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Guilt
Cover of Guilt
Guilt
Alex Delaware Series, Book 28
Borrow Borrow
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The combination of Alex Delaware [and] Detective Milo Sturgis . . . makes for the most original whodunit duo since Watson and Holmes.”—Forbes
In an upscale L.A. neighborhood, a backyard renovation unearths an infant’s body, buried sixty years ago. Soon thereafter, in a nearby park, another disturbingly bizarre discovery is made not far from the body of a young woman shot in the head. Helping LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis to link these eerie incidents is brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware. But even the good doctor’s vast experience with matters both clinical and criminal might not be enough to cut down to the bone of this chilling case. Backtracking six decades into the past stirs up tales of a beautiful nurse with a mystery lover, a handsome, wealthy doctor who seems too good to be true, and a hospital with a notorious reputation—all of them long gone, along with any records of a newborn, and destined for anonymity. But the specter of fame rears its head when the case unexpectedly twists in the direction of the highest echelons of celebrity privilege. Entering this sheltered world, Alex little imagines the macabre layer just below the surface—a decadent quagmire of unholy rituals and grisly sacrifice.
 
Don’t miss the excerpt of Jonathan Kellerman’s Killer in the back of the book!
Praise for Jonathan Kellerman and Guilt
 
“A solid, poignant tale of violence against the innocent . . . cool, brisk and polished.”The Washington Post
 
“Action-packed . . . Kellerman proves he can keep readers entertained and engrossed in a story that keeps them on the edge of their seats to the final page.”—Wichita Falls Times Record News
“Certainly one of [Kellerman’s] best offerings to date . . . Do not miss this one.”—Bookreporter
 
“Jonathan Kellerman’s psychology skills and dark imagination are a potent literary mix.”Los Angeles Times
“Jonathan Kellerman’s novels are an obsession; once started it is hard to quit.”Orlando Sentinel
 
“Kellerman doesn’t just write psychological thrillers—he owns the genre.”Detroit Free Press
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The combination of Alex Delaware [and] Detective Milo Sturgis . . . makes for the most original whodunit duo since Watson and Holmes.”—Forbes
In an upscale L.A. neighborhood, a backyard renovation unearths an infant’s body, buried sixty years ago. Soon thereafter, in a nearby park, another disturbingly bizarre discovery is made not far from the body of a young woman shot in the head. Helping LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis to link these eerie incidents is brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware. But even the good doctor’s vast experience with matters both clinical and criminal might not be enough to cut down to the bone of this chilling case. Backtracking six decades into the past stirs up tales of a beautiful nurse with a mystery lover, a handsome, wealthy doctor who seems too good to be true, and a hospital with a notorious reputation—all of them long gone, along with any records of a newborn, and destined for anonymity. But the specter of fame rears its head when the case unexpectedly twists in the direction of the highest echelons of celebrity privilege. Entering this sheltered world, Alex little imagines the macabre layer just below the surface—a decadent quagmire of unholy rituals and grisly sacrifice.
 
Don’t miss the excerpt of Jonathan Kellerman’s Killer in the back of the book!
Praise for Jonathan Kellerman and Guilt
 
“A solid, poignant tale of violence against the innocent . . . cool, brisk and polished.”The Washington Post
 
“Action-packed . . . Kellerman proves he can keep readers entertained and engrossed in a story that keeps them on the edge of their seats to the final page.”—Wichita Falls Times Record News
“Certainly one of [Kellerman’s] best offerings to date . . . Do not miss this one.”—Bookreporter
 
“Jonathan Kellerman’s psychology skills and dark imagination are a potent literary mix.”Los Angeles Times
“Jonathan Kellerman’s novels are an obsession; once started it is hard to quit.”Orlando Sentinel
 
“Kellerman doesn’t just write psychological thrillers—he owns the genre.”Detroit Free Press
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Awards-
Excerpts-
  • Chapter CHAPTER

    1

    All mine!

    The house, the life growing inside her.

    The husband.

    Holly finished her fifth circuit of the back room that looked out to the yard. She paused for breath. The baby—Aimee—had started pushing against her diaphragm.

    Since escrow had closed, Holly had done a hundred circuits, imagining. Loving every inch of the place despite the odors embedded in ninety-year-old plaster: cat pee, mildew, overripe vegetable soup. Old person.

    In a few days the painting would begin and the aroma of fresh latex would bury all that, and cheerful colors would mask the discouraging gray-beige of Holly’s ten-room dream. Not counting bathrooms.

    The house was a brick-faced Tudor on a quarter-acre lot at the southern edge of Cheviot Hills, built when construction was meant to last and adorned by moldings, wainscoting, arched mahogany doors, quarter-sawn oak floors. Parquet in the cute little study that would be Matt’s home office when he needed to bring work home.

    Holly could close the door and not have to hear Matt’s grumbling about moron clients incapable of keeping decent records. Meanwhile she’d be on a comfy couch, snuggling with Aimee.

    She’d learned the sex of the baby at the four-month anatomical ultrasound, decided on the name right then and there. Matt didn’t know yet. He was still adjusting to the whole fatherhood thing.

    Sometimes she wondered if Matt dreamed in numbers.

    Resting her hands on a mahogany sill, Holly squinted to blank out the weeds and dead grass, struggling to conjure a green, flower-laden Eden.

    Hard to visualize, with a mountain of tree trunk taking up all that space.

    The five-story sycamore had been one of the house’s selling points, with its trunk as thick as an oil drum and dense foliage that created a moody, almost spooky ambience. Holly’s creative powers had immediately kicked into gear, visualizing a swing attached to that swooping lower branch.

    Aimee giggling as she swooped up and shouted that Holly was the best mommy.

    Two weeks into escrow, during a massive, unseasonal rainstorm, the sycamore’s roots had given way. Thank God the monster had teetered but hadn’t fallen. The trajectory would’ve landed it right on the house.

    An agreement was drawn up: The sellers—the old woman’s son and daughter—would pay to have the monstrous thing chopped down and hauled away, the stumps ground to dust, the soil leveled. Instead, they’d cheaped out, paying a tree company only to cut down the sycamore, leaving behind a massive horror of deadwood that took up the entire rear half of the yard.

    Matt had gone bananas, threatened to kill the deal.

    Abrogate. What an ugly word.

    Holly had cooled him off by promising to handle the situation, she’d make sure they got duly compensated, he wouldn’t have to deal with it.

    Fine. As long as you actually do it.

    Now Holly stared at the mountain of wood, feeling discouraged and a bit helpless. Some of the sycamore, she supposed, could be reduced to firewood. Fragments and leaves and loose pieces of bark she could rake up herself, maybe create a compost pile. But those massive columns . . .

    Whatever; she’d figure it out. Meanwhile, there was cat-pee/overripe-soup/mildew/old-lady stink to deal with.

    Mrs. Hannah had lived in the house for fifty-two years. Still, how did a person’s smell permeate lath and plaster? Not that Holly had anything against old people. Though she didn’t know too many.

    There had to be something you could...

About the Author-
  • Jonathan Kellerman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty 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. 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

    March 18, 2013
    Three decades after the debut of Kellerman's psychologist detective, the 28th entry (after 2012's Victims) is a lackluster one and shows the series' age. Newcomers are unlikely to be impressed either by Delaware's psychological or deductive insights. He tells a celebrity patient at her first session that "happiness comes from taking all the credit and none of the blame." A witness's failure to know her sister Adriana Betts' number by heart, relying instead on pressing a button on her cell to automatically place the call, is ‘evidence' that she hadn't been in close contact with her. Betts has turned up dead of a gunshot wound in the same L.A. park as a defleshed baby's corpse. The infant's remains turned up during excavation of a drainage ditch—and that grim discovery followed the unearthing of an older baby's skeleton in a backyard. The investigations Delaware and his longtime LAPD ally Milo Sturgis conduct are strictly by the numbers, and their solutions are unremarkable. Whatever was innovative in this series is long gone.

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2013
    The only clue to a buried baby's identity is a vintage Duesenberg. The new owners of the fixer-upper Victorian in LA's posh Cheviot Hills area are appalled when a storm reveals an old metal hospital box containing the skeleton of a dead baby in their yard. The LAPD's Milo Sturgis, who catches the case, drags along his pal, consulting psychologist Alex Delaware (Victims, 2012, etc.). Tracking down former house tenants turns up a pediatric nurse often visited late at night by someone driving a rare Duesenberg, whose ownership leads to a late doctor with severe war wounds who may have provided abortions back in the days before Roe v. Wade. The case is further complicated when another baby, more recently buried, is found in a nearby park with a woman, possibly its mother, lying dead nearby. Would a serial killer space his crimes over 50 years apart? Would he even have the appetite for murder so many years later? The new infant's bones have been picked clean by flesh-eating beetles, then coated with beeswax. The woman turns out to be a missing nanny whose last job was for superstars Prema Moon and Donny Rader, now sequestered on their vast estate with their four adopted kids. The couple's marriage is a sham, their estate manager turns up with a bullet in his head, and another of their nannies has also departed without notice. After Alex tails Prema, she decides that she'll pay $300 for a 45-minute session with him, and that lets loose a three-hankie tale of marital woe that ends with Milo and a forensic crew surrounding the film stars' living complex. Too slick, too generous with coincidences and too cute by far. One pet pooch in particular is so endearing she ought to be in a Disney movie.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • The Washington Post "A solid, poignant tale of violence against the innocent . . . cool, brisk and polished."
  • Wichita Falls Times Record News "Action-packed . . . Kellerman proves he can keep readers entertained and engrossed in a story that keeps them on the edge of their seats to the final page."
  • Los Angeles Times "Jonathan Kellerman's psychology skills and dark imagination are a potent literary mix."
  • Forbes "The combination of Alex Delaware [and] Detective Milo Sturgis . . . makes for the most original whodunit duo since Watson and Holmes."
  • Orlando Sentinel "Jonathan Kellerman's novels are an obsession; once started it is hard to quit."
  • Detroit Free Press "Kellerman doesn't just write psychological thrillers--he owns the genre."
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Alex Delaware Series, Book 28
Jonathan Kellerman
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