Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review - Mystery: An Alex Delaware Novel

by: Jonathan Kellerman

Available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Few know the city of Los Angeles the way #1 bestselling author and acclaimed suspense master Jonathan Kellerman does. His thrilling novels of psychological drama and criminal detection make the capital of dreams a living, breathing character in all its glamour and infamy. That storied history of fame, seduction, scandal, and murder looms large in Mystery, as Alex Delaware finds himself drawn into a twisting, shadowy whodunit that’s pure L.A. noir—and vintage Kellerman.

The closing of their favorite romantic rendezvous, the Fauborg Hotel in Beverly Hills, is a sad occasion for longtime patrons Alex Delaware and Robin Castagna. And gathering one last time with their fellow faithful habitu├ęs for cocktails in the gracious old venue makes for a bittersweet evening. But even more poignant is a striking young woman—alone and enigmatic among the revelers—waiting in vain in elegant attire and dark glasses that do nothing to conceal her melancholy. Alex can’t help wondering what her story is, and whether she’s connected to the silent, black-suited bodyguard lingering outside the hotel.

Two days later, Alex has even more to contemplate when police detective Milo Sturgis comes seeking his psychologist comrade’s insights about a grisly homicide. To Alex’s shock, the brutalized victim is the same beautiful woman whose lonely hours sipping champagne at the Fauborg may have been her last.

But with a mutilated body and no DNA match, she remains as mysterious in death as she seemed in life. And even when a tipster’s sordid revelation finally cracks the case open, the dark secrets that spill out could make Alex and Milo’s best efforts to close this horrific crime not just impossible but fatal.

The cover catches your eye with it's brilliant red, then you scroll down and it looks like a hazy night in the city of LA. Which it is...a little melancholy about the way Los Angeles tears down the old with barely a thought to move onto bigger, better and newer.

Robin and Alex decide to spend an evening at a favorite old haunt that is set to be torn down soon. The hotel has already begun to be emptied, it has a funeral feel. Alex is very good at noticing people and his surroundings, and that helps in this case, as the girl found murdered the next day was sitting at the next table.

That's also how Alex gets drawn into helping Milo, his lieutenant friend. Kellerman writes a great mystery, because even though you know the main characters very well after 26 books, the mystery is deep. I was over halfway through the novel before they even found out her real name. Nearly finished before he told us who done it. Excellent mystery novel!

I also really like the characters, they are human and written with all their failings. Alex had a rough childhood that still haunts him, he is a psychologist who through good investments only works when he wants to. When he takes on a patient, the best of the inquisition wouldn't get him to talk. Milo fully respects that.

Seriously a great book, as all Kellerman's works are. If you do like this, you might try his wife - Faye Kellerman. They have a similar style, not surprising they are married. She also has the returning characters of Decker/Lazarus.

I'm giving this 4 stars. Fully enjoyable mystery...gets me my crime drama fix without traumatizing my family.

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