I’ve read almost (if not) all of the Alex Delaware / Milo Sturgis series by Jonathan Kellerman and it was one of the first series I remember reading about a psychologist helping the police with investigations.
I commented a few books ago that I felt that the series had perhaps become a little lacklustre and run its course but Kellerman proved me wrong with his more recent releases, Night Moves and Breakdown.
The Wedding Guest
by Jonathan Kellerman
Series: Alex Delaware #34
Published by Century
on February 7th 2019
Genres: Crime Fiction
ISBN: 1780899017, 9781780899015
First comes love...then comes murder. In the middle of a 'Saints and Sinners' themed wedding, a bridesmaid finds a young woman's corpse collapsed in the bathroom. None of the wedding guests claim to know the well-dressed victim but psychologist Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis aren't so convinced.
I enjoyed this new release and noted that Kellerman included a bit of introspection on Alex’s behalf that I couldn’t remember seeing for some time. This book actually offers a good backstory snapshot for newcomers and summarises Alex’s relationship with long-term partner Robyn and reflects on their decision not to marry or have children, as well as the fact his friend Milo has chosen not to marry his long-term love. In addition there’s a brief reference to his own (and Robyn’s) childhoods and parents and I had to cast my mind back to try to remember what I knew about Alex’s past.
Robyn features a little more in this book and I was okay with that. When I whinged about the series a while ago I commented that I didn’t like Robyn. I wasn’t sure why and I remember their on-again / off-again stages. This time she’s around a little more to act as a sounding board for Alex over dinner and there are a couple of subtle sex scenes that I couldn’t remember reading for a while (if ever) in this series.
I also noted a couple of surprises in Kellerman’s writing – slightly tongue-in-cheek or snarky prose…. Milo saying he’d do something “When swine aviate,” which took me a second before I chuckled (p 65). And later – though the film / television industry’s often referenced in the series because of its location – there’s mention of ‘celebrities who’ve achieved fame for merely existing’. *snigger*
The whodunit / mystery here takes a little while to get going and it’s probably more reflective of real-life investigations; the lack of evidence and information thwarting detectives and so forth, but we’re introduced to some of the major players in the beginning and remain suspicious of their involvement until the end when a few twists take us elsewhere.
It’s sometimes a bit hard to play armchair detective when the clues needed aren’t uncovered until the very end or we’re not provided with information, which is the case here, but it’s still an interesting mystery nonetheless.
The Wedding Guest by Jonathan Kellerman will be published by Random House UK (Cornerstone) in early February 2019.
I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.