Alex Delaware, The Crime Reader, returns in Bad Love - a compulsive novel from Jonathan Kellerman, the master of psychological suspense.
After a distinguished career in child psychology, Jonathan Kellerman turned to writing full-time, and there are now over thirty million copies of his novels in print. He is also the author of two volumes of psychology. He lives in Southern California with his wife, the novelist Faye Kellerman, and their four children.
Spine-chilling screams, followed by a childlike chant that includes the words ``bad love, bad love,'' appear on a tape sent anonymously to Alex Delaware, the financially independent, Los Angeles-based child psychologist and amateur sleuth who has starred in seven previous Kellerman novels, beginning with When the Bough Breaks ( LJ 3/1/85). Delaware's pal, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, recalls that recently a man shouted ``bad love'' after killing his therapist in a clinic. After some research, the psychologist remembers that he was coerced into serving as cochair of a less-than-successful 1979 conference honoring analyst Andres de Bosch, who espoused a theory of maternal good love/bad love. Starting from these seemingly unrelated past events, the two men pursue one tenuous lead after another to a surprising conclusion. The prolific best-selling author keeps the reader involved through some rather fantastic plot turns. Delaware fans will be looking for this title. BOMC main selection.-- V. Louise Saylor, Eastern Washington Univ. Lib., Cheney
'Convincing psychiatrics; stylish, solidly characterised and salted as usual, with Kellerman's distaste for the LA landscape' -- LITERARY REVIEW 'His portrait of lotus land under siege, with its underclass of sickos, addicts and no-hopers is precise and convincing' -- OBSERVER 'A terrific read and one that will keep you page-turning into the small hours' -- IRISH TIMES
The latest Dr. Alex Delaware novel, after Devil's Waltz , follows the child psychologist on an intricately plotted, murder-strewn course that started 20 years earlier when he was on staff at a Los Angeles children's hospital. Recently, Alex has become the target of ominous threats: weird laughter over the phone, a fish from his pond cruelly skewered, a tape of a child's voice repeating the words ``bad love . '' Initially he ties the threats to his work with two young sisters whose father, in prison for the murder of their mother, is claiming visitation rights. But Alex also remembers the phrase ``bad love'' was used by a child psychiatrist honored at a 1979 symposium he cosponsored at the hospital. A file search by his LAPD pal Milo Sturgis connects the phrase to two LA murders five and three years ago; inquiries by Alex reveal a surprisingly high death rate among speakers at the symposium. After more murders and harsher threats, the trails converge in a confrontation with a psychotic killer. Kellerman constructs his plot as adeptly as Robin Castagna, Alex's live-in lover, builds her prized guitars, but the decades-past motivation, the tangled connections among victims and Alex's peripheral association with the murderer foster a clinical detachment from the story's events. BOMC selection. (Jan.)