BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Guilt.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The voice belongs to a woman, but Dr. Alex Delaware remembers a little girl. It is eleven years since seven-year-old Melissa Dickinson dialed the hospital help line for comfort—and found it in therapy with Alex Delaware. Now the lovely young heiress is desperately calling for the psychologist’s help once more. Only this time it looks like Melissa’s deepest childhood nightmare is really coming true.
“A page-turner from beginning to end.”—Los Angeles Times
Twenty years ago, Gina Dickinson, Melissa’s mother, suffered a grisly assault that left the budding actress irreparably scarred and emotionally crippled. Now her acid-wielding assailant is out of prison and back in L.A.—and Melissa is terrified that the monster has returned to hurt Gina again. But before Alex Delaware can even begin to soothe his former patient’s fears, Gina, a recluse for twenty years, disappears. And now, unless Delaware turns crack detective to uncover the truth, Gina Dickinson will be just one more victim of a cold fury that has already spawned madness . . . and murder.
Kellerman devises a psychologically complex, highly satisfying plot in this latest mystery (after Time Bomb ) to feature child psychologist Alex Delaware, although we wait too long for the best parts and although Delaware, his love life on hold, seems less emotionally present than in previous cases. Harvard-bound, 18-year-old heiress Melissa Dickinson, whom Delaware had successfully treated for anxiety 10 years earlier, calls him with concerns about leaving her wealthy mother, an agoraphobe. Years before Melissa's birth, Gina Dickinson Ramp had been disfigured by acid thrown for never-revealed reasons by a former lover, now out of prison and back in town. Widowed for many years, recently remarried and making progress in her own intensive therapy with a noted husband-and-wife team of behaviorial psychologists, Gina is still fragile. When she disappears, Melissa enlists Delaware's help and that of his friend, Milo Sturgis, on leave from the LAPD (for having slugged, on TV, a homophobic superior). Kellerman deftly handles the strings of his plot, keeping in question the plight of Gina and the identities of those wishing her ill, until final events make what came before seem inevitable. A brief reunion with his former lover Robin will leave readers hoping for a reconciliation in Delaware's next appearance. 150,000 first printing; major ad/promo.