts arise about the couple's story, and as forensic details unfold, the abduction is exposed as a hoax. Charged as criminals themselves, the aspiring actors claim emotional problems, and the court orders psychological evaluation for both.
Michaela is examined by Alex Delaware, who finds that her claims of depression and stress ring true enough. But they don't explain her lies, and Alex is certain that there are hidden layers in this sordid psychodrama that even he hasn't been able to penetrate.
Nevertheless, the case is closed, only to be violently reopened when Michaela is savagely murdered. When the police look for Dylan, they find that he's gone. Is he the killer or a victim himself? Casting their dragnet into the murkiest corners of L.A., Delaware and Sturgis unearth more questions than answers, including a host of eerily identical killings. What really happened to the couple who cried wolf? And what bizarre and brutal epidemic is infecting the city with terror, madness, and sudden, twisted death?
©2006 Jonathan Kellerman; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"The author's ability to convey the unrelenting sadness of his characters' lives and his deep psychological insights will satisfy those looking for more than mere thrills." (Publishers Weekly)
My 3-star rating for this novel is in comparison to Kellerman's other Alex Delaware novels. The previous one to "Gone", ("Rage") was an outstanding thriller and as good as anything Kellerman has ever written. This one is okay. It moves Delaware's personal life forward a little bit, and gives him a little lovin' when he needs it. Milo is as ornery and unkempt as ever, and seems to have made peace with the LAPD, which suits the current political climate. The crimes and criminals are ultra-bizarre, and Alex just doesn't have the stomach for it anymore. This mystery will keep you guessing whodunit up until pretty late in the book, but after the case is solved I just kept wondering why the book didn't end! There are no loose ends here, but if you turn the book off an hour or so before it closes, you ain't gonna miss much.
Say something about yourself!
You like or dislike the Alex Delaware series by Jonathan Kellerman, most of the story is made of long interviews and research by Alex and Milo, this one in the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles acting classes and performance art, a trap for the many hopefuls who come to the city of dreams to make a career. Especially toward the end this book has more action than usual but until then it is interview after interview to reveal the ugly truth. I must admit: I like it very much. Kellerman gives you just as much information as he wants to reveal and keeps you guessing. His dialogue is real and lifelike. No big surprises in this one but I like the series and I never encountered a dud. Even Alex on-off partner Robin is tolerable but I hope Delaware will shag up one day with the female psychologist.
John Rubinstein has become my favorite reader for this series. He does not 'act' the different characters but just uses his considerable skills as a reader. Because the books are set in southern California, we meet characters from many different ethic backgrounds and social classes. Rubinstein reads they perfectly without turning them into caricatures or 'types'. It is like hearing a full staged radio play without any exaggeration.
I love Kellerman's books. Rubinstein does an awsome job...again! Alex and Milo are very witty and I found myself laughing and trying to guess who the bad guy was through out the whole book. I didn't guess who this time till the end.
Reading allows me to travel through time; to visit the world's unique and stunning places. To become somebody I am not... It is glorious.
The Delaware books are always intriguing because of the unique friendship between Alex and Milo. Kellerman draws his stories with intelligence, creating long bits of dialogue which aid in the narration of the story. And he allows his characters to be smart and stubborn and a little odd. Milo is always my favorite because I like his dogged determination and the fact that he isn't perfect. Sometimes Alex is a little too perfect for me. This installment is good -- the mystery keeps you guessing for most of the book. Robin is back and I am happy for it as I like her influence on Alex.
John Rubinstein is excellent. His voicing of Milo has so much grit and gravel and I love it. The differences between the ways he voices Milo and Alex are so distinct that there is never confusion. He deserves 5 stars without question.
Alex Delaware and Milo Sturges discover the body of an actress who had earlier faked a kidnapping with another actor for publicity. The young actor who had participated in the fake kidnapping is now missing. Digging into the background of the two young adults reveals a lot of possible suspects.
John Rubenstein has a great voice.
This is a classic mystery with some graphic scenes.
I hardly made it to the 3rd part of the first audio book skipping ahead and then back tracking because I missed something. Made it to the end which was terrible. The mystery can be told in 2 hours but the author waste time in developing and redeveloping characters. Too long maybe unabridged is better. The jumping in time between characters is confusing and needed editing.
I border on rating this one between average and above average. It's a decent story and worth the listen, there just wasn't anything that reached out and grabbed me about this book. The ending is good, so I will lean to "Just barely 4 stars" instead of 3.
The reader does a good job and is enjoyable.
I really liked this book. It grabbed my attention from the start and I found myself anticipating what would happen next. The plot involves a series of want-to-be actors who seek stardom quickly by circumventing hard work, reputable people and companies and what can happen when one meets with unscrupulous people. Through numerous interviews, I was kept guessing the identity of the real killer. In addition, the book mixed romance, mystery, comedy and seriousness and I began to ride along with the Dr. Deleware and Milo as they pursued the killer. Dr. Delaware and Milo complement each other and make a great team. Together, they take you through a maze of dark and unique characters while moving you towards the ultimate climax - catching the killer. I am waiting for Kellerman's next book--I know I won't be disappointed.
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