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The Murder Book
Cover of The Murder Book
The Murder Book
Alex Delaware Series, Book 16
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Jonathan Kellerman has distinguished himself as the master of the psychological thriller. Now L.A. psychologist-detective Alex Delaware confronts a long-unsolved murder of unspeakable brutality—an ice-cold case whose resolution threatens his survival, and that of longtime friend, homicide detective, Milo Sturgis.
The nightmare begins when Alex receives a strange package in the mail with no return address. Inside is an ornate album filled with gruesome crime scene photos—a homicide scrapbook entitled The Murder Book. Alex can find no reason for anyone to send him this compendium of death, but when Milo views the book, he is immediately shaken by one of the images: a young woman, tortured, strangled, and dumped near a freeway ramp.
This was one of Milo’s first cases as a rookie homicide cop: a vicious killing that he failed to solve, because just as he and his training partner began to make headway, the department closed them down. Being forced to abandon the young victim tormented Milo. But his fears prevented him from pursuing the truth, and over the years he managed to forget. Or so he thought.
Now, two decades later, someone has chosen to stir up the past. As Alex and Milo set out to uncover what really happened twenty years ago, their every move is followed and their lives are placed in jeopardy. The relentless investigation reaches deep into L.A.’s nerve-centers of power and wealth—past and present. While peeling back layer after layer of ugly secrets, they discover that the murder of one forgotten girl has chilling ramifications that extend far beyond the tragic loss of a single life.
A classic story of good and evil, sacrifice and sin, The Murder Book is a gripping page-turner that illuminates the darkest corridors of the human mind. It is a stunning tour de force.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Victims.
Jonathan Kellerman has distinguished himself as the master of the psychological thriller. Now L.A. psychologist-detective Alex Delaware confronts a long-unsolved murder of unspeakable brutality—an ice-cold case whose resolution threatens his survival, and that of longtime friend, homicide detective, Milo Sturgis.
The nightmare begins when Alex receives a strange package in the mail with no return address. Inside is an ornate album filled with gruesome crime scene photos—a homicide scrapbook entitled The Murder Book. Alex can find no reason for anyone to send him this compendium of death, but when Milo views the book, he is immediately shaken by one of the images: a young woman, tortured, strangled, and dumped near a freeway ramp.
This was one of Milo’s first cases as a rookie homicide cop: a vicious killing that he failed to solve, because just as he and his training partner began to make headway, the department closed them down. Being forced to abandon the young victim tormented Milo. But his fears prevented him from pursuing the truth, and over the years he managed to forget. Or so he thought.
Now, two decades later, someone has chosen to stir up the past. As Alex and Milo set out to uncover what really happened twenty years ago, their every move is followed and their lives are placed in jeopardy. The relentless investigation reaches deep into L.A.’s nerve-centers of power and wealth—past and present. While peeling back layer after layer of ugly secrets, they discover that the murder of one forgotten girl has chilling ramifications that extend far beyond the tragic loss of a single life.
A classic story of good and evil, sacrifice and sin, The Murder Book is a gripping page-turner that illuminates the darkest corridors of the human mind. It is a stunning tour de force.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Victims.
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Awards-
Excerpts-
  • From the book The day I got the murder book, I was still thinking about Paris. Red wine, bare trees, gray river, city of love. Everything that happened there. Now, this.

    Robin and I flew in to Charles de Gaulle airport on a murky Monday in January. The trip had been my idea of a surprise. I’d pulled it together in one manic night, booking tickets on Air France and a room at a small hotel on the outskirts of the Eighth arrondissement, packing a suitcase for two, speeding the 125 freeway miles to San Diego. Showing up at Robin’s room at the Del Coronado just before midnight with a dozen coral roses and a voilà! grin.

    She came to the door wearing a white T-shirt and a hip-riding red sarong, auburn curls loose, chocolate eyes tired, no makeup. We embraced, then she pulled away and looked down at the suitcase. When I showed her the tickets, she turned her back and shielded me from her tears. Outside her window the night black ocean rolled, but this was no holiday on the beach. She’d left L.A. because I’d lied to her and put myself in danger. Listening to her cry now, I wondered if the damage was irreparable.

    I asked what was wrong. As if I had nothing to do with it.

    She said, “I’m just . . . surprised.”

    We ordered room-service sandwiches, she closed the drapes, we made love.

    “Paris,” she said, slipping into a hotel bathrobe. “I can’t believe you did all this.” She sat down, brushed her hair, then stood. Approached the bed, stood over me, touched me. She let the robe slither from her body, straddled me, shut her eyes, lowered a breast to my mouth. When she came the second time, she rolled away, went silent.

    I played with her hair and, as she fell asleep, the corners of her mouth lifted. Mona Lisa smile. In a couple of days, we’d be queuing up as robotically as any other tourists, straining for a glimpse of the real thing.

    She’d fled to San Diego because a high school chum lived there—a thrice-married oral surgeon named Debra Dyer, whose current love interest was a banker from Mexico City. (“So many white teeth, Alex!”) Francisco had suggested a day of shlock-shopping in Tijuana followed by an indeterminate stay at a leased beach house in Cabo San Lucas. Robin, feeling like a fifth wheel, had begged off, and called me, asking if I’d join her.

    She’d been nervous about it. Apologizing for abandoning me. I didn’t see it that way, at all. Figured her for the injured party.

    I’d gotten myself in a bad situation because of poor planning. Blood had spilled and someone had died. Rationalizing the whole thing wasn’t that tough: Innocent lives had been at stake, the good guys had won, I’d ended up on my feet. But as Robin roared away in her truck, I faced the truth:

    My misadventures had little to do with noble intentions, lots to do with a personality flaw.

    A long time ago, I’d chosen clinical psychology, the most sedentary of professions, telling myself that healing emotional wounds was how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. But it had been years since I’d conducted any long-term therapy. Not because, as I’d once let myself believe, I’d burned out on human misery. I had no problem with misery. My other life force-fed me gobs of misery.

    The truth was cold: Once upon a time I had been drawn to the humanity and the challenge of the talking cure, but sitting in the office, dividing hour after hour by three quarters, ingesting other people’s problems, had come to bore me.

    In a sense, becoming a therapist had been a strange choice. I’d...
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

    Starred review from September 16, 2002
    Bestseller Kellerman's 16th Alex Delaware novel is a hoot of a whodunit, a classic puzzler to keep the most staid traditionalist gleefully scratching his or her head until the wee hours. It's also a noir of gothic proportions, a descent into a California hell, in which Delaware shares the spotlight with his longtime friend and colleague, Det. Milo Sturgis. When somebody sends Alex a three-ring binder full of grisly police photographs of crime scenes with "The Murder Book" in gold letters on the front cover, Milo is stunned to discover a picture of the mutilated body of Janie Ingalls, a Hollywood High sophomore, whose vicious murder he investigated 20 years before. Milo was just a rookie detective then, partnered with a hard-nosed veteran, Pierce Schwinn. The pair made some progress with the case, but were pulled off it and split up because Schwinn stepped on some big toes. Milo suspects the book has come from Schwinn, an invitation to take up the old case that has haunted them both for years. He and Alex begin to follow a trail that will lead them high up the social ladder and down among the dregs of society. It is a step-by-step, clue-by-clue process beloved of mystery fans, and Kellerman handles it masterfully. By the end there are an awful lot of characters to keep track of, and the biff-boom-bang finale seems too much, but no one's perfect. This may be the best Kellerman in years. (Oct. 1)Forecast:Kellerman has won Edgar, Anthony and Goldwyn awards and been nominated for a Shamus. National media appearances and advertising on Court TV and CNN will help ensure another run up bestseller lists.

  • Library Journal

    June 1, 2002
    Like Kinsey Millhone, Alex Delaware is up against a long-unresolved case, which just happens to involve politics.

    Copyright 2002 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    September 1, 2002
    Alex Delaware is a shrink with a personality flaw: he craves novelty and the adrenaline rush of danger, two commodities in short supply in the typical routine of a clinical psychologist. So Delaware, over the course of 13 thrillers, has segued from shrink and part-time advisor on police matters to special advisor on criminal psychology to the LAPD, leaving complaining neurotics far behind. In the latest caper starring Delaware and his mentor in police work, homicide detective Milo Sturgis, Delaware receives a package in the mail. It contains an official police case file, known as a "murder book," filled with stark crime scene photos and terse reports of some 40 cases. What Delaware finds most shocking, however, is the horrified reaction his hard-bitten detective pal Milo has upon seeing one particular scene. Kellerman departs from his standard focus on Delaware to a telling of Sturgis' story, going back to his struggles as a young black, gay cop and showing how his first victim, the girl depicted in the murder book, still haunts him. The byplay between the main characters had grown a bit predictable in previous volumes, but the emphasis here on Sturgis rather than Delaware breathes new life into the series.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2002, American Library Association.)

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Alex Delaware Series, Book 16
Jonathan Kellerman
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