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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 October 2016
I enjoyed most of the book. It's written in Jonathan Kellerman's usual smooth, compelling style with attention to the right details of characters and locations.

But Milo and Alex seemed unusually stupid, not realising that a certain character was obviously the next victim. I mean, it was really blatantly obvious. Yet a police lieutenant and a psychologist specialising in crime don't even consider the possibility? Implausible.

The ending also has plausibility problems. Who did it, that's plausible. The initial explanation why they did it was plausible too, and had the book ended with this, it would have been satisfactory. But then the perpetrators seemed to change their motivation which makes no sense at all. There's also huge helping of coincidence near the end, several times, and that disappointed me too.

I've read several of Jonathan Kellerman's later books recently, and it seems that while his premises, writing style and characterisation are great as always, he's lost his ability to write great conclusions, or maybe he just can no longer be bothered. That's my personal impression. Other readers may feel differently.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 11 February 2014
If you have read previous installments in this author's ongoing series about Alex Delaware then you know what to expect here - a well written, cleverly plotted suspense novel. In this book you get exactly that and it is a gripping read. Even if you haven't previously read any of the novels in this series I suspect that you will find it easy to follow as there are very few references to previous events and the book stands well on its own. I have read all the Alex Delaware books and this is definitely one of the best.

Our favourite psychologist is involved in giving expert evidence in court in a custody battle between two sisters. The story starts with one sister threatening to kill him only for her to end up dead herself very soon afterwards. Alex finds himself paired up with his old friend Milo Sturgis and not only in fear of his life but beginning to think that the assessment he has made about the case may have been very wrong.

The book concentrates on the case and Alex's reactions to events and has a reasonable amount of action. The author also uses the book to make some pertinent points about the American justice system and the way in which child custody cases are handled. The strong point of this series is the insight which the author via Alex gives you into people's thoughts and behaviour. The plot is very much driven by the characters and the puzzle isn't always to work out who has done it but to find out why.

This books is well paced, full of action and has some interesting twists. Its best feature is that it is a very readable story. I very much enjoyed reading it and thank the publishers for a free copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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on 8 September 2014
I always enjoy spending time with Alex and Milo. This one focuses a little more on Alex's clinical work, with gentle barbs at the US legal system - a well rounded, thoughtful and intelligent thriller with a very engaging protagonist once again demonstrates nuance, insight and the kind of comments about wider society that Travis McGee would nod in agreement with. Those two would get on famously.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 September 2016
When he’s not solving murders with his old friend Milo Sturgis, Alex Delaware is a child pyscologist working on a variety of cases, include court referrals. One such referral involves a custody battle between two sisters. Instructed by the court, with only the child’s best interests in mind, Alex advises the court to resolve the case in the favour of the child’s mother. Connie Sykes, the child’s aunt, is not used to loosing. She threats Alex, who believes this is an idle threat. When a former client, and highly placed gang member, prevents a hit being carried out Alex being carried out, he is shaken to the core. When Connie is murdered and her sister Cherie and the baby disappear, Alex realises there is more at stake than his life.

The Alex Delaware series is now well established with Jonathan Kellerman having written over 20 novels featuring the child psychologist and his detective friend. His fan base is secure which can be a double edged sword. There are those loyal readers who will read any novel featuring Alex and co, who are aware of his back story and so need little information about the characters. But that means that those new to the novels may sometimes feel a little left out.

I fall into the former category but I am not blind to the little foibles Kellerman indulges himself in. Alex has perfected a form of narrative brevity that is peculiar to him. I have mentioned it before in other reviews of Kellerman’s novels. In earlier books this was either not present or not apparent, but Alex has a way of speaking that makes him seemingly use as few words as possible. It is a character quirk that I do not mind, in fact it is part of what makes Alex, Alex, insomuch as Milo’s appetite is nearly a character in its own right. It can however become irksome and make Alex seem more conceited perhaps than he is.

Another thing I noticed that I hadn’t really been aware of before was that after all these years of reading Dr Delaware tales I have no image in my head as to what he looks like. Most readers for each book they read create their own image of a character, based on the authors descriptions. Everyone obviously imagines a different person, and there is often good natured outcry if a person cast for a film or TV adaptation doesn’t fit the reader image. For all of Kellerman’s description of Milo, Robin, peripheral characters etc, all I take away from this book is an idea of the clothes Alex wore during the story. I can’t recall any description of him, though it may have been given in earlier books. Little is given away about his family, I couldn’t even tell you his age. When I imagine him, I picture Kellerman himself. Now this didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book, but I could see a new reader to the series having issues regarding connecting with a character who can seem remote.

As for the story this time it was very engaging. I always find myself caught up in Alex and Milo’s world and enjoy getting lost in the pages of the story.

There were a variety of characters who were well drawn. Connie for example is particularly sinister, and the gang member who ‘aids’ Alex is particularly engaging. There is a palpable sense of urgency, given there is a missing child at stake. I had guessed the ending before the big reveal but there were enough twists and turns to ensure I was entertained along the way.

There tends to be only one Delaware book published each year so I try to wait as long as possible before I read so the wait for the next one isn’t too long. Luckily I managed to get a copy of the next book in the series, Motive, so I read that soon after I finished Killer. That way I didn’t have to say goodbye straight away to Alex and co.
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on 27 April 2014
another great read from a great writer thoroughly enjoyed it lots of twists and a surprise ending really good story
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on 3 March 2014
As a previous review pointed out: "Killer" is the 29th novel featuring psychologist sleuth Alex Delaware since he first appeared in 1985.

According to my reckoning that would make Dr D. about 65 years old by now, Robin about 63 and Milo about 74. Not that you'd guess because in this volume as in its forerunners there is no character development whatsoever and little reference to time frame so the action might just as well be set in Shangri-la.

I guessed whodunit early on but failed to be convinced they had sufficient motive and found it all fairly contrived. Milo's desperate assumption that Ree was the guilty party was equally questionable.

Robin, the ever ready love interest, continues to be a prize bore. She's been together with Dr D. off and on for 29 years now yet we're supposed to believe they can't keep their hands off each other? Meanwhile, acne-pitted Milo continues to raid the fridge at any given opportunity and dress like a slob so no chance of Dr D. Having a homomoment anytime soon.

If you have read previous instalments in this author's ongoing series you will know that he is hardly consistent. Killer is one of his middling efforts - unconvincing for the most part but an easy read.
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on 3 March 2014
Killer: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman is yet another exciting episode in the child psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware series in which Alex is consulted on a child custody battle between two diametrically opposite sisters - a fun loving, free-spirited single mom Cherie and her older sister Connie who is a successful pathologist. When Alex gives his opinion in favor of the real mother, the irate pathologist put out a hit on him setting off a chain of events which become too hot for Alex to handle alone.

Jonathan Kellerman brilliantly crafted a mystery thriller, building up the suspense and turning what initially appears to be a simple case of child custody suit into a full blooded story of kidnapping, murder and mayhem. It is a puzzling case that has stupefied Alex, his detective friend, Milo Sturgis, and the entire police department as the drama which started in the courtrooms shifted to the backstreets of LA.

Opinion on this 29th Alex Delaware series is likely to differ. As a long-running series the characters may become too familiar and stale for some readers, and the story in itself may not be able to sustain interest. However, many readers will relish the idea of Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis joining hands again to solve a puzzling mystery. I enjoyed the series and this is one of the best. The custody case and murder investigation is simply electrifying and keeps you guessing until the end. There is an element of suspense all throughout the book. Killer by Jonathan Kellerman is a tough to put down thriller which you will enjoy.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 November 2014
I have read this series since the beginning and I enjoy them. I don't think Killer is as tense or exciting as some of the earlier novels but it is still a good read which I devoured in 2 sittings. 2 sisters get caught up in a custody battle over one sister's child. Accusations fly but the mother gets to keep her child and the aunt is a poor loser who starts issuing threats to Alex and the judge. Then she is murdered and the mother and baby disappear. This book is a slow burner as the first third of the book is taken up by the custody battle but then with the murder we get to the meat and bones of it. It is cleverly plotted, although the justification for it all is a bit lame, and certainly keeps you on your toes trying to work it out. I like Alex and Milo as characters - they have a nicely honed routine going and are pleasant to read about. This is not one of Mr Kellerman's best offerings but is still a good read.
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on 27 March 2014
If you have followed the Alex Delaware/Milo Sturgis series from the start this will be familiar territory for you. A quick easy read with clipped prose and snappy dialogue as expected. Except in this case some of the dialogue is just plain off the mark - adding little to the story and just filling in pages.

In contrast Kellerman has a unique way of describing the city of L.A. Picturesque comes to mind: "...the sky was the color of sputum and the streets were strips of lint pied by inkblot shadows and animated by the lurch and stagger of impaired human beings." (Pg.251) I mention this only because there are not a lot of outstanding aspects to this book to mention.

Certainly there is a detective story with a twist or two and a satisfying ending, but for those familiar with Alex Delaware this one may feel like just more of the same. Dare I say Alex and Milo are getting bored with Mr. Kellermen OR is Mr. Kellerman getting bored with Alex and Milo??
For those new to the series, enjoy.
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on 31 May 2015
Kellerman's Killer maintains the very high standard of this series. Dr Delaware is directly threatened by a client and his nervous reaction and subsequent discovery that the threat was serious launches the reader into mother tremendous cat and mouse storyline. I thought this book was actually better than the previous one. So somehow Kellerman manages to stick to the well worked formula and yet delivers a high standard of dialogue, intrigue and continued back story delight.
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