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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2004
I thought that I was not going to enjoy this novel very much because of the change in main character. I haven't read all the Delaware novels yet, but I enjoyed enormously those I have read. In the Conspiracy Club Kellerman sticks to what has made him a best-selling author...a psychologist involved in a mystery as main character.
After his girlfriend is murdered in a gruesome manner, Dr. Jeremy Carrier is considered the main suspect by the police. As other girls are murdered this suspicion intensifies and Jeremy finds himself looking for the killer with the help of a stranger that sends anonymous messages and clues to him through the hospital mail. The clues started coming after he was invited to a "secret" dinner by one of the doctors on staff, Dr. Chess. In this dinner Jeremy met four very intriguing elderly people that piqued his curiosity and whose backgrounds are part of the solution to the mystery.
The novel is very well written and keeps you on edge, presenting a considerable variety of suspects and a very interesting plot. I couldn't put it down!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2008
Psychologist Jeremy Carrier's life fell apart when the love of his life was brutally murdered and though six months have gone by, he is still shattered by her death, and the fact that he was a suspect in his girlfriend's murder made his ordeal infinitely worse.

Now Homicide detective Bob Doresh is back at the hospital with more questions. A forty-five year old prostitute named Tyrene Mazursky has been murdered in the same fashion and Doresh wants to know if Jeremy has an alibi. Then another prostitute is murdered.

Dr. Arthur Chess, sort of a professor emeritus at the hospital where Jeremy works, befriends him and invites him to a get together with several other oldsters who have irregular meetings to discuss whatever catches their fancy and now it looks like conspiracy, serial killers and unsolved murders have caught their interest.

Slowly Chess feeds Jeremy clues as he feels the pressure of the police closing in and the urgency of having to solve the murder before the killer strikes again or the police arrest him and throw away the key.

Kellerman has introduced a new protagonist and though he's not the Alex Delaware we've come to know and love, I suspect we'll be seen more of Dr. Carrier in the next couple of years and I for one wouldn't mind that at all.

Review submitted by Captain Katie Osborne
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2007
Sorry if my title sounds sexist but I do like crime but this one just wasn't one for me. It was my first dip into his work and although it won't be the last, I won't rush out for any more. I found the vocabulary choices quite inappropriate at times and high class words stood out like a sore thumb. I didn't feel it lived up to the blurb.

Dr Jeremy Carrier did not appeal to me as a character at all. The only one who did was Dr Arthur Chess. Carrier often has an inner dialogue which became quite irritating. The plot, although formulaic, did keep me reading. Basically, Carrier is given clues to a series of murders carried out in the same gruesom fashipn as his girlfriend's. I thought they must have been together for a long time but it was only a matter of months.

With characters who were difficult to bond with, I don't really know who this book would appeal to. If you want to read a book whilst on a plance then this would be it. If you're looking for something deep and meaningful look elsewhere.

I do have others of his at home to read but I'm afraid they'll be pushed to the back of my tbr pile!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2011
A friend of mine is a massive JK fan and recommended that I tried his stories. Its my own fault that I chose one of his stand alone novels to begin with, as I have been reliably informed that the Alex Delaware novels are the best of his work.

The Conspiracy club was a reasonable read, but it doesn't really get going until about two thirds of the way into the story. I always feel a bit short changed when the narrative is obviously high quality but the depth of the story doesn't back it up. The plot itself could have been developed into something really interesting, There is enough of a premise to have taken this in a different direction and expand it into a gripping thriller.

For me the big problem was the protagonist, "Dr Jeremy carrier". He comes across as a bit characterless and, dare I say it, weak. Of almost equally troubling status was the plot device of someone drip feeding him clues as to solving the mystery. Its one of those occasions where you just cannot understand why the person who knows what's going on doesn't just go up to Dr Carrier and say "Guess what, I know what really happened etc." It was obviously done to fill out the story. The ending itself was a bit rushed and contrived, giving a resolution of events which wrapped things up but didn't feel particularly convincing.

All things considered, it was an OK read and I am perfectly prepared to read one of JK's Alex Delaware stories next and see if that confirms my friends faith in his skills as a writer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It seems strange reading a Jonathan Kellerman which does not involve Alex Delaware particularly since our new hero, Jeremy Carrier, is also a psychologist. Jeremy starts off as a damaged character, whose close partner, Jocelyn was abducted, murdered and mutilated a few months earlier. An added complication is that the police seem to regard him as the main suspect in that killing.

The story develops into a serial killer scenario which is almost a genre in its own right these days with a new offering appearing almost every week it seems. However, as one would expect from Kellerman, this story has an original approach and is told in a very stylish way. The author sets his scenes well and the descriptive passages are very effective. I recently read the first Alex Delaware book, When the Bough Breaks, and, although a good read, that leant a little too much towards description and not quite enough to plot development. However, Kellerman has learned his craft since then and gets the balance about right here in my opinion.

The main character, Jeremy, clearly develops as the story unfolds. Initially he is very introverted, avoiding all company and is apparently traumatized by his loss. However, a pathologist, Dr Arthur Chess, goes out of his way to befriend him and introduces him to a group of like minded people who go under the acronym CCC. He acquires a new partner and a significant new interest in tracking the serial killer and in finding out more about CCC.

I enjoyed this book immensely as it is what Jonathan Kellerman does very well ie Excellent storytelling coupled with an intelligent writing style. Not quite a page turner, but an interesting plot which starts out fairly slowly and gradually builds without losing momentum. I note this book was written as long ago as 2003 and I would have expected Jeremy Cartier and Dr Chess, who are both interesting characters, to have reappeared subsequently in the author's writing, but sadly this has not occurred.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 27 June 2004
This is a very readable departure from the highly lucrative Alex Delaware series.
The main protagonist is - naturally - a psychologist who, lo and behold, is a bit buttoned down, fairly irresitable to women and emotionally distant. You could see John Cusack or Clive Owen in the film.
His girlfriend has been brutally slain by a ripper-type killer and he is eased into the CCC - a group of old codgers who may be trying to solve the crime or maybe involved in its perpetration. It's the kind of group that only exists in crime thrillers. He has to piece it all together and save his pretty new doctor girlfriend from a similar fate.
It's strengths are the hospital setting - which grounds the thing nicely - and its pacing, which is just about perfect. Not too revelatory early on, drawing you in to various sub-plots, then finishing neatly. Not too many wildly improbably twists that negate all the careful character study of the late 350 pages (are you listening Harlan Coben ???)
Weaknesses are the familiarity of the set-up ('The Analyst' by John Katzenbach is pretty similar - psychologist in peril with games-playing opponent as are the Delaware books, though that lode seems played out if the fairly risible 'The Murder Book' is anything to go by)and the inevitably occassional daft plotting. At the end, it is pretty clear to the reader that the hero was not given the run-around because it helped him get to the truth, but so Kellermann could get a full length book out of a relatively thin story.
The funniest bits for a British reader were the cuttings from 'British tabloids' on a Kent murder. Mr Kellermann is clearly not very familiar with the prose style of the Sun or Mirror.
Quibbles really. What do you want from a crime novel? Diverting puzzles, good writing, engaging read. This book delivers on all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2006
A rather plain book and the writing is not all that inspirational. However, it has a good amount of pace and the reader does tend to wonder what is going on and how things will all unfold. Kellerman does deliver a twist, although it is very much of the "give me a break" variety. I am not sure of the relevance of The Conspiracy Club itself except as the vehicle to provide the lead character with the clues to move forward. One wonders, however, why members of the club just didn't go the the police in the first place to end the killing spree which is the subject of the story. This is not a book which will keep the masses talking but it is one which does keep your attention to the end.
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on 31 August 2013
It's an unusual book and the plot is different. I did read it to the end - but it was a bit slow moving at times. I'm a bit at odds as to what to say about it. Unlike other reviewers I didn't like the character of Dr Chess, found him creepy. I almost gave it a 4 for the scenes where Jeremy was working with his patients in the hospital as it rounded his character out and made him more likeable.

I think what I found a bit unrealistic was that someone who the police have already identified as a person of interest in his girlfriend's murder would accept all the anonymous and weird articles he was being sent and not report it to them.

Surely any sane person might think that the strange goings on with Dr Chess and his buddies and the notes left for him that someone might be trying to frame him?

I didn't get why he wouldn't have reported it. In fact the character of Jeremy seems to go out of his way to make himself look MORE suspicious (won't give any more of the plot away).

So it's an ok book. But I wouldn't read it again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I've never read Kellerman before. I must say that I was not impressed with what I have now read in this book. I will try the Alex Delaware series to provide a different view.
I found that this was mildly engaging as a book. The lead characters were not particularly engaging. The plot seemed to be "crime writers plots no. 55". Having heard about Kellerman's writing this is what disappointed most.
The plot twists seem to be there as loose excuses to tie-up the story. It is written more as a first-person story but this seems to let things down. There is little character development and this holds the story back. There are also events that just seem to be there to show how clever the writer is. Its bad news for us as it fails to link into the story in a coherent way.
One for fans only I think.
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on 1 October 2013
I guess I enjoyed this book. Different author to my usual choice. I have not read any books by this author before. I have to be honest and say that I only purchased this book because of the special price offer. I am a sucker for special offers, who isn't in this economical time. Whilst I found the book to be quite a good read I have my favourite writers which excite me a lot more and would probably only make further purchases if other titles were on special offer.
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