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on 1 May 2011
This was a very enjoyable read proving that Kellerman is right on form. The book is another sucessful pairing of Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware we the two investigate the death of a young woman with a mysterious past. The book is very unpredictable and keeps you guessing until the end. The book is well written and nicely paced with clues appearing the whole way through the book and various small side plots that keep you entertained.
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on 21 August 2017
Kellerman,s books always a good read, hard to put down.
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on 3 March 2015
Great
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on 8 April 2011
I've been reading Kellerman and his Delaware psycho-thrillers for about 20 years now, and haven't tired yet. Of course, he's had his ups and downs, some stories being better than others, and lately losing some luster - but this one is excellent.

The author is well into his third decade of writing (i.e, check his Deception,Compulsion,The Conspiracy Club,The Butcher's Theatre, et al.), and while I always find a comfortable familiarity with each of his books, I'm also pleased to see that he avoids the formulaic plotting that a lesser talent would have succumbed to by this point - apart from his fixation on meticulously listing what everyone's wearing as soon as they enter the scene (there must be a psychological explanation for this... OCD? eh, eh, eh).

So, anyway, MYSTERY is one of Kellerman's best works to date, with his two main characters - consultant psychologist Delaware and LAPD Detective Sturgis - meeting and greeting all types during the course of a difficult investigation into the gruesome murder (face blown off and other diverse mutilations) of a girl part of an online dating circuit. The pair follow a trail of secrets and deception in a plot that truly keeps you on your toes, with all the cyberspace ingredients so dramatically current in the area of online adult dating and depressing sex commerce.

Delaware ultimately comes through in a denouement where the author quietly and quickly makes a point that we should all take with us, whether we have mysteries to solve or not.

Ok, ok, I'm a Kellerman aficionado and may be slightly biased but, hey, so kill me for it!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 November 2015
This was my first meeting with the child psychologist Alex Delaware, his partner, Robin Castagna [who hardly features], and the Los Angeles homicide detective Milo Sturgis, courtesy of a charity shop purchase. I was primarily attracted by the title.

I found it quite easy to understand the relationships between the main characters despite this being the 26th book in the series. This would mean that on his first appearance, Sturgis, a gay policeman, must have been somewhat ground-breaking.

The book opens with Delaware and Castagna visiting a bar at the soon-to-be- demolished Fauborg Hotel where they have spent many a good evening. However, almost everything has been removed and the old staff have left. In the midst of a rather depressing evening their attention is drawn to a glamorous young woman who is obviously waiting for someone to arrive.

A few days later Milo, a regular visitor the couple’s apartment, arrives after spending the night at a murder site – the victim being shot in the face. When he describes the body, Delaware recognises the clothing and identifies the body as that of the mysterious young woman. In a rather unconvincing manner, Milo then involves Delaware informally in the investigation – surely something that would be challenged at any subsequent trial? This introduction gets the investigation going but at the price of the reader’s credibility.

As the story progresses we learn that the young woman might be called Mystery and an anonymous caller suggests that she is involved in a select on-line dating agency in which young women and matched with ‘sugar daddies’. The agency is operated by the two Agajanian sisters who are amongst the most unconvincing of a caste of two-dimensional figures. These include the sex-sodden family of a billionaire associated with Mystery and, in a somewhat interesting but largely separate story, an ex-patient of Delaware’s who is now dying with cancer and worries about her 6-year old son. The conversations between psychiatrist, patient and son were the most credible in the book – unsurprisingly, given the background of the author.

The book struck me a formulaic – no doubt justified by the author’s success since his first Delaware/Sturgis book was published in 1985, annually thereafter. I will assume that Kellerman has already described the central characters of this book so that he feels little more needs to be done. Elsewhere characterisation seems to be little more than listing clothing, behaviour and attitude. There is little here for the brain to mull over.

One of the great joys of reading series books by the most interesting crime writers is to see the central character and those around him ageing, and to follow their professional and personal relationships. Here there is nothing to identify the age of the characters, whilst Delaware and his partner are not explored. The world of near-pornography at the centre of the story is presumably sanitised for an American audience.

Kellerman’s loyal readers will enjoy this book and but I found it passable but no more than that.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 August 2014
An OK mystery about the murder of a call girl and her involvement with a sugar daddy with themes relating to family secrets and conspicuous wealth thrown in for good measure all set in LA. When the call girl is first noticed by Clinical Psychologist Alex Delaware in a hotel on its closing night then turns up with her face blown off Alex suspects that it's not a simple murder but something altogether more involved and together with Milo Sturgis , a lieutenant in the LAPD , they set out to solve the case. Sounds good but it's not a book you can't put down rather one you read if you've got a spare half hour then pick it up later. This is the second book I've read by this author but I won't worry if I don't read any more as I find his style a bit plodding.
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on 1 October 2011
I agree with the other reviewers in that this is a good, if not great, Alex and Milo story. Always fun to catch up with them. I loved the idea of Milo considering Facial dermabrasion even if he doesn't mean it. Don't! You're lovely just as you are!
Anyway, worth mentioning that the Kindle version has double spacing between paragraphs. Given the quite small screen size on a Kindle this means I am paging more than I expect to and it kind of ruins the illusion that I am still reading a book.
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on 13 January 2016
After really getting absorbed in one of Kellerman's earlier novels after paying just 50p for a used copy, I had hoped to be similarly entertained by this brand new one, after someone kindly bought it for me,

Alex Delaware sees a beautiful, lonely woman in one of his old haunts and when a police detective Mike Sturgis later shows him a photo of the same girl violently murdered, he wants to learn more.And so he starts digging into the underbelly of dating agencies and the like in LA with whom Mystery, the name given to our Jane Doe in this novel, is known.

All well and good and perhaps, this novel will appeal more to those who can relate to this kind of world. Somehow, however, I just could not get into this novel and found it somewhat forgettable. That might be because of the pared-down dialogue, so that some of what takes place apparently needs to be second-guessed.

It's ok. However I have read other novels of his I have found to be far more engaging.
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on 20 October 2014
This is quite a good read. The mystery element is well-developed and had me thinking. So Kellerman had me invested early and didn't detour with his writing. But it would be too much to say this was an outstanding mystery as it sort if goes where a lot of others before it have gone.

It was my first time with the pairing of the gay cop, Milo, with the psychologist who seems to get involved in the cases Milo is working on without having an official role. This unusual set-up made the plot reasonably interesting, but Kellerman doesn't otherwise do a great deal with his characterisations.

I wasn't knocked out by this book, but it was very readable and will have me going back for more by the author. 7/10
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on 27 April 2013
I quite enjoyed this , but, and this seems to apply to a great swathe of very successful, and in some ways quite enjoyable American crime fiction,What chance would even the most diabolical criminals have against the oh so gifted, smart, insightful, sharpshooting, commando trained, one dimensional, marvel comic style super heros? Lee Childs, Harlan Cohban, Kellerman, stop writing film or TV series scripts and put your talents to better, more challenging uses
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