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When the Bough Breaks [Paperback]

Jonathan Kellerman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

21 Feb 2008

Seven-year-old Melody Quinn is the only witness of a horrific double murder but she can't or won't talk about what she saw. Child psychologist Alex Delaware is brought in to try and get through to her and to the truth of what happened that night. But it soon becomes clear that Melody isn't just traumatised by the murders.

Alex is only too aware that LA is a city which spawns ugliness. But is he prepared for the seemingly bottomless pit of perversion and violence that he's about to uncover?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (21 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075534281X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755342815
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 357,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Kellerman is one of the world's most popular authors. He has brought his expertise as a clinical psychologist to more than thirty bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher's Theatre, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, Twisted, and True Detectives. With his wife, the novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored the bestsellers Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. He is the author of numerous essays, short stories, scientific articles, two children's books, and three volumes of psychology, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards and has been nominated for a Shamus Award.
Jonathan and Faye Kellerman live in California and New Mexico. Their four children include the novelists Jesse Kellerman and Aliza Kellerman.

Product Description


'A gruesome novel psychodrama of depravity and organised vice...assured skill and horripilating effect' (Observer)

'Sophisticated, cleverly plotted and satisfying' (Sunday Telegraph)

'High-octane entertainment' (The Times)

'Exceptionally exciting' (New York Times)

'Ingenious and horrifying' (The Sunday Times)

Book Description

The first Alex Delaware novel, When the Bough Breaks, is vintage Jonathan Kellerman and full of psychological suspense.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read 10 April 2007
By Jax
I had previously read some of the later Alex Delaware books and decided to start at the beginning of the series to find out the history of Alex, Robin & Milo. It was well worth it - these books are a great read and When the Bough Breaks provides the history of Alex's medical background, how he first meets Milo and the beginning of their friendship, and also his initial romance with Robin. Well worth the read. Go and buy it!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking Start to the Series 26 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read most of the other Alex Delaware novels, so getting to this book relatively late in the game was interesting. Would it match up to the general standard of the other books?

The answer to that is a thunderous YES. The writing may be slightly less polished and slick, but it is still a well written book, and the plot is thrilling and sickening in equal measure.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So that's how it started 10 Feb 2010
By A B
I've read most of the Alex Delaware novels in the past so it's a bit strange to finally read the first one in the series. I now know how Alex and Milo first met and how Alex has the time and money to devote his life to solving murders. Not that this has ever stopped me enjoying the books that followed but it's nice to know!

It's actually quite an enjoyable novel and certainly was a good start from Kellerman. If I'm honest I think the newer books are generally better but I guess when you've had twenty five of practice you wouldn't expect otherwise.

What I did find interesting about this book is that it shows how much the world has moved on in the last twenty five years. Back in 1985 carrying out research meant a visit to the library and if you needed to make a phone call you needed to find a phone booth. How on Earth were crimes solved without the internet and 'cell' phones? If you want to know then read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alex Delaware at the Starting Gate 22 Jun 2011
I have read a number of Alex Delaware books over the years and enjoyed them. Hence I was prepared for a real treat with this book as it is here that we meet Alex, Milo and Robin for the first time.

When the Bough Breaks does not disappoint. Jonathan Kellerman is a skilful writer and the descriptive passages which go with the action give the reader a real impression of the scenes he is portraying. If I had any criticism I think that the balance between description and action is just a little out of kilter in favour of the former. I think that in later books the author developed his style and got this balance about right. Having said that, the plot is intricate, interesting and well put together as Alex finds himself in conflict with a particularly unpleasant group of people.

Hard to believe this was first published as long ago as 1985 with the, perhaps slightly less appealing title of Shrunken Heads! The book does not feel dated, but as a sideline it is interesting to spot the period features. For a start virtually no computers so poor Alex has to sift through reams of paper records. Also references to Datsuns (the old trading name of Nissan), a Rolodex, and someone's record collection! However, this does not in any way detract from this tale.

So to summarise, this is a book where the action moves along at a pace which is sufficient to maintain interest and keep you turning the pages. Quite an enjoyable read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars When The Bough Breaks 10 Dec 2008
This is the first of Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels and I chose to start reading this series after enjoying a book by his wife, Faye Kellerman.
I have to admit that When The Bough Breaks was a lot better than the book i read by Faye Kellerman; Milk and Honey, however unfortunately I thought that this first book in the Dellaware series suffered greatly from a slow paced plot. The leading characters where interesting and enjoyable to read about, the story line was good but it just took far too long to get anywhere. This is a book of over 400 pages but it could have easily been a hundred less.
I will definately continue with the series and I hope that Kellerman irons out these quirks with the later books in the series.
Well worth a look for the longevity of a hopefully good series, and average book but there's definately better out there if you like your pace fast and action packed.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!! 6 Feb 2003
By A Customer
OK picture the scene....on holiday and you;ve just finished the last page of your book with two days and a flight left to go....what do you do..thats how I picked up When The Bough Breaks. A little local supermarket and it had a few of the Jonathan Kellerman novels. I picked the first one and was anything but disappointed. The book moves with pace and keeps you intrigued. The story is nasty but thats what grips you. The characters have depth and I'm sure they will develop through the rest of the Alex Delaware novels. Not much else to say. If you like this type of novel then you'll like this. And as for the end..........well read it and find out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars terrific 13 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i thought it was really gripping bring on the next one just what crime thrillers should be now for book 2.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 5 Star Book - 4 Star Presentation 10 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have long been a fan of the Dr Delaware books by Jonathan Kelland and having a Kindle is giving me the chance to collect the whole series from the beginning. The books are great, psychologically based crime with enough human interest about Dr Delaware himself, his partner and friends and way of life and, of course, a satisfactory conclusion to the story. So, a 5 Star book but only a 4 Star rating for the Kindle edition because of one really annoying typographical error - long words are constantly split into two by having a space inserted in the middle, eg. inter national.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
The first in the Alex Delaware series and as good as others that I have read. I am trying to read all the series and even though I have had to read them out of sequence the are... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ms. Wilma Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
Enjoyed every page. Always buy this author.the story kept you guessin .jonathon kellerman is a true storyteller.i love his books
Published 10 months ago by lynne tingle
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable thriller
When reading a series it's always good to start at the beginning, especially if that beginning also introduces the characters, their situation and their relationship well, and this... Read more
Published on 6 Jan 2012 by L. White
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read!
Historically having not been a big reader in the past in recent times I have read loads and must admit I am a bit of a creature of habit. Read more
Published on 24 April 2011 by Richard
4.0 out of 5 stars something to get your teeth into - now hungry for more
Have just finished the first of what I can make out to be 19 books in the series! I'm glad the dark nights will be drawing in soon. Read more
Published on 29 Aug 2010 by aragorn17
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent thriller.
Really enjoyed this book, and to my knowledge the first Johnathan Kellerman I've read. Most certainly I'd buy his books again, having read all his wife's books, thought I'd now... Read more
Published on 16 Aug 2010 by Mrs. P. M. Tremlett
5.0 out of 5 stars When the Bough Breaks
Excellent a good introduction to Alex Delaware. I have read a couple of later Alex Delaware novels and I am now starting from the beginning to read them all.
Published on 30 May 2010 by Angela Allison
5.0 out of 5 stars The best in the Kellerman family
This is the first book in the Alex Delaware series and an excellent introduction to Kellerman and his main characters Delaware, Milo Sturgis and Robin. Read more
Published on 9 Jun 2009 by BookBliss
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