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Compulsion
Cover of Compulsion
Compulsion
Alex Delaware Series, Book 22
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Once again, the depths of the criminal mind and the darkest side of a glittering city fuel #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman’s brilliant storytelling. And no one conducts a more harrowing and suspenseful manhunt than the modern Sherlock Holmes of the psyche, Dr. Alex Delaware.
A tipsy young woman seeking aid on a desolate highway disappears into the inky black night. A retired schoolteacher is stabbed to death in broad daylight. Two women are butchered after closing time in a small-town beauty parlor. These and other bizarre acts of cruelty and psychopathology are linked only by the killer’s use of luxury vehicles and a baffling lack of motive. The ultimate whodunits, these crimes demand the attention of LAPD detective Milo Sturgis and his collaborator on the crime beat, psychologist Alex Delaware.
What begins with a solitary bloodstain in a stolen sedan quickly spirals outward in odd and unexpected directions, leading Delaware and Sturgis from the well-heeled center of L.A. society to its desperate edges; across the paths of commodities brokers and transvestite hookers; and as far away as New York City, where the search thaws out a long-cold case and exposes a grotesque homicidal crusade. The killer proves to be a fleeting shape-shifter, defying identification, leaving behind dazed witnesses and death–and compelling Alex and Milo to confront the true face of murderous madness.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Victims.
Once again, the depths of the criminal mind and the darkest side of a glittering city fuel #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman’s brilliant storytelling. And no one conducts a more harrowing and suspenseful manhunt than the modern Sherlock Holmes of the psyche, Dr. Alex Delaware.
A tipsy young woman seeking aid on a desolate highway disappears into the inky black night. A retired schoolteacher is stabbed to death in broad daylight. Two women are butchered after closing time in a small-town beauty parlor. These and other bizarre acts of cruelty and psychopathology are linked only by the killer’s use of luxury vehicles and a baffling lack of motive. The ultimate whodunits, these crimes demand the attention of LAPD detective Milo Sturgis and his collaborator on the crime beat, psychologist Alex Delaware.
What begins with a solitary bloodstain in a stolen sedan quickly spirals outward in odd and unexpected directions, leading Delaware and Sturgis from the well-heeled center of L.A. society to its desperate edges; across the paths of commodities brokers and transvestite hookers; and as far away as New York City, where the search thaws out a long-cold case and exposes a grotesque homicidal crusade. The killer proves to be a fleeting shape-shifter, defying identification, leaving behind dazed witnesses and death–and compelling Alex and Milo to confront the true face of murderous madness.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Victims.
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter 1 CHAPTER 1

    Kat loved breaking the rules. Don’t talk to strangers. She’d talked to plenty of them tonight. Danced with a few, too. If you could call the way those losers moved dancing. The big, scary consequence: a stomped toe, courtesy of a loser in a red shirt. Don’t go crazy mixing your drinks. Then how did you account for Long Island Iced Tea, which was basically everything tossed together and the best buzz in the world? She’d had three tonight. Plus the tequila shots and the raspberry beer and the weed the guy in the retro bowling shirt had offered her. Not to mention... hard to remember. Whatever. Don’t drink and drive. Yeah, great plan. What was she supposed to do tonight, let one of those losers drive her Mustang home? The plan was Rianna would limit herself to two drinks and be the designated wheel-girl so Kat and Bethie could party. Only Bethie and Rianna hooked up with a couple fake-o blond guys in fake-o Brioni shirts. Brothers, some kind of surfboard business in Redondo.

    We’re thinking maybe we’ll go party with Sean and Matt, giggle, giggle. If that’s cool with you, Kat.

    What was she supposed to say? Stay with me, I’m the ultimate loser?

    So here she was three, four a.m., staggering out of the Light My Fire, looking for her car.

    God, it was so dark, why the hell didn’t they have outside lights or something...?

    She took three steps and one of her spike-heels caught on the asphalt and she stumbled, nearly twisting her ankle.

    Fighting for balance, she righted herself.

    Saved by quick reflexes, Supergirl. Also all those dancing lessons she’d been forced into. Not that she’d ever admit it to Mother, giving her fuel for more I-told-you-so bullshit.

    Mother and her rules. No white after Labor Day. That made sense in L.A.

    Kat took two more steps and one of the spaghetti straps on her plum lamé top fell off her shoulder. She left it that way, liking the kiss of the night air on her bare skin.

    Feeling a little bit sexy, she flipped her hair, then remembered she’d had it cut, not much to flip.

    Her vision blurred–how many Long Islands had she polished off? Maybe four.

    Taking a deep cleansing breath, she felt her head clear.

    Then it clouded again. And cleared. Like shutters being opened and closed. Crazy, maybe that weed was messed up... where was the Mustang... she walked faster, tripped again, and Supergirl reflexes weren’t enough and she had to grab out for something–the side of a car... not hers, crappy little Honda or something... where was the Mustang?

    With only a few cars in the lot, it should’ve been easy to spot. But the darkness screwed everything up... losers who owned the Light My Fire too damn cheap to invest in some spots, like they weren’t making enough packing the bodies in, the bouncers and velvet ropes a big joke.

    Cheap bastards. Like all men.

    Except Royal. Would you believe that, Mother finally lucking out big-time? Who knew the old girl had it in her?

    Kat laughed out loud at the image. Something in Mother.

    Not likely, Royal was in the bathroom every ten minutes. Didn’t that mean a screwed-up prostrate?
    She lurched across the inky lot. The sky was so black she couldn’t even see the chain-link fence surrounding the lot, or the warehouses and storage lots that made up this crappy neighborhood.

    The club’s Web site said it was in Brentwood. More like the hairy, stinky armpit of West...

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

    February 25, 2008
    Bestseller Kellerman serves up all the elements his fans have come to love in the 22nd entry in his Alex Delaware series (Obsession
    , etc.), including an intriguing plot, likable regular characters supported by an interesting secondary cast, diabolical villains, witty dialogue and a sense of humanity and justice. Alex and his LAPD detective partner, Milo Sturgis, are investigating several murders that, at first, appear to have only one thing in common: the perpetrator's use of expensive black automobiles while committing his crimes. Kellerman sticks to his usual modus, the patient and sometimes painfully slow accumulation of detail, as Alex and Milo slowly build their case. A subplot involves a missing child last seen selling magazine subscriptions in a tony neighborhood 16 years earlier. On the domestic front, Alex is again living with his girlfriend, Robin, with whom he has broken up several times over the course of the series. In the end, a nice twist reminds Robin and Alex to be more careful in the future about drawing assumptions in their private life before all the facts have come to light.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 26, 2008
    Rubinstein, who has had a long, successful run as the voice of Kellerman's popular hero, Dr. Alex Delaware, has seldom been more appreciated than on this rather mediocre entry in the series. While the doctor and his gruff, gay LAPD detective pal Milo Sturgis slog through a now too-familiar witness-to-witness search for a killer (in this case, a particularly loathsome one who uses disguises and pricy black automobiles), Rubinstein revs up the action, providing the secondary characters with an energetic array of on-target vocals and refining and deepening his stellar interpretations of the leads. Thanks to him, there's a nuanced wistfulness in Delaware's approach to both the hunt for the killer and his ever-shifting relationship with girlfriend Robin. And Sturgis's gravelly growl has a definitive quality that suggests a maturity both tougher and more thoughtful than in the past. Simultaneous release with the Ballantine hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 25).

  • Library Journal

    February 15, 2008
    When a retired schoolteacher is brutally stabbed in her driveway, LAPD Detective Milo Sturgis and psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware must figure out who would want to kill her. Their ensuing investigation uncovers other, possibly related murders. The methods of killing vary, but the motives share a twisted altruistic element: the victims somehow "deserve" their deaths. The only things that seem to tie the crimes together are expensive scarves and black luxury cars. Although the story can be quite complex at times, the action is fast paced, and the many plot twists leave readers on the edge of their seats. Kellerman's writing is neat and not overly burdened by extraneous detail. His 22nd Alex Delaware thriller is recommended for all public libraries as demand is sure to be high for this best-selling author. [See Prepub Alert, "LJ" 12/07.]Amanda Scott, Cambridge Springs P.L., PA

    Copyright 2008 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    January 1, 2008
    L.A.psychologist Alex Delawares insights into human behavior once again prove invaluable tohis friend, Lieutenant Milo Sturgis. In the duos twenty-first crime outing, narrated as usual by Delaware, a stolen black luxury carprovides the two with the first link in a case of brutal murders thatultimatelyleads to one of Kellermans mostwarpedvillains. When Sturgis is called in by a young officer to consulton a bloodstain found in a recovered Bentley, Delaware rides along, as he does later when Sturgis hurries to the scene ofthe brutalstabbing of an elderly woman, which took place in broad daylight. The perpetrator of this second crimewas identified as an elderly man driving apricey black car. Add to this the mystery ofa missing thirtysomething party girl, and theres plenty tooccupyinvestigators. Though theirpath to success seems less grounded than usual, the comfortable banter that has helped make Delaware and Sturgis such durable crime-story heroes is as rapid-fire, keen, and wryly funny as ever, and the mystery they aim to solve is certainly not routine. Enhanced by an assortment of quirky supporting characters cut from vintage Kellerman cloth, this is a genuine page-turner sure to please the authors legion of devoted fans.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2008, American Library Association.)

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Compulsion
Compulsion
Alex Delaware Series, Book 22
Jonathan Kellerman
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