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True Detectives: A Novel | [Jonathan Kellerman]

True Detectives: A Novel

In Jonathan Kellerman's gripping novels, the city of Los Angeles is as much a living, breathing character as the heroes and villains who roam its labyrinthine streets. Sunny on the surface but shadowy beneath, this world of privilege and pleasure has a dark core and a dangerous edge. In True Detectives, Kellerman skillfully brings his renowned gifts for breathless suspense and sharp psychological insight to a tale that resonates on every level and satisfies at every turn.
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Publisher's Summary

Bound by blood but divided by troubles as old as Cain and Abel, Moses Reed and Aaron Fox were first introduced in Kellerman's best-selling Bones. They are sons of the same strong-willed mother, and their respective fathers were cops, partners, and friends. Their turbulent family history has set them at odds, despite their shared calling. Moses, part Boy Scout, part bulldog, man of few words, is a no-frills LAPD detective. Aaron, sharp dresser and smooth operator, is an ex-cop turned high-end private eye. Usually they go their separate ways. But the disappearance of Caitlin Frostig isn't usual. For Moses, it's an ice-cold mystery he just can't outrun, even with the help of psychologist Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis. For Aaron, it's a billable-hours bonanza from his most lucrative client. Like it or not, Moses and Aaron are in this one together and the rivalry that rules them won't let either man quit till the case is cracked.

A straight-arrow, straight-A student from Malibu, Caitlin has only two men in her life: her sullen single father and her wholesome college sweetheart, who even the battling brothers agree seems too downright upright to be true. Reluctantly tag-teaming in a desperate search for fresh leads, Moses and Aaron zero in on Caitlin's white knight as their primary person of interest, hoping that, like most people in L.A., he has a secret side.

But they uncover more than just a secret as they descend into the sinister, seamy side of the City of Angels after dark, populated by a Hollywood Babylon cast of the glamorous and the damned.

©2009 Jonathan Kellerman; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Jonathan Kellerman's novels are an obsession; once started it is hard to quit." (Orlando Sentinel)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (289 )
5 star
 (69)
4 star
 (84)
3 star
 (77)
2 star
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1 star
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3.9 (57 )
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (55 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    04-23-09
    04-23-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "Disappointing"

    I usually find Jonathan Kellerman's books to be riveting, psychologically sophisticated, and overall thoroughly enjoyable. This one is lacking in all areas. The plot is thin, the story drags, and it just feels as if the whole book was thrown together without much fore or afterthought.
    In addition, the narrator is completely mismatched for the story. His portrayal of the characters, especially Moses, is very poor, and it further detracted from the already dragging plot.
    One wouldn't think that the book was written by the same person who created the Delaware-Sturgis novels.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dina San Bruno, CA, USA 05-12-09
    Dina San Bruno, CA, USA 05-12-09 Member Since 2008

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A real sleeper"

    I am addicted to listening to books on my MP3 player. I have even taken a chance on books by authors I have never heard of and have yet to be disappointed, until now. I thought I couldn't lose with a Jonathan Kellerman book but I did, I lost a download credit. It is confusing, over descriptive about things that don't matter and boring.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fran Roberts LA, CA USA 04-28-09
    Fran Roberts LA, CA USA 04-28-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So very disappointing."

    Usually I really enjoy Kellerman's books, but this one bogs down and it is one of the few audio books I decided not to finish, after listening to about 3 1/2 hours, and I am deleting it from my IPod.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Huntsville, TX, United States 04-12-09
    Richard Huntsville, TX, United States 04-12-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Warning-buy at your own risk"

    I also have read all of Kellerman's books as soon as they were released. This one was bad, I am sorry to say. Rambling, circumspect and irrelevant dialogue. The plot was lousy. Delaware's input was trite and equivalent to Psychogy Course 101. Ahab's written confession was impossible. I could go on but I don't want to reveal the plot for those unfortunate ones who buy the book. Jonathan's earlier books are 5-star and if you have not read them, avoid this one and enjoy Alex Delaware, Milo Sturgis, Robin as they are principles in exciting and plausible psychological thrillers.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur Bonita Springs, FL, United States 04-03-09
    Arthur Bonita Springs, FL, United States 04-03-09 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    63
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    5
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    "Disappointing"

    I have read or listened to all of Jonathan Kellerman's books and find this one to be much much below his level in writing. Please bring back Alex and Milo ....

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BLin 06-27-09
    BLin 06-27-09 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Alex, Milo - please come back!!!"

    There aren't many constants in life, but the one thing I always thought I could depend on was a well-crafted, well-narrated novel by Jonathan Kellerman. Even those stories with marginal plots were entertaining because of the fun dialogue Kellerman furnished between Alex Deleware and Milo Sturgis.

    But Alex and Milo are here replaced with two brothers, Moses (or "Mo", as he's referred to in the book, which never failed to summon images of the third stooge in my head, and the cartoon bartender from the Simpsons) and his half-brother Aaron. One is a detective, the other a private investigator, and they do not have the cordial relationship Alex and Milo have, nor the witty dialogue, and both are lacking any endearing qualities that might make a reader warm up to them.

    I admit I did not finish this book. I made it a quarter way through before deciding it was just to painful to continue. I find it difficult to believe that Kellerman actually wrote this cold, unappealing work. I hope this is the last we ever hear of "Mo" and Aaron. Alex, Milo, Robin - we miss you!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mindusq san francisco 03-30-09
    mindusq san francisco 03-30-09 Member Since 2008

    Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Friends don't let friends pick books while drunk"

    Ugh. Really dumb plot and mediocre writing. He ain't Michael Connelly.

    19 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Rockville, CT, United States 04-22-09
    Charles Rockville, CT, United States 04-22-09 Member Since 2008

    I am a semi-retired psychologist who likes to listen to books, especially mysteries, as I drive in the car.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Aha! They're right!"

    If I had read this book in my usual fashion, I would have missed the exciting climax. However, I found this book confusing in the beginning, and then somewhat gripping, and then it seemed like they told me one ending twice, first in their conjecture, and then - aha! - they were basically right. The other ending I guessed to some extent. I have loved the Sturgis and Delaware characters of Kellerman's other books, but I was unfamiliar with Fox and Reed (or is it Reid). At times it was not certain what the plot of this book was, the relationship between the brothers or the illicit activities. This book was a mixed bag.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jannet Laredo, TX, USA 04-11-09
    Jannet Laredo, TX, USA 04-11-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "True Detectives"

    This was the worst J. Kellerman book I have read or listened to. It was distracting to have so much of the focus be on the small and insignificant details of the odd relationship between two brothers and their particularities. The suspense of 'who did it' got lost, making this book a boring read. The Sturgis/Delaware books keep a much better balance, thus making for an interesting and surprising storyline.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherri San Luis Obispo, California 04-11-09
    Sherri San Luis Obispo, California 04-11-09 Member Since 2004

    slosherri

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poorly written, poorly read"

    I've read, either in print or via audio, all of the Jonathan Kellerman books. In recent years, I've grown increasingly dissatisfied with the series, but this book really took the cake (if taking the cake means writing a poorly plotted, rambling, and murky book).

    John Rubenstein, the narrator, usually does an adequate job, although I much prefer books in the series read by Alexander Adams (aka Grover Gardner). However, in this book, it is nearly impossible to tell which character is speaking. The narrator uses a variation of Milo's "voice" as Aaron (he adds a slight black patois), and he even goes so far as to use the same voice for a seventy-something female interior decorator. Moses, the other main character, is read as though he has a hearing disability. The character certainly is not referenced as having that challenge, but it is wildly distracting and adds nothing to the book (and, I suspect, was not intended by the author).

    Save your money or credits for a better book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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