In bestseller Kellerman's pulse-pounding 20th Alex Delaware novel (after 2005's Rage), the Los Angeles psychologist looks into the murder of attractive 23-year-old Michaela Brand, an aspiring actress. Soon after Michaela and a fellow acting student, 24-year-old Dylan Meserve, achieve their 15 minutes of fame by staging their abduction, their hoax is exposed and Michaela turns u...
In bestseller Kellerman's pulse-pounding 20th Alex Delaware novel (after 2005's Rage), the Los Angeles psychologist looks into the murder of attractive 23-year-old Michaela Brand, an aspiring actress. Soon after Michaela and a fellow acting student, 24-year-old Dylan Meserve, achieve their 15 minutes of fame by staging their abduction, their hoax is exposed and Michaela turns up dead in circumstances reminiscent of her faked assault. Delaware joins forces with his sometimes official partner in crime, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, and together they pursue an investigative trail littered with corpses leading to an unconventional acting school and the family of the eccentric woman who runs it. While the murderer's identity may not be that surprising, the author's ability to convey the unrelenting sadness of his characters' lives and his deep psychological insights will satisfy those looking for more than mere thrills. (On sale Mar. 28)Correction:In the Q&A with Alice Quinn that ran in our Feb. 20 issue, the photo credit should have read Robert Falcetti.
In "a reality show episode that backfired," two twentysomethings fake a kidnapping to jump-start their acting careers. When criminal psychologist Alex Delaware is called in to evaluate one of the pair, Michaela Brand, he learns a few details that come in handy later, after she's found brutally murdered, and the case has fallen into the lap of Alex's buddy, Lieutenant Milo Sturges. The murder trail leads back to an acting studio operated by wealthy, drug-addled Nora Dowd; a steady stream of starstruck would-be thespians arrive at the studio--and then sometimes disappear. Gradually, the pool of suspects widens, as more people turn up missing and dead. As usual, Kellerman maintains a tight balance between suspense and characterization, using dialogue to push things quickly along: Delaware and Sturges bounce theories off one another in rapid succession--as much from habit as necessity. Neither gets everything right; the truth is much more horrifying than either suspected. As number 19 in the long-running series, this fast, clever thriller proves again why Kellerman's books reside on best-seller lists.
An overly complicated novel featuring detective psychiatrist Alex Delaware and his cop buddy, Milo Sturgis, gets muddied in detail and an annoying performance by a usually talented narrator. A young couple fakes an abduction that turns to murder. The story jumps back and forth through time and introduces a plethora of confusing characters. Normally, the Delaware stories are riveting and John Rubinstein is a joy to hear, but not this time. He's fine doing Alex and Milo, but everyone else is a caricature. A Jewish woman sounds stereotyped; the halting speech of a retarded man is painful. The book itself cries out for an abridgment. M.S.