BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Victims.
When it comes to writing deftly layered, tightly coiled novels of suspense, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman reigns supreme as "master of the psychological thriller" (People). Now, Kellerman has worked his magic again in this chilling new masterpiece.
The anonymous caller has an ominous tone and an unnerving message about something "real dead . . . buried in your marsh." The eco-volunteer on the other end of the phone thinks it's a prank, but when a young woman's body turns up in L.A.'s Bird Marsh preserve no one's laughing. And when the bones of more victims surface, homicide detective Milo Sturgis realizes the city's under siege to an insidious killer. Milo's first move: calling in psychologist Alex Delaware.
The murdered women are prostitutes–except the most recent victim; a brilliant young musician from the East Coast, employed by a wealthy family to tutor a musical prodigy, Selena Bass seems out of place in the marsh's grim tableau.
Conveniently–perhaps ominously–Selena's blueblood employers are nowhere to be found, and their estate' s jittery caretaker raises hackles. But Milo's instincts and Alex's insight are too well-honed to settle for easy answers, even given the dark secrets in this troubled man's past. Their investigation unearths disturbing layers–about victims, potential victims, and suspects alike–plunging even deeper into the murky marsh's enigmatic depths.
Bizarre details of the crimes suggest a devilish serial killer prowling L.A.'s gritty streets. But when a new murder deviates from the pattern, derailing a possible profile, Alex and Milo must look beyond the suspicion of madness and consider an even more sinister mind at work. Answers don't come easy, but the darkest of drives and desires may fuel the most devious of foes.
Bones is classic Kellerman–relentlessly peeling back the skin and psyches of its characters and revealing the shadows and sins of the souls beneath. With jolt after jolt of galvanizing suspense, it drives the reader through its twists and turns toward a climax as satisfying as it is shattering.From Publishers Weekly
In this run-of-the-mill police procedural from bestseller Kellerman, his 23rd novel to feature L.A. consulting psychologist Alex Delaware (after Compulsion), high school miscreant Chance Brandt has been assigned to perform community service at the Bird Marsh, a nature sanctuary near Marina del Rey. After Chance dismisses as a prank an anonymous phone call warning him that there's a corpse buried in the marsh, Lt. Milo Sturgis, now Special Case Investigator for the LAPD, and Sturgis's team find four bodies there, all women missing their right hand. When Sturgis identifies one of the victims as Selena Bass, who worked as a piano teacher for the wealthy Vander family, the police focus on Travis Huck, the manager of the Vanders' Pacific Palisades estate, as the prime suspect because Travis has a criminal past. Kellerman fans wanting more of the same should be satisfied, though Sturgis gets less benefit from Delaware's psychological expertise than usual. (Nov.)
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Two intriguing preliminary chapters suck readers right in to Kellerman's latest Alex Delaware thriller, even though Delaware is disappointingly less active than usual in the story-doing hardly more than relating the circumstances surrounding the crime that he and his cop buddy, Lieutenant Milo Sturgis, are determined to solve. The mutilated corpse of a young music teacher, who turns out to be less than prim and proper, is dumped in a protected wetland. Nearby, buried in the marsh, are several more bodies, all of prostitutes whose right hands have been hacked off. Clues lead Sturgis and Delaware to the palatial digs of the music teacher's young student, who is nowhere to be found. The only one home is the family's gofer, who apparently has a juvenile record. Sturgis' antennae really start twitching, though, when the young man disappears. Surely that's the act of a guilty man. If the whole isn't quite as suspenseful as initial chapters promise, Kellerman's intriguing, often oddball characters (including a rookie detective) deliver the goods in this briskly paced procedural. Not among the long-running series' best entries, but fans will be sufficiently entertained. --Stephanie Zvirin
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