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Publisher's Summary

Psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware confronts a killer who takes as much pleasure in matching wits with the police as in taking lives.

A diplomat's retarded daughter is murdered on a school field trip. The girl's father denies the possibility of a political motive, leaving LAPD detective Milo Sturgis and his longtime friend, Alex Delaware, stymied. When another killing occurs, Alex finds himself ensnared in one of the most menacing cases of his career. The psychologist ultimately goes undercover to expose the smug brutality of a deadly conspiracy in Jonathan Kellerman's chilling portrait of evil.

Psyched? Listen to all of Jonathan Kellerman's Dr. Alex Delaware thrillers.
©1997 Jonathan Kellerman (P)1998 Books on Tape Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Kellerman fans and readers seeking an intelligent thriller should enjoy this." (Library Journal) "Jonathan Kellerman doesn't just write psychological thrillers: he owns the genre." (Detroit Free Press)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Survival of the fittest

This is only my third Kellerman book and have found them well written. I remember reading about these purity theories in school and about the sterilization of the mentally ill and retarded in the 1930's. This made for an interesting story with some nail biting moments. Looking forward to some more by Kellerman.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not the first Alex Delaware, and far from the best

I got this inexpensively from the Audible "first in series" sale -- a great idea, by the way! -- and was glad it was "only" a sale item.

I enjoyed the early (1980's) Delaware books, but felt they went rapidly downhill starting with "The Web" in the early 90's. I was surprised to see this book billed as the "first in series," and thought maybe I'd missed something; but "Survival" is in fact from 1997, published in that "middle period"' where Kellerman's psychologist hero was, for me anyway, at his weakest. After a shocking opening scene, this one really drags , takes too long to get moving, and is not helped by the rather monotonous narration--felt like the narrator picked up on the author's lack of inspiration.

P.S. The first published Alex Delaware novel is actually "When The Bough Breaks" (1985). "Blood Test" and "Over the Edge," the first and second in the series, are the ones to get.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • K
  • 04-07-08

Decent Book, Bad Sound

The actual book was pretty good, but the ending just sort of came up and there were lots of unexplainied things. Entertaining though, for sure.

The narration and the sound were terrible. Lines were repeated that were obvious edits. The volume of the narration would go from practically inaudibly quiet to startingly loud. I don't think that a single internal person listened to this recording post-edit for quality control.

A few voices were great, but others either sounded alike or were very very odd. There were several mispronunciations and misreadings that were irritating.

Fine for pure entertainment, but a real subpar recording overall.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Survival of the Fittest

The story line was enjoyable to listen to, but the narrator was terrible. The worst I have heard on your books.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A bit of a disappointment

I love Kellerman. He has delivered great page turners for years now. But I am starting to think this may be the end of the series. Nothing new here and the formula has been done a hundred times...many of them by Kellerman himself.

There's a blah blah quality to the story -- which could have been much shorter -- or more carefully plotted. But there's a same-ness to the telling.

I jumped all over this one when it came out. I wanted to like it...but it smacked of contractual obligation to me.

Even after having said all this: it's perfectly listenable. You won't be long as you remind yourself you've heard it before. Lots of times.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

jonathon kellerman

As usual Mr. Kellerman has woven a great Alex Delaware story that brings back all of my favorite characters, Alex, Milo, Petra and
Robin. This tale was more predictable that others but still a great read.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Love the Alex Delaware books

This series is addictive! Great stories and all different. I am now on book 12 and am so glad there are at least 25. On to the next one!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


What made the experience of listening to Survival of the Fittest the most enjoyable?

Not the best of Kellerman's work, but a good part of Alex's story. As always, reading by Mr. Adams is top notch. I enjoyed it, I think I may be a bit spoiled by some of the others in the series. Dont miss it if you like the series; but dont judge the series by this story.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

A bit predictable, no real surprises. An attempt at suspense but it lacked something many of Kellerman's others have.

Have you listened to any of Alexander Adams’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Not the star of the series, but not bad either.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not quite all of it; but I did look forward to getting back to it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Excellent as always. I love the Alex and Milo together - and I love the way they work a case. This story was about those of us that aren't perfect and makes you think of how we can improve on the treatment of others. But most of all - it's a great mystery! Another good book for a long trip!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I was very disappointed in this book. I thought it was incredibly boring. I listened to two-thirds of the book and simply couldn't listen any more.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful