BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Victims.
Perennial bestseller and acknowledged master of the psychological thriller, Jonathan Kellerman has created a riveting and memorable Alex Delaware novel about a troubled and elusive young woman whose brutal murder forces the brilliant psychologist-detective to confront his own fallibility.
Lauren Teague is a beautiful, defiant, borderline-delinquent teenager when her parents bring her to Alex Delaware's office. But for all Alex's skill and effort, Lauren resists—angrily, provocatively. Reluctantly, the psychologist chalks Lauren up as one of the inevitable failures of a challenging profession. But years later, when Alex encounters Lauren as a stag party's featured entertainment, both doctor and patient are sticken with shame. And the ultimate horror takes place when, soon after, Lauren's brutalized corpse is found dumped in an alley. Alex disregards the advice of his trusted friend, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, and jeopardizes his relationship with longtime lover, Robin Castagna, in order to pursue Lauren's murderer. As he investigates his young patient's troubled past, Alex enters the shadowy worlds of fringe psychological experimentation and the sex industry, and then into mortal danger when lust and big money collide in Southern California.
Jonathan Kellerman's L.A. is evil, seductive, and unforgiving, and Flesh and Blood is mind-opening in its drama of a driven man's personal quest, breathtaking in its ingenious plot, filled with unforgettable characters, and topped off by a terrifying climax. This is suspense fiction at its finest.
In Kellerman's 15th crowd-pleasing Alex Delaware novel (after 2000's Dr. Death), the Los Angeles based psychologist is tested by a former patient, his conscience and the strains his police work place on his relationship with lover Robin Castagna. Alex only saw Lauren Teague twice as a patient when she was a troubled 15-year-old and once, six years later, when he was an embarrassed audience and she an embarrassed performer at a stag show. Four years after that, Lauren's mother approaches Alex when her daughter disappears. Then Lauren's bound and brutalized body turns up in a dumpster. As homicide detective Milo Sturgis pursues forensic leads and an official inquiry, Alex follows Lauren's tortuous path from high school drop-out to model/hooker to college student to murder victim. Alex finds plenty of suspects among Lauren's college teachers, her estranged parents, members of a Hefner-esque compound, a psychologist with a strange research protocol and Lauren's gay roommate. The dogged psychologist unearths plenty of possible motives and an old murder that may be connected to Lauren's. He also alienates Robin, who's having a hard time accepting the danger his investigation seems to court. Kellerman's well-established hero remains as likable as ever, but the unlikely hypotheses he concocts to connect suspects to Lauren's murder and the improbable links that finally emerge may weaken the book's appeal to new readers.