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Killer

Cover of Killer

Killer

Alex Delaware Series, Book 29
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After thirty-five riveting, internationally acclaimed novels of psychological suspense, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman returns with his most stunning thriller to date. Killer...More
After thirty-five riveting, internationally acclaimed novels of psychological suspense, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman returns with his most stunning thriller to date. Killer...More
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Description-
  • After thirty-five riveting, internationally acclaimed novels of psychological suspense, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman returns with his most stunning thriller to date. Killer is a mesmerizing L.A. noir portrayal of the darkest impulses of human nature carried to shocking extremes.

    The City of Angels has more than its share of psychopaths, and no one recognizes that more acutely than the brilliant psychologist and police consultant Dr. Alex Delaware. Despite that, Constance Sykes, a sophisticated, successful physician, hardly seems like someone Alex needs to fear. Then, at the behest of the court, he becomes embroiled in a bizarre child custody dispute initiated by Connie against her sister and begins to realize that there is much about the siblings he has failed to comprehend. And when the court battle between the Sykes sisters erupts into cold, calculating murder and a rapidly growing number of victims, Alex knows he's been snared in a toxic web of pathology.

    Nothing would please Alex more than to be free of the ugly spectacle known as Sykes v. Sykes. But then the little girl at the center of the vicious dispute disappears and Alex knows he must work with longtime friend Detective Milo Sturgis, braving an obstacle course of Hollywood washouts, gangbangers, and self-serving jurists in order to save an innocent life.

    Killer is Kellerman--and Delaware--at their finest.

    Praise for Jonathan Kellerman

    "Jonathan Kellerman has justly earned his reputation as a master of the psychological thriller."--People

    "Kellerman really knows how to keep those pages turning."--The New York Times Book Review


    From the Hardcover edition.

 
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  • From the book

    CHAPTER 1

    "I'm not going to shoot you, Dr. Delaware. Even though I should."

    What's the proper response to something like that?

    "Gee thanks, appreciate the discretion."

    "Hope you don't change your mind."

    "Hmm. Sounds like you're feeling . . . homicidal."

    When in doubt, say nothing. My job features doubt on a daily basis, but it's good advice for anyone.

    I sat in my chair and crossed my legs in order to appear unperturbed and continued to look into the eyes of the person who'd just threatened my life. In return, I received a serene stare. Not a flicker of regret in the flat brown eyes. Just the opposite: icy contentment.

    I'd seen the same creepy, inanimate confidence in the eyes of psychopaths locked up in supermax cells. The person across the room had never been arrested.

    None of the usual warning signs had been present. No delusions or command hallucinations, none of the bizarre mannerisms or twitchy volatility that can result from too many crossed wires. No seepage of testosterone leading to unbridled violence.

    The person who'd just threatened my life didn't have much in the way of testosterone.

    Her name was Constance Sykes and she preferred to be called Connie. She was forty-four years old, medium build, medium height, blond turning to gray, with a handsome, square-jawed face, a mellow voice, and perfect posture. She'd been a straight-A student, had earned a B.A. in chemistry, Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, followed by an M.D. at a top medical school, then a prestigious internship and residency and board certification in pathology.

    She owned and operated a small, private lab in the Valley that specialized in testing for sexually transmitted diseases and arcane infections, drove a Lexus, and lived in a house far too large for one person. Most people would call her wealthy; she described her financial status as "comfortable."

    Every time I'd seen her, including this morning, she'd been well groomed and dressed in quietly fashionable clothing. She wore jewelry but if you spent enough time with her, she'd inevitably remove bracelets and brooches and earrings and stare at them as if they were bits of alien flotsam. Then she'd put them back on, frowning, as if the notion of embellishment was a nuisance but also a responsibility and she was no shirker.

    She had her issues, but nothing that had predicted this.

    A self-professed loner, Connie Sykes seemed at ease with never having lived with anyone since leaving home for college. Matter-of-factly, she'd let me know she was an expert on self-sustenance, had never needed or wanted or imagined another person in her life.

    Until "the baby" came along.

    She hadn't gestated the baby or given birth to the baby but she wanted the baby, felt she deserved to have the baby, had gone to considerable effort and expense to get the baby.

    That quest had been doomed from the outset, with or without my input, but I'd been paid to offer an expert opinion on her case and Connie Sykes had just learned that she'd most certainly fail in her claim and she was unaccustomed to losing and someone needed to be blamed.

    She'd stirred up needless pain but I felt some sympathy for her. My best friend, a gay homicide detective, describes psychologists as reflexive yeah-sayers. ("Forget Dr. No. You're Dr. Sure-no-problem.") Of course, he's right. If therapists enjoyed deprivation and prohibition, we'd have studied for the clergy or run for office.

    I figured if Connie Sykes called, I'd do my best to offer support, maybe smooth the edges.

    She didn't. She just showed up. I had time so I led her to the...

About the Author-
  • Jonathan Kellerman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher's Theater, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, Twisted, and True Detectives. With his wife, bestselling novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. He is also the author of two children's books and numerous nonfiction works, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children and With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards and has been nominated for a Shamus Award. Jonathan and Faye Kellerman live in California, New Mexico, and New York.

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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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