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The Webby Jonathan Kellerman
Synopses & Reviews
He led us past the first two rows and stopped at the third. Some sort of classification system would have been clever, but I know where everyone is and I'm the one who feeds them.
Turning left, he stopped at a dark tank. Inside was a floor of mulch and leaves, above it a tangle of bare branches. Nothing else that I could see.
He pulled something out of his pocket and held it between his fingers. A pellet, not unlike Spike's kibble.
The wire lid was clamped; he loosened it and pushed, exposing a comer. Inserting two fingers, he dangled the pellet.
At first, nothing happened. Then, quicker than I believed possible, the mulch heaved, as if in the grip of a tiny earthquake, and something shot up.
A second later, the food was gone.
Robin pressed herself against me.
Moreland hadn't moved. Whatever had taken the pellet had disappeared.
Australian garden wolf, said Moreland, securing the top. Cousin of your Italian friend. Like tarantula, they burrow and wait.
Looks as if you know what it likes, said Robin. I heard the difference in her voice, but a stranger might not have.
What she likes--this one's quite the lady--is animal protein. Preferably in liquid form. Spiders always liquefy their food. I combine insects, worms, mice, whatever, and create a broth that I freeze and defrost. This is the same stuff, compressed and freeze-dried. I did it to see if they'd adapt to solids. Luckily, many of them did.
He smiled. Strange avocation for a vegetarian, right? But what's the choice? She's my responsibility....Come with me, perhaps we can bring back some memories.
He opened another aquarium at the end of the row, but this time he shoved his arm in, drew out something, and placed it on his forearm. One of the vertical bulbs was close enough to highlight its forrn on his pale flesh. A spider, dark, hairy, just over an inch long. It crawled slowly up toward his shoulder.
Is that what your mother found, dear?
Robin licked her lips. Yes.
Her name is Gina. To the spider, now at his collar: Good evening, senora. Then to Robin: Would you like to hold her, dear?
A new friend, Gina. As if understanding, the spider stopped. Moreland lifted it tenderly and placed it in Robin's palm.
It didn't budge, then it lifted its head and seemed to study her. Its mouth moved, an eerie lipsynch.
You're cute, Gina.
We can send one just like her to your mother, I said. For old time's sake.
She laughed and the spider stopped again. Then, moving with mechanical precision, it walked to the edge of her palm- and peered over the edge.
Nothing down there but floor, said Robin. Guess you'd like to go back to Daddy.
Moreland removed it, stroked its belly, placed it back in its home, walked on.
Pulling out his doctors' penlight, he pointed out spe
Psychologist-detective Dr. Alex Delaware finds terror in the heart of paradise in this relentlessly sinister novel by America's premier writer of psychological suspense, the author of ten successive New York Times bestsellers. Three months in paradise, all expenses paid. It's an invitation Alex Delaware can't refuse. Dr. Woodrow Wilson Moreland, a revered scientist and philanthropist on the tiny Pacific island of Aruk, has invited Alex to his home to help him organize his papers for publication-- a light workload leaving Alex plenty of time to enjoy a romantic interlude with Robin Castagna.
Quickly, however, secretive houseguests, frightening nocturnal visitors, and the elusive Dr. Moreland himself dim the pleasures of deep blue water and white
The cases Moreland chooses to share--a patient driven to madness by a cruel, unspeakable act; a man who succumbed forty years ago to radiation poisoning after a nuclear blast; a young woman, brutally murdered, whose mutilated body was found on the beach just six months before-- seem unconnected. And yet Alex can't help wondering what the good doctor is trying to tell him...and what Moreland's real reason for inviting him to Aruk is.
As Alex probes--with a little long-distance help from his friend LAPD detective Milo Sturgis--he comes to believe the answer lies hidden somewhere on Moreland's vast estate. Yet when he finally discovers the truth, the revelation will be more shocking than he could have imagined. And it will come too late to stem the tide of violence that threatens guilty and innocent alike on the lovely lost island of Aruk.
Once again, with his brilliant characterizations and rapid-fire pace, Jonathan Kellerman has redefined the boundaries of suspense, probing real-life horrors and innermost fears in a novel that transfixes from first page to last.
Also available on BDD Audio Cassette.
Psychologist Alex Delaware receives an all-expenses-paid trip to the South Pacific in return for helping Dr. Moreland organize some paperwork, but secretive houseguests, midnight visitors, and Dr. Moreland's elusive personality soon reveal a shocking truth. Reprint.
About the Author
Jonathan Kellerman is one of the world’s most popular authors. He has brought his expertise as a clinical psychologist to more than thirty bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher’s Theater, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, Twisted, and True Detectives. With his wife, the novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored the bestsellers Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. He is the author of numerous essays, short stories, scientific articles, two children’s books, and three volumes of psychology, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children, as well as the lavishly illustrated With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards and has been nominated for a Shamus Award. Jonathan and Faye Kellerman live in California, New Mexico, and New York. Their four children include the novelists Jesse Kellerman and Aliza Kellerman.
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