Archive for crime

Kellerman Reread – Time Bomb

Jonathan Kellerman - Time BombYou’re living on borrowed time…

A sniper opens fire on a crowded Californian schoolyard but is killed before any children are harmed. When the sniper’s identity is revealed, a media frenzy erupts. Why would they want to take innocent lives?

Psychologist Alex Delaware is brought in to help the kids cope with the ordeal but is drawn into investigating the motives of the would-be assassin. Alex soon finds himself on a bloody and twisted trail into the world of political extremism from which there may be no way back…

Book five in my Kellerman Reread is also the fifth book in the Alex Delaware series. Time Bomb deals with what looks like a school sniping avant la lettre, but it is anything but. However, the more I read these books written in the Eighties the more I’m shocked by how little some of the issues have changed. Not just in terms of the larger issues such as racism and bigotry regarding sexual orientation, but also in things that I thought were typical of the twenty-first century, things such as privacy concerns due to new technology for example. I  keep coming back to the old adage “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  Continue reading »

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Kellerman Reread: Silent Partner

jonathankellerman-silentpartnerAt a party for a controversial Los Angeles sex therapist. Alex encounters a face from his own past—Sharon Ransom, an exquisite, alluring lover who left him abruptly more than a decade earlier. Sharon now hints that she desperately needs help, but Alex evades her. The next day she is dead, an apparent suicide.

Driven by guilt and sadness, Alex plunges into the maze of Sharon’s life—a journey that will take him through the pleasure palaces of California’s ultra-rich, into the dark closets of a family’s disturbing past, and finally into the alleyways of the mind, where childhood terrors still hold sway.

Welcome back to the fourth instalment of my Kellerman Reread. Alex Delaware returns after his last adventure in Over The Edge and life couldn’t be more different. He’s working more and his life is troubled. While Milo and Rick have reconciled, Alex and Robin are working through some big issues and consequently she’s once again largely gone from the narrative in a practical sense. Her absence and the question of whether it’ll be permanent looms over Alex and the narrative, especially due to Alex’s having to deal with this relationship from the past and the way he was with Sharon then and how he is with Robin now.  Continue reading »

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Kellerman Reread: Over the Edge

jonathankellerman-overtheedgeThe case against Jamey Cadmus seems open and shut. Found clutching a bloody knife at the scene of a horrifying double murder, he’s a prime suspect in a series of killings that have rocked Los Angeles. Even his lawyer won’t do more than plead diminished responsibility. No one – not the police, not the family, not the lawyers – wants Alex Delaware lifting up stones. But under those stones lies something unspeakable…

The third book in the Alex Delaware series is called Over The Edge and was originally published in 1987. While I enjoyed the story overall, I had a hard time getting into this one. This was partly due to the setup of the book and the slow start to the narrative, and partly due to the fact that in this book Kellerman’s descriptive writing kind of got out of hand. Yet once the book got going and I was sucked into the mystery of figuring out what had happened to Jamey, It became another exciting Delaware adventure.  Continue reading »

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Guest Post: Colette McBeth on Researching Forensics [Blog Tour]

colettemcbeth-thelifeileftbehindLast month I reviewed Colette McBeth’s second novel The Life I Left Behind, a gripping and exciting psychological thriller. I enjoyed it to bits and it made me want to read her debut novel Precious Thing as soon as I can fit it in. When I got the chance to be part of a blog tour for The Life I Left Behind I jumped on the chance to learn more about the way Colette goes about her research. Colette wrote the following wonderful guest post. I hope you enjoy it and that you pick up The Life I Left Behind, because it’s a brilliant read.  Continue reading »

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Kellerman Reread: Blood Test

jonathankellerman-bloodtestLittle Woody Swope was gravely ill. Treatment was possible, if painful. But his parents, members of a bizarre sect called the Touchers, threatened to take him out of hospital.

Then Woody was gone. So were the Swopes, leaving their motel suite heavily bloodstained.

Enter Alex Delaware, child psychologist, young, burned out and semi-retire. he and his LA cop friend Milo find a heap of suspects – an aging ex-hippy doctor; a back-country police chief; a male stripper; even Nona, Woody’s sister, a flame-haired Lolita with hate in her eyes and larceny in her soul.

But the truth was more bizarre than even Alex could have imagined… 

Blood Test is the second Alex Delaware book. It’s a far slimmer book than When the Bough Breaks, but the writing is more assured and the story certainly packs a punch. Set about a year after the events in the first book, Alex has recuperated from the broken jaw he sustained and has slowly started to get over the nightmares that haunted him in the aftermath of the events of When the Bough Breaks. He’s also been doing some consulting on the side, even though he’s officially still retired. And it is one of these consulting gigs that gets him involved in the main case of the book.  Continue reading »

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Thomas Sweterlitsch – Tomorrow and Tomorrow

thomassweterlitsch-tomorrowandtomorrowIt is ten years since the attack that reduced Pittsburgh to ashes. Today all that remains is the Archive: an interactive digital record of the city and its people.

John Dominic Blaxton is a survivor, one of the ‘lucky ones’ who escaped the blast. Crippled by the loss of his wife and unborn daughter, he spends his days immersed in the Archive with the ghosts of yesterday.

It is there he finds the digital record of a body: a woman, lying face down, half buried in mud. Who is she … and why is someone hacking into the system and deleting the record of her seemingly unremarkable life? This question will drag Dominic from the darkest corners of the past into a deadly and very present nightmare.

When I started Tomorrow and Tomorrow, I was a bit unsure as to what to expect. Was it a murder mystery? An SF novel? A dystopia? It turned out the book is all three. Thomas Sweterlitsch delivers an immersive and thrilling tale of a man whose barely patched-together existence comes crumbling down around him when he discovers a murder in the City Archive that its perpetrators would rather stay buried with the city it happened in. The narrative is fascinating, though at times a little hard to follow. But staying on its tracks paid off beautifully in the end.  Continue reading »

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Kellerman Reread: When the Bough Breaks

kellerman-jonathan-br-when-the-bough-breaks-6830-pSeven-year-old Melody Quinn is the only witness of a horrific double murder but she can’t or won’t talk about what she saw. Child psychologist Alex Delaware is brought in to try and get through to her and to the truth of what happened that night. But it soon becomes clear that Melody isn’t just traumatised by the murders.

Alex is only too aware that LA is a city which spawns ugliness. But is he prepared for the seemingly bottomless pit of perversion and violence that he’s about to uncover?

The first time I read Jonathan Kellerman’s When the Bough Breaks I was probably around fifteen and the last time somewhere around twenty-five. In between I’d reread the series – up to the point it was published at time of reread – several times, but from then till now it has been about a decade. So all in all the timing of this reread seems to be serendipitous to say the least, as I’m now thirty-five. As it’s a reread I’ll be focusing on the experience of rereading the book in addition to the usual review elements such as plot and characters.  Continue reading »

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Kellerman Reread: An Introduction

jonathankellermanJonathan Kellerman has been publishing books for over three decades. He is best known for his crime series featuring Dr Alex Delaware. Delaware is a child psychologist who is drawn into consulting for the LAPD due to his friendship with Detective Milo Sturgis. Delaware’s chosen profession is one that Kellerman is very familiar with as he himself is also a child psychologist and still holds a chair as Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology. The Alex Delaware series is long-running: the first one came out in 1985 – when I was six, people! – and the thirtieth, Motive, will be out later this year. Continue reading »

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Colette McBeth – The Life I Left Behind

colettemcbeth-thelifeileftbehindEveryone tells her she’s a survivor. No-one knows she’s dead inside.

She’s dead but she’s the only one who knows what really happened;

What your friends have said.

What the police missed.

Who attacked you.

So if you want the truth who else are you going to turn to?

Confession time: I’ve had a review copy of Colette McBeth’s Precious Thing sitting in my to read pile for over a year. And every time I picked it up and put it down because there were all of these SFF and historical fiction titles I wanted/needed to review first. However, when I visited Headline in October, they basically told me I had to read The Life I Left Behind, as it was just that good. And since I’d resolved to read more crime books this year – as I loved the ones I read last year so much, I thought McBeth’s second might be a good title to start 2015 with. It was, because The Life I Left Behind was an enthralling read, one I just couldn’t put down and which kept me awake long after I turned off the lights.  Continue reading »

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Anticipated Books (Winter-Spring) 2015: YA April-June

2015Welcome to the next post in my Anticipated Books series for the first half of 2015. YA books have become a steady part of my reading diet. Some of my favourite authors are writing for this age group and there are just so many great titles out there. Consequently, I’ve had to spread my YA picks over three posts. This is the second one. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them!   Continue reading »

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