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Publisher's Summary

When his brief, passionate romance with nurse Jocelyn Banks is cut short by her kidnapping and brutal murder, Dr. Jeremy Carrier is left emotionally devastated, haunted by his lover's grisly demise and warily eyed by police still seeking a prime suspect in the unsolved slaying. To escape the pain, he buries himself in his work as staff psychologist at City Central Hospital, only to be drawn deeper into a waking nightmare when more women turn up murdered in the same gruesome fashion as Jocelyn Banks...and the suspicion surrounding Jeremy intensifies. Now, the only way to prove his innocence and put his torment to rest is to follow the trail of a cunning psychopath.

Spurring on Jeremy's investigation is Dr. Arthur Chess, an enigmatic pathologist who specializes in examining the dead, but harbors a keen fascination with the darker deeds committed by the living. Arthur draws Jeremy into an unexpected friendship, and into the confidence of a cryptic society devoted to matters unknown and unspoken. When he suddenly slips away, Jeremy is left to contend with an onslaught of anonymous clues and the growing realization that a harrowing game of cat and mouse has been set in motion.

But who besides Jeremy is playing? And who is making the rules? Before the killer strikes again, Jeremy races to connect the disturbing puzzle pieces being fed to him. Yet his search for answers only seems to yield more questions. And deepening the mystery is the undeniable presence of someone watching it all, and guiding Jeremy's investigation from behind the scenes. As the game intensifies, Jeremy must decide if a secret ally is setting him on the right path...or a sadistic enemy is setting him up for a fate far beyond even the most twisted imagination.

©2003 Jonathan Kellerman; (P)2003 Random House, Inc., Random House Audio, A Division Of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Turn the page and you're hooked." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A gripping, intricately plotted...novel of psychological suspense...Kellerman is a master at building character and slowly unfolding events, divulging just the right amount of information." (Publishers Weekly)
"Quick-witted...full of both well-handled innuendo and strongly visual drama." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    64
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    12

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Eric
  • Thousand Oaks, CA, USA
  • 12-07-03

Interesting

A nice departure from the Alex Delaware series. I enjoyed the mystery as well as the insight into the lead character. It was nice to have an intellectual hero instead of the physical for a change. A real view of the way violence can change people.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tom
  • Minneapolis, MN, USA
  • 12-03-03

Disappointin Departure

A fairly interesting storyline is bogged down by an insipid "romance" that Kellerman needed to fill in between plot points. He is not a good romance writer. In his past books, he spared us with only brief interludes with Robin etal. Not so here!

Also missing was his wit and crisp descriptives of people and places. In its stead, the unexpected infusion of words tha even Bill Buckley doesn't use. Apparently, Kellerman got one of those "Learn A Word a Day" desk calendars.

Back to Milo and Alex!

Skip this one!

45 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Best Kellerman Yet

Kellerman seems to get better with each novel. In "The Conspiracy Club" he finally gets past the point-of-view switching which so badly mars his otherwise terrific Delaware-Sturgis mysteries. The story stays with Jeremy Carrier, an excellent character: a good person who doesn't know he's good. Carrier's painful emergence from emotional numbness (following a traumatic loss) is convincingly portrayed and, even better, his coming back to life is intertwined with his deepening involvement in an ingeniously plotted double mystery.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mario
  • upland, CA, USA
  • 01-23-04

well done

This is my first book by this author and I enjoyed it very much. I was impressed the narrator pronounced the medical terms so well. My only beef was that the character did some things that seemed pretty unbelievable but overall a great book. I'll read more of Kellerman.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gene
  • Raleigh, Nc, United States
  • 12-27-03

Really poor!

I generally enjoy the Kellerman series, particularly the Delaware's. Therefore I was prepared to like the new character. After struggling through two discs, I finally gave up. Absolutely no continuity or plot development. Felt like I really wasted one of my book credits. Save your money and buy something else!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nikki
  • Beiseker, AB, Canada
  • 05-10-08

Couldn't finish it

What a disappointment! I've been a Kellerman fan for a long time and this is the first time I've been unable to finish listening to one of his books. It was just too boring and unbelievable. Don't waste your credits on this one

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ace
  • Winder, GA, USA
  • 12-27-03

Slllooowwwlllyy he turned.

Plot: Roughly as preposterous as his others, but without Delaware and the gay cop.
Characters: Main character a psychologist with zero insight into himself. Everyone else just as unbelievable, except for one blue collar guy dying of leukemia and a red herring mother.
Pacing: This author's hero is Proust.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Brian
  • Long Beach, MS, USA
  • 12-28-03

Not his best work........maybe next time?

Very disappointing .....after reading all his other books. It reads like this was written a long time ago and updated for current technology. That's just a guess. I would recommend your read it for yourself and make you own decision. Thanks!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

not enough legs...

Took a long time to get going. I've read all of the Alex Delaware so you can imagine my disappointment.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good story - a little predictable

Any additional comments?

A good story, but I swear I have read at least 2 other books with very similar plots and characters. Therefore many elements were very predictable. Still love Kellerman though!