* The new Alex Delaware thriller, also featuring Daniel Shavari, and both trying to find the killer of disabled chidren.
Jonathan Kellerman lives in California with his wife, the novelist Faye Kellerman, and their four children. He is the author of the bestselling Alex Delaware thrillers, and of textbooks on child psychology.
Why is it so hard to put down a Kellerman thriller, even though they're strewn with red herrings, the coincidences demand grand suspensions of disbelief and the main characters‘psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware; his lover, Robin; his best friend, gay L.A. detective Milo Sturgis‘are so predictable? It's simple: the nonstop action leaves you breathless; the plot twists keep you guessing; the themes (eugenics, this time) are provocative. Milo asks Alex to help solve the murder of Irit Carmeli, the deaf, slightly retarded teenaged daughter of an Israeli diplomat. They identify three similar cases in which retarded or handicapped victims are found with the enigmatic legend "DVLL" written near the body. Meanwhile, Alex counsels Helena Dahl, whose brother, a cop, may have been involved with Meta, an organization whose members have high IQs, just before he killed himself. When Alex and Milo discover a link between "DVLL" and neo-fascist Meta in the alleged suicide of a genius scientist, the "DVLL" and Dahl cases entwine. The coincidence is quite a stretch; but by the time it unfolds, readers are hooked enough to accept it, just as they're likely not to question Alex's going undercover for the police. As an added bonus, Israeli detective Daniel Sharavi, the astute protagonist of Kellerman's non-Delaware mystery (The Butcher's Theater, 1988), returns as a valuable partner in this typically complicated, exciting Kellerman page-turner. (Nov.)
Readers will find this latest installment in the Alex Delaware series (e.g., The Clinic, LJ 10/15/96) entertaining despite the author's tendency to overdescribe settings at the expense of character development. The psychologist again helps his friend, detective Milo Sturgis, solve a cold case: a deaf and mildly retarded Israeli girl, the daughter of a diplomat, is strangled in a park, and the letters "D-V-L-L" are found on a scrap of paper in her pocket. Authorities have failed to come up with a suspect or any leads, so the victim's father brings in a detective of his own, the great Daniel Sharavi, from Kellerman's The Butcher's Theater (Bantam, 1988). Over 200 pages later, Delaware finally goes undercover to infiltrate a sinister MENSA-like organization, and the ends of this plot, filled with psychopathic cops and pseudo-scientific racists, are (too neatly) tied up. Despite the book's flaws, Kellerman fans and readers seeking an intelligent thriller should enjoy this. Recommended for all public libraries.‘Laurel A. Wilson, Alexandrian P.L, Mount Vernon, Ind.
Simply too good to miss STEPHEN KING Fast-paced, well thought out, with an unexpected denouement SUNDAY TELEGRAPH Kellerman never fails to maintain interest, and I found this one a particularly good example of his work. IRISH TIMES Inspried and entirely credible detective work... Required reading. LITERARY REVIEW