I’ve just finished reading the most recent Alex Delaware, by prolific author Jonathan Kellerman. As always, I’m left mainly satisfied and slightly disappointed.
Heartbreak Hotel contains some of my favorite mystery elements; Hollywood history, cold cases, mysterious death, and a victim who is an enigma.
Kellerman is a master craftsman. If you haven’t checked out his series, I highly recommend. Intricate plotting, well rounded characters that survive a lengthy series, and usually a pretty darn good mystery.
The series relies heavily on the relationship between homicide detective Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware-an introspective, compassionate child psychiatrist. The two work together on Milo’s cases that warrant a look from the perspective of someone who knows human nature and sociopath/psychopath nature as well.
Kellerman shows a deep understanding of childhood trauma, as he himself has a background in this area. He often speaks through Delaware and gives deservedly realistic, compassionate and wise insight into the lives of children who have experienced trauma. Alex draws on his psychiatry background (and often past clients) to aid Milo in solving crimes. In turn, Milo is just as competent in his field; it’s a nice change to see two equally adept professionals working so well together. The stories are made more enjoyable as their friendship grows.
Kellerman’s plots tend to be highly unlikely…some are really out there/very unrealistic. This one not so much–but he resorts too often to the sexually violent crimes which are explained in detail…which do make sense given Milo’s LAPD lieutenant status, but all the same, the gruesome details often seem over the top on what typically is a very intellectual story.
Despite Delaware’s annoyingly perfect girlfriend Robin, and Milo’s ever elusive boyfriend the novels are intriguing. Milo’s sexual orientation is treated both matter-of-factly and with acknowledgement of the difficulties this brings him on the force. Two very strong, very likable male lead characters have brought this series successfully through 32 books (with a 33rd being released next year).
Check out the series! Fantastic Fiction, always my go-to, has a list in order of publication date as well as info on Kellerman’s other series. https://www.fantasticfiction.com/k/jonathan-kellerman/