"Gone" is a more cerebral offering to the Alex Delaware series, with more attention than usual paid to the psychology of actors than the crimes themselves, and yet, in the end, we're left with no real answers, not even anything very concrete as to why the crimes occurred in the first place. Alex seems to be wandering in this one, as he re-evaluates his life, and the changes that take place - with Robin's return and Allison's slow fade - exemplify that. The distance Alex takes makes it hard to care about much of anything except his relationship with Milo. I'll freely admit half the reason I love these books is because of Milo, so getting to see him so much is a joy. It's the interactions between him and Alex in this one that make it readable, not necessarily the mysteries themselves.
Jonathan Kellerman is a winner - at every level. His Dr. Alex Delaware is a most believable and wonderful character, as are his LAPD buddy Milo and his old love Robin. This book - as do many of Kellerman's - deals with the scum of the earth, serial killers, and their ultra-twisted psyches. Bone-chillingly super read!
"From Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Kellerman's pulse-pounding 20th Alex Delaware novel...the Los Angeles psychologist looks into the murder of attractive 23-year-old Michaela Brand, an aspiring actress. Soon after Michaela and a fellow acting student, 24-year-old Dylan Meserve, achieve their 15 minutes of fame by staging their abduction, their hoax is exposed and Michaela turns up dead in circumstances reminiscent of her faked assault...
While the murderer's identity may not be that surprising, the author's ability to convey the unrelenting sadness of his characters' lives and his deep psychological insights will satisfy those looking for more than mere thrills."
I haven't read of Kelldrman's books before, but I'm going to find some other titles now. The man has a twisty-twisty mind! This Who-Dun-It kept me wondering 'til the very last chapter.
From back cover: No one conducts a more chilling, suspenseful, thoroughly engrossing tour through the winding corridors of criminal behavior and the secret chambers of psychopathology than Jonathan Kellerman, the bestselling "master of the psychological thriller" (People). Now the incomparable team of psychologist Alex Delaware and homicide cop Milo Sturgis embark on their most dangerous excursion yet, into the dark places where risk runs high and blood runs cold.
It's a story tailor-made for the nightly news: Dylan Meserve and Michaela Brand, young lovers and fellow acting students, vanish on the way home from a rehearsal. Three days later, the two of them are found in the remote mountains of Malibu -battered and terrified after a harrowing ordeal at the hands of a sadistic abductor.
The details of the nightmarish event are shocking and brutal: The couple was carjacked at gunpoint by a masked assailant and subjected to a horrific regimen of confinement, starvation and assault.
But before long, doubts arise about the couple's story, and as forensic details unfold, the abduction is exposed as a hoax. Charged as criminals themselves, the aspiring actors claim emotional problems, and the court orders psychological evaluation for both.
Michaela is examined by Alex Delaware, who finds that her claims of depression and stress ring true enough. But they don't explain her lies, and Alex is certain that there are hidden layers in this sordid psychodrama that even he hasn't been able to penetrate.
Nevertheless, the case is closed - only to be violently reopened when Michaela is savagely murdered. When the police look for Dylan, they find that he's gone. Is he the killer or a victim himself? Casting their dragnet into the murkiest corners of L.A., Delaware and Sturgis unearth more questions than answers - including a host of eerily identical killings. What really happened to the couple who cried wolf? And what bizarre and brutal epidemic is infecting the city with terror, madness, and sudden, twisted death?
Missing acting students Dylan & Michaela are found in the remote mountains of Malibu, battered and terrified after a harrowing ordeal at the hands of a sadistic abductor. But forensic evidence soon exposes the incident as a hoax, and the kids are charged as criminals themselves. After examining Michaela, psychologist Alex Delaware is certain that there's more to this sordid psychodrama, and his instincts prove dead-on when she is savagely murdered. Casting their dragnet into the murkiest corners of L.A., Delaware & homicide cop Milo Strugis unearth more questions than snswers-and a host of eerily identical killings. What bizarre and brutal epidemic is infecting the city with terror, madness, and sudden, twisted death?
Alex and Milo team up to find the killer of a young girl that Alex saw as a consult for "pretending" to be abducted. Unfortunately, the real thing happens and she is murdered. Alex and Milo are frustrated at every turn trying to find out what happened and who is responsible. The truth they find is more grisly and horrible than either of them imagined in their worst nightmare. Good read.
Missing acting students Dylan and Michaela, are found in the remote mountains of Malibu, battered and terrified after a harrowing ordeal at the hands of a sadistic abductor. But forensic evidence soon exposes the incident as a hoax, and the kids are charged as criminals themselves.After examining Michaela, psychologist Alex Delaware is certain that there's more to this sordid psychodrama, and his instinct prove dead-on when she is savagely murdered.