Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman
Ballantine, 5 February 2013
Alex Delaware book 28
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Sometimes I feel like jumping into a familiar series instead of trying new-to-me authors, and while I haven’t read all of the Alex Delaware series, I have read the first twenty-four in the span of about seven years. Part of the reason is that I’m a completist, and part of the reason was I was in a mood to read a book where I knew what to expect.
Alex Delaware is a psychologist specializing in children who has consulted for the Los Angeles Police Department for a number of years. His investigative partner is Milo Sturgis, who has a huge amount of autonomy in his investigations that he gained with a deal with a superior during an earlier book. That’s about all the background that’s necessary to jump into the series: the characters haven’t changed a great deal since the beginning of the series, and the investigations take precedent over the main characters’ personal lives.
The story begins with a pregnant mother unearthing an old skeleton of an infant in her backyard in a nice neighborhood of Los Angeles. The investigation ramps into high gear when another baby’s skeleton is discovered in a nearby park along with a dead woman. The bulk of the book is devoted to Milo and Alex’s interviews as they investigate the deaths, and the investigation reaches into Alex’s past as a psychologist practicing in a pediatric hospital as well as into the lives of A-list actors and the people who work for them. It’s the characters circling around the crime that are the focus of this book.
It was refreshing that this far into the series that Delaware is able to admit to himself that he’s “compulsive and addicted to the bad stuff,” which explains why he devotes so much of his professional life to consulting with the LAPD instead of taking on private clients. Maybe I’m just as compulsive because I can’t give up this series! In any case, it’s an entertaining read, especially for fans of the rest of the series.