NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Psychologist Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis confront a baffling, vicious double homicide that leads them to long-buried secrets worth killing for in the riveting thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling “master of suspense” (Los Angeles Times).
LAPD homicide lieutenant Milo Sturgis sees it all the time: Reinvention’s a way of life in a city fueled by fantasy. But try as you might to erase the person you once were, there are those who will never forget the past . . . and who can still find you.
A pool boy enters a secluded Bel Air property and discovers two bodies floating in the bright blue water: Gio Aggiunta, the playboy heir to an Italian shoe empire, and a gorgeous, even wealthier neighbor named Meagin March. A married neighbor.
An illicit affair stoking rage is a perfect motive. But a “double” in this neighborhood of gated estates isn’t something you see every day. The house is untouched. No forced entry, no forensic evidence. The case has “that feeling,” and when that happens, Milo turns to his friend, the brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware.
As Milo and Alex investigate both victims, they discover two troubled pasts. And as they dig deeper, Meagin March’s very identity begins to blur. Who was this glamorous but conflicted woman? Did her past catch up to her? Or did Gio’s family connections create a threat spanning two continents?
Chasing down the answers leads Alex and Milo on an exploration of L.A.’s darkest side as they contend with one of the most shocking cases of their careers and learn that that some secrets are best left buried in the past.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A double murder in a Bel Air mansion entangles psychologist Alex Delaware in a knotty whodunit that mixes police procedural with psychological suspense. When Detective Milo Sturgis enlists psychologist Alex Delaware to help investigate a double murder, it’s immediately clear the case is an inside job with some unexpected complications. There was no forced entry, but there’s also nothing linking the mansion’s wealthy owner and the married woman who was left floating naked in his pool. Master of suspense Jonathan Kellerman excels at depicting both the clue-by-clue police procedural elements of Sturgis’ case and the deeper emotional insights provided by his perceptive series protagonist, Delaware. With his customary aplomb, Kellerman also seamlessly weaves the murder investigation in with an intriguing case in Delaware’s private practice, making for a twisty tale of stolen identities and more. The Ghost Orchid is classic Kellerman, exploring the intriguing why behind the whodunit.
Kellerman's robust latest procedural featuring psychologist Alex Delaware and his best friend, L.A. homicide detective Milo Sturgis (after Unnatural History), couples a deceptively complex central mystery with surprisingly nuanced character development. After Delaware was nearly crushed to death by a violent criminal while he assisted Sturgis on a previous case, the pair's relationship has been tense. Now, however, they take steps toward repairing the partnership when Sturgis asks Delaware to consult on a double murder. The naked bodies of Giovanni Aggiunta, whose family operates a luxury men's shoe business in L.A., and Meagin March, the married neighbor he was having an affair with, have been found shot to death next to Aggiunta's pool. What at first looks like an open-and-shut case of revenge by Meagin's husband quickly takes on eyebrow-raising new dimensions when Sturgis and Delaware discover strange holes in her backstory that suggest she may have been more than the wife next door. Kellerman delivers clever twists alongside the lived-in banter between his leads that sets this series apart. It's both a treat for longtime fans and a great entry point for newcomers.
As usual an interesting plot and well written. My only complaint is fast wrap up and the abrupt ending.
Rushed at end
I love this author and this book was so good until the end was rushed and choppy. But good meat in the middle!