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A Cold Heart

An Alex Delaware Novel
Narrated by: John Rubinstein
Series: Alex Delaware, Book 17
Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
4 out of 5 stars (490 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Jonathan Kellerman is a master at creating psychologically nuanced novels of suspense - an author whose name is synonymous with unrelenting action, intriguing plot twists, and penetrating insight into the criminal mind. Now, he ventures into bold, new territory with his biggest and best novel yet. A Cold Heart features Kellerman’s brilliant signature style - but in this tour de force, he mines even deeper the emotional landscape of his characters: psychologist-sleuth Alex Delaware, LAPD Homicide Detective Milo Sturgis, Milo’s colleague Petra Connor, and Alex’s ex-lover, Robin Castagna - bringing them all vividly to life as never before. 

"I've got a weird one, so naturally I thought of you," says Milo Sturgis, summoning his friend Alex to the trendy gallery where a promising young artist has been brutally garroted on the night of her first major showing. What makes it "a weird one" is the lack of any obvious motive, and the luridly careful staging of the murder scene - which immediately suggests to Alex not an impulsive crime of passion...but the meticulous and taunting modus operandi of a serial killer.  

Delaware's suspicion is borne out when he compares notes with Milo's associate, Petra Connor, and her new partner, a strange, taciturn detective with a past of his own named Eric Stahl. The Hollywood cops are investigating the vicious death of Baby Boy Lee, a noted blues guitarist, fatally stabbed after a late-night set at a local club. What links Baby Boy's murder with that of painter Juliet Kipper is the shadowy presence of an abrasive fanzine writer. This alias-shrouded critic's love-the-art/disdain-the-artist philosophy and his morbid fascination with the murders leads Alex and the detectives to suspect they're facing a new breed of celebrity stalker: one with a fetish for snuffing out rising stars.

Tracking down the killer proves to be maddening, with the twisting trail leading from halfway houses to palatial mansions and from a college campus to the last place Alex ever expected: the doorstep of his ex-lover Robin Castagna, whose business association with two of the victims casts her as an unavoidable player in the unfolding case. As more and more killings are discovered, unraveling the maddening puzzle assumes a chilling new importance - stopping a vicious psychopath who’s made cold-blood murder his chosen art form. 

©2003 Jonathan Kellerman (P)2003 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Cold Heart

I really liked the book, and especially liked the reader...I enjoyed all the different voices used in the reading. It makes it so much easier to follow than just the same voice all the way through. This is a typical Kellerman book with mystery, suspence, sex, Southern California and ethnic dining. Not as much Milo as in some of the past books, but still a good yarn, and a great listen. Petra is an interesting charcter, but not sure I like Allison..

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steven
  • baltimore, MD, USA
  • 08-30-03

One of The Best Yet !

Like all of Kellerman's books this one goes a little past very good rating. I recommend this one even if you do not normally read the Kellerman's mysteries. This one is a page plus turner. Don't just judge it by the sample. It takes a little time and then it hooks you.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Mitchellville, MD, USA
  • 05-14-03

Not Bad but Could be Better

The story is an average cop after the serial killer story. It is interesting and fairly easy to follow. It has some good characters that are given some depth. The narrator is hard on the ears through the first half of the book but gets better. I would only recommend this book if you are a big cop after the murderer story lover.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Kellerman brings together two great detectives.

A bitter dabbler is killing creative artists on the verge of their big break. Petra Conner returns along with her new partner Eric Stahl. They team up with Detective Milo Sturgis and Doctor Alex Delaware to find the killer. There is the usual misdirection as the focus shifts from suspect to suspect.The two teams come together to follow the leads from a dive club to a multi-million dollar mansion. From rockers to painters to ballerinas. The final showdown takes more than one strange twist. In some ways Petra is at this point; a better character than Alex Delaware. Kellerman's Petra character is not surprisingly fresher than that of Alex Delaware. John Rubinstein is an excellent translator, bringing the lives of the characters from print to voice in a manner that overshadows the older Delaware novels.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting listening

but lousy ending. It was over before I realized it and had to back up to listen to it again to find out what the ending was and still don't know. But the story itself was engrossing and I enjoyed the book. The reader was decent compared to some I've heard lately.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Couldn't Finish It

Too much talk and not enough action.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Need to be a fan of Alex Delaware

I enjoyed the book but not as much as his others. If you like the Alex Delaware series, it will be more likable. If this is your first, you'll probably hate it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A bit of a disappointment

Having been a Kellerman fan for years, I am familiar with
the dramatic highs and ho-hum lows of his work. This book leans toward the ho-hum. The opening promises something interesting but the story line quickly becomes convoluted and contrived.

The Alex and Robin's estrangement figures too prominently. It is handled so realistically and rationally it's like sitting in on yet another break-up over lunch at the office. I suppose he needed to address the situation but we could have done without the relationship's invovlement in this bbok.

The new girlfriend is a cut-out crusader character better suited to an episode of Batman. And her idea of a suggestive come-on? "One way or another we'll obtain nourishment". No comment. The African-American woman professor is, on the other hand, a great character. Too bad she has such a small part. Kellerman devotees should go ahead and read this latest to keep up with the long-term developments, but shouldn't expect too much.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars
  • Jeffer
  • Sacramento, CA, USA
  • 05-20-03

Pass it by

Not really interesting. Badly read.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best.

This is the best of the Alex Delaware novels. It starts off with the best beginning of all his books and gets better throughout. John Rubinstein is bar far the best reader. I don't think listening to another Milo would be possible. Don't pass this one up. Great job Jonathan and John.