NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The past comes back to haunt psychologist Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis when they investigate a grisly double homicide and uncover an even more unspeakable motive in this riveting thriller from the bestselling master of suspense.
Los Angeles is a city of sunlight, celebrity, and possibility. The L.A. often experienced by Homicide Lt. Detective Milo Sturgis and psychologist Alex Delaware, is a city of the dead.
Early one morning, the two of them find themselves in a neighborhood of pretty houses, pretty cars, and pretty people. The scene they encounter is anything but. A naked young man lies dead in the street, the apparent victim of a collision with a moving van hurtling through suburbia in the darkness. But any thoughts of accidental death vanish when a blood trail leads to a nearby home.
Inside, a young woman lies butchered. The identity of the male victim and his role in the horror remain elusive, but that of the woman creates additional questions. And adding to the shock, Alex has met her while working a convoluted child custody case. Cordelia Gannett was a self-styled internet influencer who’d gotten into legal troubles by palming herself off as a psychologist. Even after promising to desist, she’s found a loophole and has continued her online career, aiming to amass clicks and ads by cyber-coaching and cyber-counseling people plagued with relationship issues.
But upon closer examination, Alex and Milo discover that her own relationships are troublesome, including a tortured family history and a dubious personal past. Has that come back to haunt her in the worst way? Is the mystery man out in the street collateral damage or will he turn out to be the key to solving a grisly double homicide? As the psychologist and the detective explore L.A.'s meanest streets, they peel back layer after layer of secrets and encounter a savage, psychologically twisted, almost unthinkable motive for violence and bloodshed.
This is classic Delaware: Alex, a man Milo has come to see as irreplaceable, at his most insightful and brilliant.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Psychologist Alex Delaware investigates the death of a disgraced colleague in this taut, gory thriller from Jonathan Kellerman. While trying to sort out the identity of a naked man killed in an upscale neighborhood, Alex and his sidekick LAPD detective Milo Sturgis discover that another bloody death occurred nearby—and the victim was a quack psychologist with a shady past and a long list of semi-celebrity clients. As in Kellerman’s previous Alex Delaware thrillers, this story is full of unexpected twists and a cast of strange, entertaining characters who add plenty of local Los Angeles color. City of the Dead is an exciting whodunit that longtime Kellerman fans and absolute newcomers will both love.
The death of a naked man, hit early one morning by a van near the UCLA campus, kicks off bestseller Kellerman's complex 37th Alex Delaware novel (after 2021's Serpentine). Neighborhood gossip and a few blood droplets lead the police to the home of Cordelia Gannett, whom they find stabbed to death. Delaware, a consulting psychologist for the LAPD, knows the woman from a child custody case two years earlier when she claimed to be a psychologist but was exposed as a charlatan. She recently had been selling herself on the web as a relationship expert. Delaware and his friend Lt. Milo Sturgis of the LAPD search for the identity of the nude victim and delve into Gannett's past, uncovering in the process a series of other crimes, including murder. As always, Kellerman provides fascinating insight into the motivations of his damaged characters, though the plot meanders a while before coming together. Series fans will enjoy spending time with Delaware and Sturgis, but this isn't the place to start for newcomers.
City of the Dead
Very interesting and entertaining murder mystery. The writing is skilled and characters believable. The plot is a bit contrived and improbable but enjoyable.
Good book, 1st of his
It’s a good read, could be shorter and more concise, gets long in the middle. The ending wasn’t anticipated and more could have been added there.
The ending made the book.
The book was getting a little too “wordy”, but the last few pages brought the whole story together.