This was an old one. First published in 1992. It's even older than any of our cars. But, enjoying it was sort of a guilty pleasure. Then again, movies and books about the rich were popular during the Great Depression, so maybe a book about rich people is attractive now. Why that should be so I don't know.
Maybe when people are anxious about their economic futures, reading about people who have more money than god is reassuring. I know I've lived through recessions before, but never with the anxiety I've felt recently. Of course, I've never been retired before. In any case, a story about wealthy people who are different from the rest of us, was attractive, not repulsive.
Kellerman's Dr. Delaware is rich enough to work only when he wants to. And his client in this book is a lot richer than that.
In the first fourth of the book, Delaware recalls the little girl he treated and describes his analysis and the course of therapy. (That's what inspired me to pick up Oliver Sacks' book.) The rest of the book is about what happens after the nearly grown-up little girl calls Dr. Delaware because she's convinced her mother has been kidnapped.
As is common, I guess, in Kellerman's novels, Dr. Delaware recruits his LAPD detective buddy Milo Sturgis to help investigate the disappearance.
I told David, when I was about two-thirds of the way through the book, that the exchanges between Delaware and Sturgis were well-done. Kellerman really moved the story along through the dialogues. Instead of describing things from some distant third-person perspective, the story is told by the investigators as they share what they've learned along the way. I really liked it.
That all broke down at the end of the book. When the evil bad guy talks and talks and talks about what he's done and why. It's boring. The evil bad guy deserved to be shot on the spot just for blabbing on and on.
So the last 50 pages or so were a bust. The first 400 or so pages contained a good story.
Now, what did you think of it?
- Jonathan Kellerman's web site
- cwriter's review at Wacky Web Writings
- Gene Lyons' review in Entertainment Weekly