Synopses & Reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Jonathan Kellerman’s “psychology skills and dark imagination are a potent literary mix” (Los Angeles Times), and this intensely thrilling blend has never been so powerful as in the acclaimed author’s new novel of murder and madness among the beautiful dreamers, seductive predators, and doomed innocents adrift in the glare of Southern California’s eternal sunshine.
A series of horrifying events occur in quick succession in the same upscale L.A. neighborhood. A backyard renovation unearths an infant’s body, buried sixty years ago. And soon thereafter in a nearby park, another disturbingly bizarre discovery is made not far from the body of a young woman shot in the head. Helping LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis to link these eerie incidents is brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware. But even the good doctor’s vast experience with matters both clinical and criminal might not be enough to cut down to the bone of this chilling case—and draw out the disturbing truth.
Backtracking six decades into the past stirs up tales of a beautiful nurse with a mystery lover, a handsome, wealthy doctor who seems too good to be true, and a hospital with a notorious reputation—all of them long gone, along with any records of a newborn, and destined for anonymity. But the specter of fame rears its head when the case unexpectedly twists in the direction of the highest echelons of celebrity privilege. Entering this sheltered world, Alex little imagines the macabre layer just below the surface—a decadent quagmire of unholy rituals and grisly sacrifice.
Before their work is done, Alex and Milo, “the most original whodunit duo since Watson and Holmes” (Forbes), must confront a fanatically deranged mind of such monstrous cunning that even the most depraved madman would shudder.
"Three decades after the debut of Kellerman's psychologist detective, the 28th entry (after 2012's Victims) is a lackluster one and shows the series' age. Newcomers are unlikely to be impressed either by Delaware's psychological or deductive insights. He tells a celebrity patient at her first session that 'happiness comes from taking all the credit and none of the blame.' A witness's failure to know her sister Adriana Betts' number by heart, relying instead on pressing a button on her cell to automatically place the call, is Ã¢Â€Â˜evidence' that she hadn't been in close contact with her. Betts has turned up dead of a gunshot wound in the same L.A. park as a defleshed baby's corpse. The infant's remains turned up during excavation of a drainage ditch and that grim discovery followed the unearthing of an older baby's skeleton in a backyard. The investigations Delaware and his longtime LAPD ally Milo Sturgis conduct are strictly by the numbers, and their solutions are unremarkable. Whatever was innovative in this series is long gone. (Feb)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Jonathan Kellerman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 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, bestselling novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. He is also the author of two children’s books and numerous nonfiction works, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children and 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.