Monster (Alex Delaware, No. 13)
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Alex Delaware is back! And in Jonathan Kellerman's riveting and ingenious new novel, Monster, he faces one of the most grisly and baffling mysteries of his career: How can a nonfunctional psychotic locked up in a supposedly secure institution for homicidal madmen predict brutal murders in the outside world? Delaware and his friend and partner Detective Milo Sturgis must penetrate this enigma in order to stop the horrific killings.
A marginal actor is found dead in a car trunk, sawn in half. Months later, a psychologist at a hospital for the criminally insane is discovered murdered and mutilated in a tantalizingly similar way. When reports of an inmate's incoherent ramblings begin to make frightening sense as predictions of yet more slayings, Delaware and Sturgis are drawn into a web of family secrets, vengeance, and manipulation--both inside the asylum and on the streets of L.A., where death, drugs, and sex are marketed as commodities. The climactic discovery they make as they race to prevent more killings gives fresh and terrifying meaning to the concept of monstrosity.
With Monster's incomparably deft characterizations and dazzlingly dark plot twists, Jonathan Kellerman further enhances his literary position as master of the psychological thriller.
searching a five-mile radius outside the hospital grounds. Tell your men in front not to hold anyone up at the gate.” Swig said, “We need to keep this under wraps until— What I mean is, let's find out exactly what happened before we jump to—” “What do you think happened, Mr. Swig?” “Peake surprised Frank and cut his throat. Frank's a strong man. So it had to be a sneak attack.” “What did Peake use to cut him?” No answer. “No guesses?” said Milo. “What about Dollard's own knife?” “None of
Professor Hope Devane's male-bashing pop-psych bestseller created a storm of controversy on the talk-show circuit. Now she is dead, brutally slashed on a quiet street in one of L.A.'s safest neighborhoods. The LAPD's investigation has gone cold, and homicide detective Milo Sturgis turns to his friend Dr. Alex Delaware for a psychological profile of the victim—and a portrait of a killer. Hope Devane had very different public and private faces. The killer could be any one of the millions who read
huge tipu tree. Matching trees tilted over the pavement. The sidewalk was bleached and dry where the branches didn't hover. Second lot in, third from the end. Eight neighboring residences in all, most like Claire Argent's, with minor variation. Very few cars at the curb, but closed garage doors made it hard to assess what that meant. No major intersections or nearby commercial district. You'd have to intend to come up here. This high, the air was moving. In the summer light, the tipu trees were
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generally detest—I never picked up an inkling of anything quite so repellent, but . . . How'd they get along? Who loves a stepmother? And Sybil wasn't exactly the maternal type.” “But she managed to get them involved in her theatrical production.” “Only one of them—the one who drew.” “Derrick,” I said. “She wrote about it in the Intelligencer. Still, spoiled adolescents don't do things they hate.” She turned quiet. “Yes . . . I suppose he must have enjoyed it. Why all these questions about