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)
It is above average and I'm an avid audiobook listener.
I was about 3/4 of the way through before I started to get a hint of what the plot may be about. That's pretty good suspense in my book!
Not too dramatic.
I am a mental health professional and thought the depiction/commentary of the mental health system in the book was pretty accurate.
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.
When I started listening to this book, I was delighted that, finally, someone with an analytical eye was creating interesting and believable characters; of course, he is a psychologist, so that figures. However, the descriptions of sex scenes just left me cold. What had started out as an interesting and engrossing mystery got diverted into cheap, gratuitous soft porn that added nothing to the story and only killed off the momentum of the mystery. Too bad, as the topic of child exploitation and abuse is such a horrific ongoing problem in the world and does not need to be ignored while we are subjected to graphic descriptions of the protagonist's own sexual encounters; an uncomfortable juxtaposition under the circumstances. Despite that, I MIGHT listen to another one of his books, but probably free from the library rather than paying for it. We'll see....
Great page turner, intense and well-written suspense novel. I enjoyed it so much, I'm now involved in reading his subsequent books!
Mystery reader and Austen lover
For a first novel, When the Bough Breaks is pretty wonderful. And it is a great beginning to the Alex Delaware series, which now numbers 28 books and counting.
I like the way Kellerman writes. He does spend a lot of time in minute description, but somehow it's interesting, not boring, and he uses some descriptive metaphors and similes that seem unique and entertaining to me. He also spends a good deal of time describing both the emotional and physical aspects of his characters, and depicts most of those characters (except the bad guys) with empathy and compassion. Since his plots deal with psychological motivations, that seems appropriate. His plots are complex but easily followed. I do think the descriptions of Alex Delaware's own sexual encounters with his girlfriend are not very exciting.
The friendship and working relationship between Alex and Milo Sturgis, gay cop, is well drawn, and very believable.
The narration by Alexander Adams was excellent, with just the right ironic undertones that Kellerman put in Alex's words in certain passages. He handles male and female characters, with Latino, Southern and other accents, believably. And he is able to switch characters quickly in conversations. A difficult job well done.
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.
I haven't read the print version, but the narrator was clear and interesting.
It did, however his use of quite a bit of purple prose and overly descriptive language took away from some of the suspense.
I thought his voice work was above average, and the characters were unique.
Dr. Delaware's compassion towards children. He truly cares.
A great introduction to a thus far interesting series. Just finished book 2 and am going back for more. You can tell the author is/was a medical professional by his proper use of terminology.
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