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Flesh and Blood
Cover of Flesh and Blood
Flesh and Blood
Alex Delaware Series, Book 15
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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Victims.
Perennial bestseller and acknowledged master of the psychological thriller, Jonathan Kellerman has created a riveting and memorable Alex Delaware novel about a troubled and elusive young woman whose brutal murder forces the brilliant psychologist-detective to confront his own fallibility.
Lauren Teague is a beautiful, defiant, borderline-delinquent teenager when her parents bring her to Alex Delaware's office. But for all Alex's skill and effort, Lauren resists—angrily, provocatively. Reluctantly, the psychologist chalks Lauren up as one of the inevitable failures of a challenging profession. But years later, when Alex encounters Lauren as a stag party's featured entertainment, both doctor and patient are sticken with shame. And the ultimate horror takes place when, soon after, Lauren's brutalized corpse is found dumped in an alley. Alex disregards the advice of his trusted friend, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, and jeopardizes his relationship with longtime lover, Robin Castagna, in order to pursue Lauren's murderer. As he investigates his young patient's troubled past, Alex enters the shadowy worlds of fringe psychological experimentation and the sex industry, and then into mortal danger when lust and big money collide in Southern California.
Jonathan Kellerman's L.A. is evil, seductive, and unforgiving, and Flesh and Blood is mind-opening in its drama of a driven man's personal quest, breathtaking in its ingenious plot, filled with unforgettable characters, and topped off by a terrifying climax. This is suspense fiction at its finest.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Victims.
Perennial bestseller and acknowledged master of the psychological thriller, Jonathan Kellerman has created a riveting and memorable Alex Delaware novel about a troubled and elusive young woman whose brutal murder forces the brilliant psychologist-detective to confront his own fallibility.
Lauren Teague is a beautiful, defiant, borderline-delinquent teenager when her parents bring her to Alex Delaware's office. But for all Alex's skill and effort, Lauren resists—angrily, provocatively. Reluctantly, the psychologist chalks Lauren up as one of the inevitable failures of a challenging profession. But years later, when Alex encounters Lauren as a stag party's featured entertainment, both doctor and patient are sticken with shame. And the ultimate horror takes place when, soon after, Lauren's brutalized corpse is found dumped in an alley. Alex disregards the advice of his trusted friend, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, and jeopardizes his relationship with longtime lover, Robin Castagna, in order to pursue Lauren's murderer. As he investigates his young patient's troubled past, Alex enters the shadowy worlds of fringe psychological experimentation and the sex industry, and then into mortal danger when lust and big money collide in Southern California.
Jonathan Kellerman's L.A. is evil, seductive, and unforgiving, and Flesh and Blood is mind-opening in its drama of a driven man's personal quest, breathtaking in its ingenious plot, filled with unforgettable characters, and topped off by a terrifying climax. This is suspense fiction at its finest.
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter 1 Chapter 1

    Sad truth: Had she been just a patient, I probably wouldn’t have remembered her.

    All those years listening, so many faces. There was a time I recalled every one of them. Forgetting comes with experience. It doesn’t bother me as much as it used to.

    Her mother phoned my service on a Saturday morning soon after New Year’s.

    “A Mrs. Jane Abbot,” said the operator. “She says her daughter’s an old patient. Lauren Teague.”

    Jane Abbot’s name meant nothing to me, but Lauren Teague sparked an uneasy nostalgia. It was an 818 number, somewhere in the Valley. When I’d known the family they’d lived in West L.A. I searched my old case files before returning the call.

    Teague, Lauren Lee. Intake date, ten years ago, the tail end of my Wilshire Boulevard practice. Shortly after, I cashed in some real estate profits, tried to drop out, met a beautiful woman, became friends with a sad, brilliant detective, learned more than I wanted to know about bad things. Since then I’d avoided the commitment of long-term therapy cases, stuck to court consults and forensic work, the kinds of puzzles that removed me from the confines of my office.

    Lauren had been fifteen at referral. Thin file: one history-taking meeting with the parents followed by two sessions with the girl. Then a missed appointment, no explanation. The next day the father left a message canceling any future treatment. Unpaid balance for the final session; I’d made a halfhearted effort to collect, then written it off.

    When old patients get in touch it’s usually because they’re doing great and want to brag, or exactly the opposite. Either way they tend to be people with whom I’ve connected. Lauren Teague didn’t qualify. Far from it. If anything, I was the last person she’d want to see. Why was her mother contacting me now?

    Presenting problems: poor school achiev., noncompliance at home. Clin. impressions: fath. angry; moth. possib. deprssd. Tension bet moth and father—marital strss? Parents agree re: Lauren’s behavior as the prim. prob. Uneventful birth hx, only child, no sig. health probs., contact pediatric M.D. to verify. School: per Mom: “Lauren’s always been smart.” “Used to love to read, now hates it.” B2 aver. till last year, then “change of attitude,” new friends—“bums” (fath), some truancy, C’s and D’s. Basic mood is “sullen.” “No communic.” Parents try to talk, get no resp. Suspect drug use.

    As I leafed through the file, Jane and Lyle Teague’s faces came into semifocus. She, thin, blond, edgy, a former flight attendant, now a “full-time mom.” A heavy smoker—forty-five minutes without tobacco had been torture.

    Lauren’s father had been slit-eyed, blank-faced, reluctant to engage. His wife had talked fast . . . nervous hands, moist eyes. When she’d looked to him for support, he’d turned away.

    They were both thirty-nine, but he looked older. . . . He’d done something in the building trades . . . here it was, elect. contractr. A powerful-looking man, fighting the advent of middle age with long hair, sprayed in place, that fringed his shoulders. Black pelt of beard. Muscles made obvious by a too-tight polo shirt and pressed jeans. Crude but well-balanced features . . . gold chain circling a ruddy neck . . . gold I.D. bracelet—how did I remember that? Put him in buckskins and he could’ve been a grizzly hunter.

    Lyle Teague had sat with his legs spread wide, consulted his...
About the Author-
  • Jonathan Kellerman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than three dozen bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher’s Theater, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, Twisted, and True Detectives. With his wife, bestselling novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. With his son, bestselling novelist Jesse Kellerman, he co-authored the first book of a new series, The Golem of Hollywood. He is also the author of two children’s books and numerous nonfiction works, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children and With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards and has been nominated for a Shamus Award. Jonathan and Faye Kellerman live in California, New Mexico, and New York.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 22, 2001
    In Kellerman's 15th crowd-pleasing Alex Delaware novel (after 2000's Dr. Death), the Los Angeles–based psychologist is tested by a former patient, his conscience and the strains his police work place on his relationship with lover Robin Castagna. Alex only saw Lauren Teague twice as a patient when she was a troubled 15-year-old and once, six years later, when he was an embarrassed audience and she an embarrassed performer at a stag show. Four years after that, Lauren's mother approaches Alex when her daughter disappears. Then Lauren's bound and brutalized body turns up in a dumpster. As homicide detective Milo Sturgis pursues forensic leads and an official inquiry, Alex follows Lauren's tortuous path from high school drop-out to model/hooker to college student to murder victim. Alex finds plenty of suspects among Lauren's college teachers, her estranged parents, members of a Hefner-esque compound, a psychologist with a strange research protocol and Lauren's gay roommate. The dogged psychologist unearths plenty of possible motives and an old murder that may be connected to Lauren's. He also alienates Robin, who's having a hard time accepting the danger his investigation seems to court. Kellerman's well-established hero remains as likable as ever, but the unlikely hypotheses he concocts to connect suspects to Lauren's murder and the improbable links that finally emerge may weaken the book's appeal to new readers. Agent, Barney Karpfinger.

  • Los Angeles Times Book Review "[KELLERMAN] HAS SHAPED THE PSYCHOLOGICAL MYSTERY NOVEL INTO AN ART FORM."
  • Cleveland Plain Dealer "VIBRANT . . . [Kellerman] can always be counted on to deliver a smooth and satisfying adventure as he makes his way through the darker sides of Los Angeles."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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Alex Delaware Series, Book 15
Jonathan Kellerman
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