In the first Alex Delaware novel, Dr. Morton Handler practiced a strange brand of psychiatry. Among his specialties were fraud, extortion, and sexual manipulation. Handler paid for his sins when he was brutally murdered in his luxurious Pacific Palisades apartment. The police have no leads, but they do have one possible witness: seven-year-old Melody Quinn.
It's psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware's job to try to unlock the terrible secret buried in Melody's memory. But as the sinister shadows in the girl's mind begin to take shape, Alex discovers that the mystery touches a shocking incident in his own past.
This connection is only the beginning, a single link in a 40-year-old conspiracy. And behind it lies an unspeakable evil that Alex Delaware must expose before it claims another innocent victim: Melody Quinn.
©2003 Jonathan Kellerman (P)2012 Random House
"An engrossing thriller.... this knockout of an entertainment is the kind of book which establishes a career in one stroke." (New York Newsday)
"Suspenseful, neatly spun, fascinating." (Philadelphia Daily News)
"Grab yourself a copy soon." (Los Angeles Times)
One of the better ones.
It is an easy listening story, well written and easy to follow but enough intrigue to keep you interested. Very well narrated too, good storytellers all round
He read it along similar veins to the way I may have if I read the book myself.
No, just an enjoyable listen.
I know this is an oldie, and we cannot judge it by Kellerman's recent work, but really, it was a little too preposterous. ALERT: There are scenes that describe graphic child sexual abuse here. There are words/phrases that would be unspeakable in today's sensitive times. But we cannot slight JK for that -- that was then and this is now.
No, my complaints are about the way the story unfolds. First there is some detective work that combines Milo & Alex, then Milo disappears and Alex is a psychologist, detective, and near-mercenary. There are some nice homey scenes between Milo and Alex and their respective amours, but not enough of them.
At any rate, the bad guys are rounded up and the most hated of them have stories to tell; long, stories, told in retrospect, as if it justified their adult behavior.
Alex treks to other states, gets in fights, shoots, captures and threatens people until the truth comes out. When it does, all the truths link up into a somewhat surprising outcome.
I am glad that JK decided to take the weapons away from Alex in his later, more mature books.
I know it was the launch of the series, so for me, having read all the subsequent books, this one lacks the cohesiveness and logic of the best and most modern of the Alex/Milo canon.
I would not recommend this book, however, because of the graphic descriptions of child sexual abuse. I would feel responsible to someone who read it on my recommendation and encountered this content. I would not recommend it to anyone who loves the Milo/Alex pairings because this one does not illustrate their relationship as we have come to expect.
For a first time reader of JK, it is always best to begin a series at the beginning, and this one, because of some of the content, might turn someone away.
I had to check to be sure, but there is a movie (1994) of the same title, which seems to include some aspects of this plot, though it doesn't seem an exact rendering.
I didn't remember Kellerman's novels being so incredibly well-written, witty, and so very thoroughly enjoyable! The narrator was perfect, but somehow I couldn't help but be reminded of the books by David Rosenfelt, and his Andy Carpenter character--could have been a brother to Alex Delaware. I loved Rosenfelt's clever books, and Kellerman somehow succeeds at bringing incredible depth of character, while artfully crafting every word and every sentence so that the result is an uninterrupted and hilarious delight.
Alex Delaware, a wise-cracking, self-effacing delight of a psychologist, best buddy of gay detective Milo Sturgis, somehow deduces his way into the midst of unsolvable crimes, and escapes by the skin of his teeth. It is a joy-ride to amble through peoples' minds with him.
I am going to stock up on more Kellerman books; I was sorry this ended!
It kind of felt like watching an old '80s rerun of Magnum PI or Colombo.
Interesting potential for unique plot, character, setting, if told with a more interesting voice and focus.
The plot is revealed through long monologues by characters speaking about what they did. The prose is replete with grandiose superfluous verbiage, as if Kellerman is trying to write too hard. He also wants to describe each room and character in excruciating detail, which leaves no room for imagination, if you pay attention and don't drift off out of boredom.
The narrator was very good, he did well between the characters and kept the story going. However, the story was just a little too far fetched; it seemed very fictional and not something too plausible.
I understand this was Kellerman's first Alex Delaware novel. The premise is dated to the era of the 1980s, but taken just for the storytelling, it is a good read. Quite a few characters, Kellerman's way of exploring different psyches. If you are a fan of Alex Delaware novels I think this is enjoyable. It is an important point in the ongoing development of the relationships that run throughout the series.
Report Inappropriate Content