Synopses & Reviews
No one conducts a more chilling, suspenseful, thoroughly engrossing tour through the winding corridors of criminal behavior and the secret chambers of psychopathology than Jonathan Kellerman, the bestselling "master of the psychological thriller" (People
). Now the incomparable team of psychologist Alex Delaware and homicide cop Milo Sturgis embark on their most dangerous excursion yet, into the dark places where risk runs high and blood runs cold.
It's a story tailor-made for the nightly news: Dylan Meserve and Michaela Brand, young lovers and fellow acting students, vanish on the way home from a rehearsal. Three days later, the two of them are found in the remote mountains of Malibu battered and terrified after a harrowing ordeal at the hands of a sadistic abductor.
The details of the nightmarish event are shocking and brutal: The couple was carjacked at gunpoint by a masked assailant and subjected to a horrific regimen of confinement, starvation and assault.
But before long, doubts arise about the couple's story, and as forensic details unfold, the abduction is exposed as a hoax. Charged as criminals themselves, the aspiring actors claim emotional problems, and the court orders psychological evaluation for both.
Michaela is examined by Alex Delaware, who finds that her claims of depression and stress ring true enough. But they don't explain her lies, and Alex is certain that there are hidden layers in this sordid psychodrama that even he hasn't been able to penetrate.
Nevertheless, the case is closed only to be violently reopened when Michaela is savagely murdered. When the police look for Dylan, they find that he's gone. Is he the killer or a victim himself? Casting their dragnet into the murkiest corners of L.A., Delaware and Sturgis unearth more questions than answers including a host of eerily identical killings. What really happened to the couple who cried wolf? And what bizarre and brutal epidemic is infecting the city with terror, madness, and sudden, twisted death?
"In bestseller Kellerman's pulse-pounding 20th Alex Delaware novel (after 2005's Rage), the Los Angeles psychologist looks into the murder of attractive 23-year-old Michaela Brand, an aspiring actress. Soon after Michaela and a fellow acting student, 24-year-old Dylan Meserve, achieve their 15 minutes of fame by staging their abduction, their hoax is exposed and Michaela turns up dead in circumstances reminiscent of her faked assault. Delaware joins forces with his sometimes official partner in crime, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, and together they pursue an investigative trail littered with corpses leading to an unconventional acting school and the family of the eccentric woman who runs it. While the murderer's identity may not be that surprising, the author's ability to convey the unrelenting sadness of his characters' lives and his deep psychological insights will satisfy those looking for more than mere thrills." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] satisfying, suspense-filled mystery." Library Journal
Psychologist Alex Delaware and homicide cop Milo Sturgis embark on their most dangerous excursion yet, as they are pitted against a serial killer targeting Hollywood starlets in Kellerman's latest #1 New York Times bestseller.
About the Author
Jonathan Kellerman is one of the world's most popular authors.