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I may be biased, because I think Kellerman is one of the better writers around at the moment. And, actually, has been for the past decade or so. I also think Alex Delaware is a wonderful, wonderful character.

He's sardonic, and unflappable: he is the epitome of the "strong, silent type". What's fascinating with the Delaware series is we get to see what goes on inside the head of the strong silent type. Not something we get to see an awful lot. These people are often a mystery... are they as still on the inside as they appear? Do they have self-doubt like the rest of us? Each new book gives us another, thus deeper, insight into the mind of someone like that.

Kellerman routinely chucks in more red herrings than you can shake a stick at. (Although, if you're shaking sticks at fish, you're mean.) Sometimes it's easier than others to cut through the noise (as tuneful as it is) and single out whodunnit. Gone is one of them... to an extent. Some things you may guess; others you won't.

Something common to every single Delaware book is the way in which the layers are peeled back; one after the other, gradually taking the reader into an increasingly confusing world where you can't really see the wood for the trees. It keeps you turning the pages loyally, and it causes you to scratch your head more than once. These are finely plotted, well-thought out pieces of writing: detailed, and intricate.

Gone is perhaps less dark than some of his others, but it's no poorer for that. Despite having written as many as he has, and despite churning them out as quickly as he does, I don't think he sacrifices any of the quality. He is just a genuinely good writer who absolutely knows his business - both literary and psychologically.

I always liked Robin, and found their relationship a nice counterpoint to the brutality - much preferred her to the woeful Allison - so having her back was great. I can appreciate, however, that not liking her as a character would make her reappearance unwanted. That's a fairly arbitrary point to review, though, as it all depends on how you personally feel.

Whether you like her or not doesn't affect the quality of the writing which, as I said, is always good. No Kellerman book ever has pointless filler, and he always locks it up nice and tight.

All in all, a fab book. Not mind-blowing, no, but certainly better than a good 90% of what's available these days and absolutely worth a read.
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on 26 October 2006
GONE is the twentieth outing of the psychologist Alex Delaware, who is Kellerman's main series character along with girlfriend, Robin, and gay LAPD detective Milo Sturgis. There are advantages and disadvantages to this longevity. On the plus side readers know what to expect and are happy to pick up the characters where they left off. The disadvantage is that the formula can grew stale and it gets harder to inject a note of originality. However Kellerman does strike a fresh note: in GONE the background of aspiring actors trying to break into Hollywood and the phony values that they buy into is convincing and interesting.
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on 25 June 2007
Another workmanlike piece from Kellerman. Not one of his best but not one of his worst either. You can never tell with this author whether it will be a gem or a dud, unfortunately. He's not exactly consistant...

But, as I say, it's crafted and substantial. I did guess whodunnit fairly early on and thought some of the potential suspects were a bit weak but at least it didn't feel like padding.

Worst thing about the book was the return (with a vengeance) of long-time girlfriend/partner, Robin (yawn). Delaware's private/love life has always been the most dreary aspect of this series. Well, that and the dog and the fish! And every time Milo is introduced in any of the many, many novels we get the same old acne-pitted/white sideburns description. Like, for goodnesssake, change the record! The odd thing is that, overall, there never feels like there's any significant development or growth in the central characters over the course of the series. It's like all the books exist within the same time and space.

Kellerman is clearly a professional writer. This is his career and how he makes his living. He's got his formula and sometimes he gets the balance right. This one's okay. Not great. Just okay.
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VINE VOICEon 5 August 2006
I enjoyed this book. It's the first Alex Delaware story I'd read and I wasn't disappointed. I thought initially that, with several previous novels in the system, it may have been wiser to read those first. Not at all. The author keeps the storyline moving along with excellent dialogue and a well-constructed investigation without making the reader feel out of the loop with the background and history of his main characters. It's a book that needs to be read word for word otherwise you run the risk of missing something - unlike some recently released supposedly best-sellers! The killings are understated at first but the investigation uncovers a more violent and sickening trail. If the reader can fathom out whodunnit, I'd be surprised if he/she will work out why! Really engrossing, a complex story and well worth the money. My only criticism which isn't really worth the loss of one star is the general impression that American authors seem to need pets in the lives of their heroes - as though they're not complete without some strange animal in the household. Wierd.
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on 2 December 2007
"Gone," is the most recent paperback book by Jonathan Kellerman and stars his two main charecters, Milo Sturgis, gay detective inspector, and Alex Delaware, straight psychologist. At the start of this book a naive (and slightly dim-witted) pair of wannabe actors stage their own kidnapping to get attention from the world's media (and hopefully some juicy roles). They do this because they are sick of waiting tables, having decamped to Hollywood from the plane states to act.

When, a month after the incident, the girl turns up dead and the guy disappears, Milo Sturgis is called in to solve the case (and goes to his favorite psychologist-cum-side-kick Alex Delaware for advice about their behavior). The two then work together to solve the case.

The book is a really easy read. It rattles along at a fair old pace. Kellerman really knows how to tell a story, but I got a little irritated by the way he portrays struggling actors. I don't expect them all to be Lawrence Olivier (or even a regular on General Hospital), but I got a little irritated with quite how shallowly they're portrayed. They're presented as "beautiful people" types with little (if any) curiosity about the world around them. I think he could have done better than the cardboard cut out style characterization he achieved for some of this secondary characters.

On an unrelated note, if this is the first book you're thinking about reading by Kellerman, I should warn you that you're going to have to suspend your disbelief pretty quickly. As an example, one of the things I've never understood about the series is quite how Sturgis is allowed to bring Delaware in so regularly. He (Delaware) tends to go at it like a bull in a china shop sometimes, gets himself in hot water a lot and blurs the line between the police and civilians. In real life he wouldn't be allowed to do the things he does with impunity here.
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on 9 October 2006
Another superb book from the master of them all. Kellerman adds yet another thumper to his collection. The plot in this one seems mild but builds to a fantastic conclusion, new twists come at you at an alarming rate and you have to be careful to make sure that you pick them all up.

Buy this - it's just a great book (and you dont need to have read his previous ones - although I know you will after this one !!)
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on 2 June 2014
A good story, just wanted to keep picking up the story to see how it ended. I always enjoy Jonathan Kellerman. I enjoy the continuation of the story line with the main characters.
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on 14 October 2013
Always liked JK, this book started off slowly, but persevered and thoroughly enjoyed. It helps knowing L.A. so well
have a sister there so I visit often.
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on 14 January 2013
Received in plenty of time and well packaged. Was ordered as a present so I can give no personal knowledge of it, but it was well received.
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on 29 September 2013
I always enjoy Kellerman's books, you don't need to read in sequence, always kept guessing to near the end of the book , :-)
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