2013 Global Reading Challenge, review, U.S.

Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman

guilt

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.

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6 thoughts on “Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman”

  1. Rebecca – In my opinion one of the best things about this series is the partnership between Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis. They’re both great characters in and of themselves and I really like their dynamic. And I know what you mean about series one just can’t help following…

    1. Thanks, Margot. I think this is the series I’ve stuck with the longest, but it reminds me I need to get back to Dana Stabenow, whom I haven’t read in ages.

  2. I have to confess to having read them all and in order. So Guilt is high on my list of books to buy! I do think the quality may have dipped a little in recent years and sometimes Delaware’s reason for becoming involved seems a bit tenuous, but Kellerman has done better than a lot of authors at maintaining a high standard over such a lot of titles.

    1. I have to suspend a little disbelief about Alex being able to afford to consult on LAPD cases vs. working in private practice. I remember reading throughout the series that he had made some wise investments that allowed him this flexibility, but it wasn’t really mentioned in this book.

  3. I’m a big fan of this series and glad to hear there is a new one out. I’ll try and pick up a copy sometime. I think the Milo/Alex characters are two of my favourites, although I do prefer the earlier books.

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