Summary and book reviews of The Murder Book by Jonathan Kellerman

The Murder Book

An Alex Delaware Novel

By Jonathan Kellerman

The Murder Book
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  • Hardcover: Oct 2002,
    416 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2003,
    416 pages.

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Book Summary

In seventeen consecutive bestselling novels, Jonathan Kellerman has distinguished himself as the master of the psychological thriller. Now in Kellerman's most compelling and powerful novel yet, 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.

Chapter 1

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...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Publishers Weekly

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.

Booklist - Connie Fletcher

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.

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