NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
It came in a plain brown wrapper, no return address—an audiocassette recording of a horrifying, soul-lacerating scream, followed by the sound of a childlike voice chanting: “Bad love. Bad love. Don’t give me the bad love.” For Alex Delaware the tape is the first intimation that he is about to enter a living nightmare. Others soon follow: disquieting laughter echoing over a phone line that suddenly goes dead, and a chilling act of trespass and vandalism. He has become the target of a carefully orchestrated campaign of vague threats and intimidation rapidly building to a crescendo as harassment turns to terror, mischief to madness.
“A wonderful, roller-coaster ride . . . a guaranteed page-turner.”—USA Today
With the help of his friend, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, Alex uncovers a series of violent deaths that may follow a diabolical pattern. And if he fails to decipher the twisted logic of the stalker’s mind games, Alex will be the next to die.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Guilt.
The latest Dr. Alex Delaware novel, after Devil's Waltz , follows the child psychologist on an intricately plotted, murder-strewn course that started 20 years earlier when he was on staff at a Los Angeles children's hospital. Recently, Alex has become the target of ominous threats: weird laughter over the phone, a fish from his pond cruelly skewered, a tape of a child's voice repeating the words ``bad love . '' Initially he ties the threats to his work with two young sisters whose father, in prison for the murder of their mother, is claiming visitation rights. But Alex also remembers the phrase ``bad love'' was used by a child psychiatrist honored at a 1979 symposium he cosponsored at the hospital. A file search by his LAPD pal Milo Sturgis connects the phrase to two LA murders five and three years ago; inquiries by Alex reveal a surprisingly high death rate among speakers at the symposium. After more murders and harsher threats, the trails converge in a confrontation with a psychotic killer. Kellerman constructs his plot as adeptly as Robin Castagna, Alex's live-in lover, builds her prized guitars, but the decades-past motivation, the tangled connections among victims and Alex's peripheral association with the murderer foster a clinical detachment from the story's events. BOMC selection.