4 stars out of 5
In a day when quite a few big-time authors who shall remain nameless are becoming known for quantity rather than quality, it's refreshing to find one who's steady as he goes. Yes, folks, Jonathan Kellerman, who's written more than 30 psychological thrillers including the popular Alex Delaware series, has done it again, keeping him right at the top of my list of favorite authors.
This one begins as Alex, a psychologist who specializes in children and is a frequent police consultant, is called in to provide evaluation when an overly aggressive wealthy female doctor and her flower-child sister go head-to-head in a child custody battle. The good doctor can find no reason to remove the child from her hippy-dippy mother, and the judge concurs. But just as he thinks he's out from under the nasty fighting, the case takes a turn of a different sort when Alex's life is threatened and a major player turns up dead. Enter long-time friend Detective Milo Sturgis, who's now looking for the killer. But then, as other key players bite the dust and the free-spirited sister disappears with her baby, things really start to heat up.
One of the things I love about the Delaware books is following the relationships among Alex, his guitar-making love interest Robin and Milo. But don't hesitate to pick this one (or any other) up because you aren't familiar with the series - they all stand alone quite well.
Killer: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman (Ballantine Books, February 2014); 353 pp.