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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Alex Delaware and LAPD detective Milo Sturgis investigate the death of Alex’s most mysterious patient to date in the sensational new thriller from the master of suspense, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman.
At nearly one hundred years old, Thalia Mars is a far cry from the patients that child psychologist Alex Delaware normally treats. But the charming, witty woman convinces Alex to meet with her in a suite at the Aventura, a luxury hotel with a checkered history.
What Thalia wants from Alex are answers to unsettling questions—about guilt, patterns of criminal behavior, victim selection. When Alex asks the reason for her morbid fascination, Thalia promises to tell all during their next session. But when he shows up the following morning, he is met with silence: Thalia is dead in her room.
When questions arise about how Thalia perished, Alex and homicide detective Milo Sturgis must peel back the layers of a fascinating but elusive woman’s life and embark on one of the most baffling investigations either of them has ever experienced. For Thalia Mars is a victim like no other, an enigma who harbored nearly a century of secrets and whose life and death draw those around her into a vortex of violence.
Heartbreak Hotel is classic Delaware and classic Kellerman.
Praise for Heartbreak Hotel
“Easy to dive into for mystery fans unfamiliar with the series, and a welcome treat for readers who have been with Officer Sturgis and Dr. Delaware since the beginning.”—Booklist
Praise for Jonathan Kellerman
“Jonathan Kellerman’s psychology skills and dark imagination are a potent literary mix.”—Los Angeles Times
“Kellerman doesn’t just write psychological thrillers—he owns the genre.”—Detroit Free Press
“A master of the psychological thriller.”—People
L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware specializes in "evaluating the mental health of injured, neglected, or traumatized children," but in Edgar-winner Kellerman's so-so 32nd series entry (after 2016's Breakdown) he accepts the invitation of 99-year-old Thalia Mars, a retired accountant, to meet her at the Aventura, the hotel where she lives on Sunset Boulevard. The charming Thalia asks Alex to share with her "the current psychological wisdom with regard to guilt" without explaining why she's interested in this topic. Tired, she ends their interview after a short while, but Alex agrees to visit her the following day to continue the discussion. On returning to the Aventura, he learns to his sorrow that Thalia has died, just weeks before her 100th birthday. Alex is angered when an alert paramedic finds evidence that Thalia didn't die of natural causes. Alex and his friend on the LAPD, Milo Sturgis, look into Thalia's past in an effort to identity the killer and the motive. The psychological insights Alex typically displays are few and barely relevant to the inquiry or its solution.