Now the incomparable team of psychologist Alex Delaware and homicide cop Milo Sturgis embark on their most dangerous excursion yet, into the dark places where risk runs high and blood runs cold.
It's a story tailor-made for the nightly news: Dylan Meserve and Michaela Brand, young lovers and fellow acting students, vanish on the way home from a rehearsal. Three days later, the two of them are found in the remote mountains of Malibu - battered and terrified after a harrowing ordeal at the hands of a sadistic abductor.
The details of the nightmarish event are shocking and brutal: The couple was carjacked at gunpoint by a masked assailant and subjected to a horrific regimen of confinement, starvation and assault.
But before long, doubts arise about the couples story, and as forensic details unfold, the abduction is exposed as a hoax. Charged as criminals themselves, the aspiring actors claim emotional problems, and the court orders psychological evaluation for both.
Michaela is examined by Alex Delaware, who finds that her claims of depression and stress ring true enough. But they dont explain her lies, and Alex is certain that there are hidden layers in this sordid psychodrama that even he hasnt been able to penetrate.
Nevertheless, the case is closed only to be violently reopened when Michaela is savagely murdered. When the police look for Dylan,they find that hes gone. Is he the killer or a victim himself? Casting their dragnet into the murkiest corners of L.A., Delaware and Sturgis unearth more questions than answersincluding a host of eerily identical killings. What really happened to the couple who cried wolf? And what bizarre and brutal epidemic is infecting the city with terror, madness, and sudden, twisted death?
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"While the murderer's identity may not be that surprising, the author's ability to convey the unrelenting sadness of his characters' lives and his deep psychological insights will satisfy those looking for more than mere thrills." - Publishers Weekly.
"Highly recommended for public libraries." - Library Journal.
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Jonathan Kellerman is one of the world's most popular authors. He has brought his expertise as a clinical psychologist to numerous bestselling tales of suspense (which have been translated into two dozen languages), including fifteen previous Alex Delaware novels; The Butcher's Theater, a story of serial killing in Jerusalem; and Billy Straight, featuring Hollywood homicide detective Petra Connor. He is also the author of numerous essays, short stories, and scientific articles, two children's books, and three volumes of psychology, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children. Jonathan Kellerman has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards, and has been nominated for a Shamus Award. He and his wife, the novelist Faye Kellerman, have four children.
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