City of the Dead

Ballantine. (Alex Delaware, Bk. 37). Feb. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780525618584. $28.99. THRILLER
The 37th Alex Delaware thriller (after Serpentine) is Kellerman at his best. When two movers riding through a Los Angeles neighborhood accidentally hit something with their van, Detective Milo Sturgis and his crew get a baffling case. As always when dealing with possible psychological motives, Milo calls on his friend and colleague, Alex Delaware, for assistance. It seems that the movers hit a naked man, not an animal, and the victim appears to have died before the crash. As the detectives examine the crash scene, they find a blood trail leading into a house where they find a woman’s body. Could the two deaths be related? When Alex recognizes the dead woman as Cordelia Gannett, an internet influencer who passed herself off as a psychologist in a child custody case, things become more complicated, as Cordelia had a difficult childhood and troublesome adult relationships. Milo and Alex follow the clues and discover a surprising and shocking motive.
VERDICT Kellerman uses his training as a psychologist to construct a crime and perpetrator that will have readers turning pages and guessing until the very end.
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