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Time Bomb
Cover of Time Bomb
Time Bomb
Alex Delaware Series, Book 5
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
By the time psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware reached the school the damage was done: A sniper had opened fire on a crowded playground, but was gunned down before any children were hurt.

“Virtually impossible to put aside until the final horrifying showdown.”—People
 
While the TV news crews feasted on the scene and Alex began his therapy sessions with the traumatized children, he couldn’t escape the image of a slight teenager clutching an oversized rifle. What was the identity behind the name and face: a would-be assassin, or just another victim beneath an indifferent California sky? Intrigued by a request from the sniper’s father to conduct a “psychological autopsy” of his child, Alex begins to uncover a strange pattern—it is a trail of blood. In the dead sniper’s past was a dark and vicious plot. And in Alex Delaware’s future is the stuff of grown-up nightmares: the face of real human evil.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Guilt.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
By the time psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware reached the school the damage was done: A sniper had opened fire on a crowded playground, but was gunned down before any children were hurt.

“Virtually impossible to put aside until the final horrifying showdown.”—People
 
While the TV news crews feasted on the scene and Alex began his therapy sessions with the traumatized children, he couldn’t escape the image of a slight teenager clutching an oversized rifle. What was the identity behind the name and face: a would-be assassin, or just another victim beneath an indifferent California sky? Intrigued by a request from the sniper’s father to conduct a “psychological autopsy” of his child, Alex begins to uncover a strange pattern—it is a trail of blood. In the dead sniper’s past was a dark and vicious plot. And in Alex Delaware’s future is the stuff of grown-up nightmares: the face of real human evil.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Guilt.
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter 1 CHAPTER 1

    Back to school.

    It evokes memories of the tests we’ve passed, or the ones we’ve failed.

    Monday. Milo’s call punctuated a hard, gray November day that had finally erupted into rain.

    He said, “Turn on your TV.”

    I glanced at my desk clock. Just after two-forty p.m.—talk show time. The cathode freak display. “What? Nuns who murder, or pets with ESP?”

    “Just turn it on, Alex.” His voice was hard.

    “What channel?”

    “Take your pick.”

    I flicked the remote. The sound came on before the picture. Sobs and whimpers. Then faces. Small faces, lots of them. Eyes wide with bafflement and terror. Fragile bodies blanketed and huddled together on the floor of a large room. Gleaming hardwood floors and chalk-white goal lines. A gym.

    The camera moved in on a little black-haired girl in a puff-sleeved white dress as she accepted a plastic cup of something red. Her hands shook; the beverage sloshed; a false bloodstain spread on white cotton. The camera lingered, feasting on the image. The little girl burst into tears.

    A chubby boy, five or six, cried. The boy next to him was older, maybe eight. Staring straight ahead and biting his lip, straining for macho.

    More faces, a sea of faces.

    I became aware of a mellow-voiced commentary—calculated sound bites alternating with strategic pauses. Sucked into the visuals, I let the words pass right through me.

    Camera-shift to rain-slick asphalt, acres of it. Squat flesh-colored buildings spattered calomine-pink where the rain had penetrated the stucco. The voice-over droned on and the camera got manic—a flurry of visual slices, so brief they bordered on the subliminal: flak-jacketed, baseball-hatted SWAT cops crouched on rooftops, poised in doorways, and muttering into hand-held radios. Yellow crime-scene tape. Assault rifles; the glint of telescopic scopes; bullhorns. A cluster of grim men in dark suits conferring behind a barrier of squad cars. Police vans. Pulling away. Policemen packing and leaving. Then a sudden wide pan to something in a black zip-bag being carted away through the rain.

    The owner of the mellow voice came on screen. Sandy-haired, GQ type in a Burberry trenchcoat and electric-blue crunch-knotted tie. The coat was soaked but his hair spray was holding up. He said, “Information is still trickling in, but as far as we can tell, only one suspect was involved and that individual has been killed. Here we see the body being taken away, but no identity has been released. . . .”

    Zoom in on black bag, wet and glossy as sealskin. Stoic morgue techs who might have been taking out the garbage. The bag was hoisted up and into one of the vans. Slam of door. Close-up of the reporter squinting into the downpour, playing intrepid war correspondent.

    “. . . Recapping then, Nathan Hale Elementary School in the West Side community of Ocean Heights was the scene of a sniping that took place approximately forty minutes ago. No deaths or injuries are reported, except for that of the sniper, who is reported dead and remains unidentified. The exact circumstances of the death are still unknown. Previous rumors of a hostage situation have turned out to be false. However, the fact that State Assemblyman Samuel Massengil and City Councilman Gordon Latch were at the school at the time of the shooting has fueled reports that an assassination attempt may have been involved. Latch and Massengil have been on opposite sides of a controversy concerning the busing of inner-city children to underpopulated schools on the 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 and New Mexico.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 29, 1990
    After a sniper opens fire at an elementary school in an L.A. suburb, LAPD Detective Milo Sturgis calls in his friend, child psychologist Alex Delaware (seen last in Silent Partner ). None of the children is hurt, but the shooter, a young woman named Holly Burden, is killed by the bodyguard of one of two politicos visiting the school. While helping the kids overcome the trauma of the shooting, Delaware becomes involved with the edgy, dedicated principal, Linda Overstreet. He also agrees to Holly's father's request to do a ``psychological autopsy'' to clear his daughter's name. As racist-motivated vandalism at the school accelerates, Milo discovers that a black friend of Holly's was recently killed by police; then one of the politicians is gunned down. Alex's life is threatened as he traces events to a revival of the German American Bund and an unexpected political alliance with roots in an explosion of 20 years earlier, echoed in the fiery resolution here. Kellerman's meticulously constructed thriller, while leaning hard on the anti-Semitic component of its plot, again demonstrates how well the role of sleuth fits that of therapist; Alex, a little lost without former girlfriend Robin, speaks with a a unique, convincing voice. 150,000 first printing; Mystery Guild selection; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 1991
    YA- -Kellerman provides his fans with yet another of his exciting tales centered on Dr. Alex Delaware, psychologist/sleuth. Set in California, the book opens with a near massacre in a schoolyard. In this intricately plotted story, the hero is challenged to locate a cleverly disguised villain from a collection of normal and not-so-normal suspects. The rapid pace carries readers into a world of politicians who are more than they seem to be on the surface, families that dysfunction in spectacular ways, and suspicious characters with murky and unusual pasts. In his examination of political extremism, the author touches on an issue that is both timely and thoroughly fascinating. Although the psychoanalytical aspect occasionally becomes a bit overbearing-minor characters using professional-level terminology, for example-the overall effect is engrossing. A minor love theme is played out, and a spectacular and violent climax pulls the disparate threads of the story together. Kellerman's fans won't be disappointed.- Carolyn E. Gecan, Jefferson Sci-Tech, Alexandria, VA

  • Publishers Weekly

    "A meticulously constructed thriller."

  • People "Virtually impossible to put aside until the final horrifying showdown."
  • Chicago Sun Times "Though a time bomb is ticking away at the heart of this novel, readers will forget to watch the clock once they begin it."
  • New York Daily News "Scythe -sharp...a great, good read."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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Alex Delaware Series, Book 5
Jonathan Kellerman
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