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3.5/5
Guilt is the 28th (!) entry in Jonathan Kellerman's long running Dr. Alex Delaware series. I've been following this series for many years, but the last few books have fallen short for me. But, old habits are hard to break, so I was willing to see what was in store with this latest offering.

Alex is a psychologist who consults with the LAPD - specifically with Homicide Detective Milo Sturgis. "Most homicides are mundane and on the way to clearance within a day or two. Milo sometimes calls me on 'the interesting ones.'" Milo is an outsider within the ranks, but he has one of the highest clearance ranks in the department. Together this pair make an interesting investigative duo, with each bringing different strengths and outlooks to the cases.

In Guilt, a new homeowner discovers a metal box buried in the backyard. But, the contents are unexpected - they're the bones of a baby. The remains are determined to be sixty years old, but of course must be investigated. Then a young woman is found dead in a nearby park with another set of infant bones close by - and this time they're more recent.

Kellerman lets us follow along as Alex and Milo scour the past and pursue the present in search of answers. Alex takes the lead role in Guilt, striking out on his own many times, using his own connections and pursuing threads he believes will lead to answers. I did find sone leaps to leads rather circumstantial and a bit hard to buy, and the title appears to have been drawn from a note that is never fully explained.

Kellerman is a psychologist himself and the character of Alex is especially well developed because of this background. His conversations and mannerisms ring true. In Guilt, Alex practices more counselling than he has in the last few outings. Milo still remains my favourite character, but he takes more a backseat in Guilt. Blanche the bulldog does seem to steal a lot of scenes as well.

Reading the latest Jonathan Kellerman is like slipping on a favourite pair of slippers - they're comfortable and you know how they'll fit. Guilt was a good read to keep me entertained on a recent train trip.
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on 19 May 2014
I received a copy of this book from the publishers as part of this blog tour but had already read it previously. My review is my honest opinion of the book.

I have to start out by saying I'm a huge fan of Jonathan Kellerman and his Alex Delaware novels. I've read all of his books including the stand alone novels and have his new novel Killer on my to read list. I love to be welcomed back to the world of Alex, Milo and co and look forward to a new book with relish.

Guilt has the components of any Alex Delaware novel, a gruesome murder, intrigue and evil. The story opens with the discovery of the bones of an infant in the garden of a large house in a prosperous district. Alex is called to help Milo investigate. Further remains are found a short time after, but these remains are more recent. Soon Alex and Milo are on the hunt for the monster who has committed the crimes.

There are the usual twists and turns with this novel, Alex stumbling upon clues and coming across information that leads him to heartbreak from the past and introduces him to the strange world of a Hollywood superstar couple.

This book is what I've come to expect from a Delaware mystery. Alex works closely with his friend Milo aided by his long term girlfriend, Robin. Jonathan Kellerman's style of staccato speech for Alex is evident in Guilt, and seems to be becoming more of a trait.

You don't have to read the other Delaware novels before this one as each can be read as a stand alone novel. The back story of Alex and his girlfriend Robin, and his developed relationship with Milo that is created in the previous books is explained at some point in each subsequent novel.

I enjoyed Guilt in the same way I always enjoy a Jonathan Kellerman novel and I look forward to reading the latest installment, Killer.
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on 1 March 2013
Jonathan Kellerman is back on form! I didn't like his previous book, Victims, and didn't finish it - a first for his books. I like the occasional cross over of a character from his wife, Faye Kellerman's, Decker/Lazarus books. Long may they last.
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on 15 February 2013
Gripping from start to finish, a powerful story with many twists and turns. I was drawn in and was surprised by the ending.
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on 18 March 2013
I have to say, the last two of Kellerman's books were fine, serviceable but somewhat pedestrian in terms of plot and where it took the characters.

Guilt is a vast improvement on almost every level. It's certainly one of the more gruesome Alex Delaware tales for a long time, and not just in terms of gore, there's a real undercurrent of nastiness running through this one. Which can be a bad thing, but with this, it helps the mood, to horrify the reader, really makes you want to keep reading.

The problems are; Having read all of these books, you can often see where the plot is going long before Alex or Milo do, and these characters really haven't been truly taken out of their comfort zones for years. If I were Kellerman, I'd plan something big for the next book, really shake up the status quo. Otherwise it runs the risk of boring the reader, and I found that to be true of the previous two books.

Also, when we reach the climax, the bad guy in this story is so removed from the characters, while his unpleasant crimes certainly have impact, the character is thinly drawn. Especially for what could have been a decent psychological portrayal of the ruination of fame and money.

SO better than the last two in the series, but not a touch on the older books. These characters, Alex and Milo, have lost their edge and something drastic needs to happen to breath some life back into them.
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"When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed." -- 2 Kings 4:32 (NKJV)

A dead child arouses our emotions in ways that are hard to control. Guilt starts with finding a baby's remains, an event that ties into a string of events that only a highly imaginative writer might have connected in a reasonably effective way. I found the plot in Guilt to be one of the more surprising and interesting ones (up until quite near the end) that I have read in some time. It was a real roller coaster ride for me.

The detection shifts in Guilt to Alex Delaware taking on the unaccustomed role of playing detective in the ways that the police normally do, but with a psychologist's flair. I found the change to be interesting and more than mildly amusing. It was a much better side of Alex Delaware than having him drive around with Milo Sturgis and report on his eating, a common role until the last two books in the series.

I felt that the ultimate crime and story stretched a bit too far to be credible. Consequently, at the end I felt as if I were reading the answer to a brain-teaser rather than feeling fully pulled into the story. But it's definitely a stylish, if gross, brain-teaser.

In the book's first half you'll find some marvelous plot elements and elegant developments of the story line. Enjoy them!
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on 15 February 2013
Another fantastic read with Alex and Milo. Great story. And perhaps a gentler storyline than other books but certainly no less compelling
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on 27 February 2013
Normally when I am reading a kellerman book I'm enticed by Alex and Milo in the first few pages this time it took me a lot longer. The story line was good but not as exciting as previous books. Maybe it's just me and my love for action. I'm not sure i will leave you to make your own decision. Though in complete a Jonathan Kellerman book is always worth a read.
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on 10 June 2016
This book, the 28th in the Alex Delaware Series, was an okay read, if a little daft in places (it stretches credibility too).

It sees a baby's body discovered in the back garden of a fixer upper, followed by another (more recent) baby's body, and a former nanny, who dropped off the face of the Earth. Delaware gets sucked into the case, and investigates what's going on, with his police colleague, Milo Sturgis. While doing so we watch his dealings with the LA press, and the system that supports actors, and actresses in Hollywood/Beverley Hills.

The book wasn't a bad read, it just felt a little daft, and hard to believe in the way it deals with thespians. Throughout the book I found myself thinking "Oh come on, I don't believe that... and I don't believe that, that, or that either."
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 September 2013
A storm uncovers a box with a baby's skeleton in it and a few days later another baby skeleton and a dead woman are found in a nearby park. Alex and Milo are stumped for answers for most of the book and have some whacky solutions along the way. This is a long standing series but you could come to this book as a new reader and still not miss much as the gaps are filled in an unobtrusive way. There is maybe not much added to the characters in this book as they are extremely well developed but sometimes I wish Alex would be a little less supportive and a bit more judgemental with some of the characters he meets as self absorbed seems a bit of an understatement. I felt there could have been a bit more to the plot but it was compulsive and I read it in 2 goes. Worth a read.
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