A review by Steve Cameron
Mystery: When Alex Delaware, a practising psychologist, is asked by his friend, Lt. Milo Sturgis of LAPD Homicide, to offer his professional opinion on a faceless corpse, he is stunned to realise that this is the body of a woman he and his wife had seen at a restaurant the previous evening. Now that the restaurant has closed permanently, it appears the only clue as to her identity rests with his description of a sinister looking man who seemed to have been waiting for her outside. That is, until, connections are made with a dating internet site, an extremely rich ‘sugar-daddy’, and his middle aged children.
This is, apparently, Kellerman’s 26th novel in the Alex Delaware series. And he seems to have quite a following. As far as police procedurals go, this had all the elements necessary to keep fans of the genre happy. Ultimately I found the novel to be satisfying enough, although elements of the procedure seemed unrealistic to me, and some of the clues and paths of enquiry required incredible leaps of logic from the investigators. And looking back after the revelation of the murderer showed little in the way of clues or forewarning.
Despite this, I found it to be a solid read. I read this book rapidly and found myself looking forward to picking it up again. Fans of the series have told me it’s a return to form for the series, which they thought had started to become a little tired and formulaic. Just one question, though. How does Delaware make an income when he spends all his time helping out his friend with these investigations?
Publisher: Headline (Hachette)
Originally published in Dark Matter issue 5, September 2011. This post has been pre-dated to reflect the original publication date.