I was an Alex Delaware / Milo Sturgis devotee until several years ago when I commented that the series seemed to have meandered off into something I struggled to read. I’m not sure I articulated the why exactly… but I know I got tired of the crap between Alex and his boring long-term girlfriend Robyn and the big deal made out of the fact that big beefy Milo was (inexplicably / unexpectedly) gay and learned, and not well accepted by his police colleagues. In short… it felt like the same story was being repeated again and again and I stopped caring.
Obviously Jonathan Kellerman heeded my advice (!!!!) cos the last few novels are back on track. Robyn is merely background noise and the focus is again more on the cases at hand than the other crap in the lead characters’ lives. (Which is interesting cos in other series I don’t mind the added personal flavour.)
by Jonathan Kellerman
Series: Alex Delaware, #33
Published by Headline
on February 13th 2018
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural
ISBN: 147220655X, 9781472206558
A brilliant criminal psychologist, Alex works with the police to help solve the most complex of crimes in Los Angeles, city of illusions, glamour and infamy.
An affluent family returns home from Sunday dinner only to find the murdered and brutalized corpse of a total stranger in their house. This baffling, twisted tale tests Alex and Milo to their intellectual and emotional limits.
I’m not actually sure if Alex is still on the LAPD payroll any more but he generally turns up when Milo calls. This time it’s a body dumped in the house of a seemingly average middle class family. But Milo senses something kinda hinky about the family so calls Alex in to meet them. The dad’s a brash insurance salesman, loud and smarmy. A man who obviously favours his 13yr old (heading for juvie and an attitude to match) son above his 17yr old daughter who appears to have an undiagnosed mental illness (perhaps autism). He blusters all over his wife but she’s surprisingly firm and a match for her larger-than-life husband.
Milo and Alex wonder if the family’s been targeted in some way, rather than the body dump being random. Complicating the investigation, is the difficulty in identifying the faceless and handless body in the library. Or lounge or whatever.
Add into the mix an eccentric hermit-like artist neighbour, some adultery and a wannabe hero; and we readers are presented with an interesting and complex plot.
There were a few surprises towards the end of this novel – hard to guess until we get all of the facts and meet all of the players – but unpicking the loose threads makes this an enjoyable and engaging read.
I should mention that it wasn’t until I wrote this review I realised I’d missed the previous book in this series, and Breakdown (#31) was the most recent book I’ve read. I comment in that review (and my review of its predecessor, Motive, there seems little fanfare around Kellerman’s Alex Delaware releases nowadays). I wonder if other readers didn’t stick around during the lull or whether it’s just because there are SO many amazing new books and authors out there.
Night Moves by Jonathan Kellerman was published in Australia by Hachette and is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.