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Private Eyes
Cover of Private Eyes
Private Eyes
Alex Delaware Series, Book 6
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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Guilt.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
The voice belongs to a woman, but Dr. Alex Delaware remembers a little girl. It is eleven years since seven-year-old Melissa Dickinson dialed the hospital help line for comfort—and found it in therapy with Alex Delaware. Now the lovely young heiress is desperately calling for the psychologist’s help once more. Only this time it looks like Melissa’s deepest childhood nightmare is really coming true.
 
“A page-turner from beginning to end.”—Los Angeles Times
 
Twenty years ago, Gina Dickinson, Melissa’s mother, suffered a grisly assault that left the budding actress irreparably scarred and emotionally crippled. Now her acid-wielding assailant is out of prison and back in L.A.—and Melissa is terrified that the monster has returned to hurt Gina again. But before Alex Delaware can even begin to soothe his former patient’s fears, Gina, a recluse for twenty years, disappears. And now, unless Delaware turns crack detective to uncover the truth, Gina Dickinson will be just one more victim of a cold fury that has already spawned madness . . . and murder.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Guilt.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
The voice belongs to a woman, but Dr. Alex Delaware remembers a little girl. It is eleven years since seven-year-old Melissa Dickinson dialed the hospital help line for comfort—and found it in therapy with Alex Delaware. Now the lovely young heiress is desperately calling for the psychologist’s help once more. Only this time it looks like Melissa’s deepest childhood nightmare is really coming true.
 
“A page-turner from beginning to end.”—Los Angeles Times
 
Twenty years ago, Gina Dickinson, Melissa’s mother, suffered a grisly assault that left the budding actress irreparably scarred and emotionally crippled. Now her acid-wielding assailant is out of prison and back in L.A.—and Melissa is terrified that the monster has returned to hurt Gina again. But before Alex Delaware can even begin to soothe his former patient’s fears, Gina, a recluse for twenty years, disappears. And now, unless Delaware turns crack detective to uncover the truth, Gina Dickinson will be just one more victim of a cold fury that has already spawned madness . . . and murder.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book CHAPTER 1

    A therapist’s work is never over.

    Which isn’t to say that patients don’t get better.

    But the bond forged during locked-door three-quarter hours—the relationship that develops when private eyes peek into private lives—can achieve a certain immortality.

    Some patients do leave and never return. Some never leave. A good many occupy an ambiguous space in the middle—throwing out occasional tendrils of reattachment during periods of pride or sorrow.

    Predicting who’ll fall into which group is an iffy business, no more rational than Vegas or the stock market. After a few years in practice I stopped trying.

    So I really wasn’t surprised when I came home after a July night-run and learned that Melissa Dickinson had left a message with my service.

    First time I’d heard from her in . . . what? It had to be nearly a decade since she’d stopped coming to the office I once maintained in a cold-blooded high-rise on the east end of Beverly Hills.

    One of my long-termers.

    That alone would have made her stand out in my memory, but there had been so much more. . . .

    Child psychology’s an ideal job for those who like to feel heroic. Children tend to get better relatively quickly and to need less treatment than adults. Even at the height of my practice it was rare to schedule a patient for more than one session a week. But I started Melissa at three. Because of the extent of her problems. Her unique situation. After eight months we tapered to twice; at year’s anniversary, were down to one.

    Finally, a month shy of two years, termination.

    She left therapy a changed little girl; I allowed myself a bit of self-congratulation but knew better than to wallow in it. Because the family structure that had nurtured her problems had never been altered. Its surface hadn’t even been scratched.

    Despite that, there’d been no reason to keep her in treatment against her will.

    I’m nine years old, Dr. Delaware. I’m ready to handle things on my own.

    I sent her out into the world, expecting to hear from her soon. Didn’t for several weeks, phoned her and was informed, in polite but firm nine-year-old tones, that she was just fine, thank you, would call me if she needed me.

    Now she had.

    A long time to be on hold.

    Ten years would make her nineteen. Empty the memory banks and be prepared for a stranger.

    I glanced at the phone number she’d left with the service.

    An 818 area code. San Labrador exchange.

    I went into the library, dug into my closed files for a while, and finally found her chart.

    Same prefix as her original home number, but the last four digits were different.

    Change of number or had she left home? If she had, she hadn’t gone very far.

    I checked the date of her last session. Nine years ago. A birth date in June. She’d turned eighteen a month ago.

    I wondered what had changed about her. What was the same.

    Wondered why I hadn’t heard from her sooner.



    CHAPTER 2

    The phone was picked up after two rings.

    “Hello?” Voice of a stranger, young, female.

    “Melissa?”

    “Yes?”

    “This is Dr. Alex Delaware.”

    “Oh. Hi! I didn’t . . . Thanks so much for calling back, Dr. Delaware. I wasn’t expecting to hear from you until tomorrow. I didn’t even know if you’d call back.”

    “Why’s that?”

    “Your listing in the...
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 and New Mexico.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 1, 1992
    Kellerman devises a psychologically complex, highly satisfying plot in this latest mystery (after Time Bomb ) to feature child psychologist Alex Delaware, although we wait too long for the best parts and although Delaware, his love life on hold, seems less emotionally present than in previous cases. Harvard-bound, 18-year-old heiress Melissa Dickinson, whom Delaware had successfully treated for anxiety 10 years earlier, calls him with concerns about leaving her wealthy mother, an agoraphobe. Years before Melissa's birth, Gina Dickinson Ramp had been disfigured by acid thrown for never-revealed reasons by a former lover, now out of prison and back in town. Widowed for many years, recently remarried and making progress in her own intensive therapy with a noted husband-and-wife team of behaviorial psychologists, Gina is still fragile. When she disappears, Melissa enlists Delaware's help and that of his friend, Milo Sturgis, on leave from the LAPD (for having slugged, on TV, a homophobic superior). Kellerman deftly handles the strings of his plot, keeping in question the plight of Gina and the identities of those wishing her ill, until final events make what came before seem inevitable. A brief reunion with his former lover Robin will leave readers hoping for a reconciliation in Delaware's next appearance. 150,000 first printing; major ad/promo.

  • Playboy

    "Vividly realistic ... explores the subject with haunting emotional power."

  • Los Angeles Times "A page-turner from beginning to end."
  • Booklist "A gut-wrenching scenario... might well be Kellerman's finest."
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Alex Delaware Series, Book 6
Jonathan Kellerman
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