Book shipping season is over. That excuse won't reappear until next fall. Urgent? What's urgent for an old retired guy? Getting up to the lake? Reading another book? Cooking supper?
So, I'm catching up. The book I buried this time was Gone by Jonathan Kellerman. I've been on another Kellerman kick this winter and spring. But Jonathan and Faye [at right] have written so many books. Even one of their kids has written a novel.
This book is the 20th "Alex Delaware Novel" by Jonathan Kellerman. Alex Delaware, like J. A. Jance's character J.P. Beaumont, has come into a lot of money. He drives an expensive car and lives in a luxurious home. In both Kellerman and Jance's minds that puts these characters in a situation where they have more freedom than the working stiffs with whom they cooperate. Maybe it makes them more interesting for some people.
Delaware seems to be a part-time clinical psychologist and a part-time, experienced amateur criminal investigator (like his creator who is a part-time clinical psychologist and a part-time mystery writer). Delaware often hangs out and works with his old buddy, L.A. detective Milo Sturgis.
[Latigo Canyon, at left in a realtor's photo, is the site of important events in Gone.]
The story of Gone is complex. A murder here and another there (or I should say one then and another now). A strange family living off the wealth of a previous generation. Wannabe starlets in LA. Kellerman is a good story teller. The complexity might have been overwhelming, but it wasn't -- even though it took me a couple weeks to find time to read the whole book.
I liked reading this book, probably more than I liked the story. One of the online reviewers said that one of the best parts of the book was the relationship and dialogue between Delaware and his buddy Sturgis. I agree. I think it's probably the best part of the book. It's one of the treats that kept me reading all the way through the 360 pages.
Have any of you read this or other Kellerman novels? What did you think of them?
- Jonathan Kellerman's web site
- Joe Hartlaub's review of Gone at Book Reporter
- A less-enthusiastic, unsigned review from The Mystery Site