NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Psychologist Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis unravel a shocking crime at a raucous wedding reception in this gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling master of suspense.
“Jonathan Kellerman’s psychology skills and dark imagination are a potent literary mix.”—Los Angeles Times
LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis is a fine homicide detective, but when he needs to get into the mind of a killer, he leans on the expertise of his best friend, the brilliant psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware. While Sturgis has a knack for piecing together the details of a crime, Delaware can decipher the darkest intents driving the most vicious of perpetrators. And there’s no better place for the doctor’s analytical skills to shine than a rowdy hall full of young men and women intoxicated on life and lust . . . and suddenly faced with the specter of death.
Summoned to a run-down former strip joint, Delaware and Sturgis find themselves crashing a wild Saints and Sinners–themed wedding reception. But they’re not the only uninvited guests. A horrified bridesmaid has discovered the body of a young woman, dressed to impress in pricey haute couture and accessorized with a grisly red slash around her neck. What’s missing is any means of identification, or a single partygoer who recognizes the victim. The baffled bride is convinced the stranger snuck in to sabotage her big day—and the groom is sure it’s all a dreadful mistake. But Delaware and Sturgis have a hundred guests to question, and a sneaking suspicion that the motive for murder is personal. Now they must separate the sinners from the saints, the true from the false, and the secrets from those keeping them. The party’s over—and the hunt for whoever killed it is on.
“As usual, [Delaware and Sturgis] form a formidable team. Also as usual, the characters here are varied and described with gritty clarity, and the puzzle facing the duo involves a delightful mix of L.A. culture, this time from its dive bars to its much more serious side.”—Booklist
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We’ve all heard our share of reception disasters, but this one takes the (wedding) cake. At a “Saints and Sinners” themed celebration held in a Los Angeles burlesque club, a beautifully dressed woman is found dead, but no one in the wedding party has ever seen her before. Psychologist Alex Delaware and his brash sidekick, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, are barely on the case before it becomes clear that the happy couple aren’t exactly what they seem. If you haven’t made the acquaintance of Jonathan Kellerman yet, The Wedding Guest is a perfect introduction to his Alex Delaware series—and his particular brand of page-turning mystery and quick-witted banter.
At the start of Edgar winner Kellerman's workmanlike 34th whodunit featuring L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware (after 2018's Night Moves), a guest at a wedding held at a former strip joint is looking for a bathroom when she stumbles across a female corpse. During the subsequent police investigation, none of the wedding attendees admits to knowing the victim, who was drugged with an injection of fentanyl in her neck before being garroted. Alex and his LAPD friend, Lt. Milo Sturgis, follow predictable lines of inquiry, including tracing the strip joint's former owner and determining whether anyone hated the bride or groom enough to ruin the celebration. They eventually identify the victim as 31-year-old Suzanne DaCosta, but she had no known links to the newlyweds. Some possibly related deaths include one that Alex and Milo learn of by pure chance when a Polish expat working in the coroner's office informs them of a murder in her native country, whose m.o. matches that of DaCosta. Kellerman has done better both with plotting and with bringing the reader inside the heads of his characters.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Wedding Guest
Well plotted, interesting story. Would have liked a bit more secondary character development.
Slow book. Causes naps.
Disappointing & Awful
I’ve always really enjoyed Kellerman’s Alex Delaware books, but this one was TERRIBLE. The dialogue between Dr D & Milo is bizarre and their dynamic is way, way off. (So much so, I actually wonder(ed) if Kellerman actually wrote this book.) Odd speaking patterns & verbiage is repeated by multiple characters. The plot was half-baked. With the exception of Blanche (the French bulldog), every female character is portrayed in an extremely harsh, unflattering manner. I had to struggle to even finish the book, which is really sad because these books have been a fave of mine for years.