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Home > Book, Book Review, Mystery, Reviews > Book Review – Victims: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman

Book Review – Victims: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman

Victims

Book Description:

Unraveling the madness behind L.A.’s most baffling and brutal homicides is what sleuthing psychologist Alex Delaware does best. And putting the good doctor through his thrilling paces is what mystery fiction’s #1 bestselling master of psychological suspense Jonathan Kellerman does with incomparable brilliance. Kellerman’s universally acclaimed novels blend the addictive rhythms of the classic police procedural with chilling glimpses into the darkest depths of the human condition. For the compelling proof, look no further than Victims—Kellerman at his razor-sharp, harrowing finest.

Not since Jack the Ripper terrorized the London slums has there been such a gruesome crime scene. By all accounts, acid-tongued Vita Berlin hadn’t a friend in the world, but whom did she cross so badly as to end up arranged in such a grotesque tableau? One look at her apartment–turned–charnel house prompts hard-bitten LAPD detective Milo Sturgis to summon his go-to expert in hunting homicidal maniacs, Alex Delaware. But despite his finely honed skills, even Alex is stymied when more slayings occur in the same ghastly fashion . . . yet with no apparent connection among the victims. And the only clue left behind—a blank page bearing a question mark—seems to be both a menacing taunt and a cry for help from a killer baffled by his own lethal urges.

Under pressure to end the bloody spree and prevent a citywide panic, Milo redoubles his efforts to discover a link between the disparate victims. Meanwhile, Alex navigates the secretive world of mental health treatment, from the sleek office of a Beverly Hills therapist to a shuttered mental institution where he once honed his craft—and where an unholy alliance between the mad and the monstrous may have been sealed in blood. As each jagged piece of the puzzle fits into place, an ever more horrific portrait emerges of a sinister mind at its most unimaginable—and an evil soul at its most unspeakable. “This one was different,” Alex observes at the start of the case. This one will haunt his waking life, and his darkest dreams, long after its end.

*

“There was a boy… A curious boy.”

One of the benefits of being a fan of Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware Series is that there’s no long wait between each book in the series. There’s a new novel almost every year (starting from 1985!), and for 2012, we have the latest release Victims (Alex Delaware series #27).

I finished this one in two days flat, and as a long time fan of the series, I got exactly what I expected. Victims is classic Kellerman with his easy to read writing style, an interesting mystery that moved at a brisk pace (and had a good twist that I didn’t expect!), and the now familiar partnership between child psychologist Alex and Lt. Milo Sturgis. I’d been complaining that the most recent books in the series were more police procedural than psychological thrillers, so I was really happy that this latest installment had Alex contributing more as a psychologist again like in the early books (instead of simply being the Google-surfing police sidekick).

In Victims, Alex and Milo have to deal with a deeply psychologically disturbed serial killer (with an interest in human anatomy) who seemingly targets random victims – an unpleasant bully, a blameless family man, a married couple and a homeless man. As the bodies pile up and Milo’s superiors pressure him for a break in the case, Alex and Milo race to find answers in the past (including a trip down memory lane for Alex who tracks down his past contacts as a young psychology intern to help in the investigation). There are suspense a-plenty with Kellerman keeping things interesting, and I really liked that there were a couple of places where I went – Whoa! Didn’t expect that twist! I even liked the ending where against all reason, I felt empathy for the serial killer (who is really a ‘victim’ himself of the public mental health system).

Victims: An Alex Delaware Novel (#27) by Jonathan Kellerman is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition, Hardcover, Paperback Large Print and Audible Audio Edition Unabridged.

It is also available as an eBook at B&N , Kobobooks and Apple iBookstore.

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  1. Jackie Paulson
    June 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    How crazy I just got in the mail “rage” and I am reading it now. I came across this blog and was excited to hear a review on VICTIMS so that I can get it next. I think this is the new thriller series that I have to read! What a great review.

    • June 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      Thanks! Better start with Kellerman’s earliest books though which were really his best.

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