Title: Night Moves: An Alex Delaware Novel (#33) by Jonathan Kellerman
Genre: Currently # 56 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Murder
#7 in Amazon Author Rank
Publisher: Balantine Books
Publication Date: JUST released February 13, 2018
Source: Balantine Books and NetGalley
Title and Cover: Night Moves – Cover described book evokes plot locale
Okay, yes, I must confess–it must be true–I have been living in a cave for twenty years as this is the first time I’ve read an Alex Delaware book by Jonathan Kellerman. And this is his thirty-third in the series! Alex gets a jingle late one evening from his old police buddy, LAPD Detective Milo Sturgis, and off he goes on another head-scratcher located on a cul-de-sac in the burbs. The victim will not be easy to identify as he’s been dumped in the home of Chet Corvin and the Corvin’s have absolutely no clue who he might be. The victim’s hands have been removed and he was shot in the face leaving little with which to identify anyone.
Apparently Dr. Delaware and Milo go way back, and have an excellent track record for solving their cases, though Dr. Delaware is not employed directly in the police community. One of the regulars in the series is the doctor’s dog, Blanche, who is known to haunt his private office. The story is told first person through the doc, a child psychologist. His romantic interest, Robin, appears very little in this particular episode.
The cul-de-sac in this upscale suburban neighborhood is populated by all the usual assortment of wildly differing persons in terms of age, education, and income-producing professions, including those who generate independent wealth such as the reclusive artist, Bitt, living next door.
Dr. Delaware appears to be a quiet observer most of the time, while Milo plows ahead with questions and theories–and the man can come up with a boat-load of theories. Dr. D employs his educated opinions and the two spark off each other as they develop one lead after the other. Not at a blazing pace, mind you, probably more realistic in the painstaking way police procedures develop, each new idea surfaces, examined, and either pursued or dumped for the next.
I was struck early in the book by how much the dialogue reminded me of the old Dragnet series, hearing the voices of Webb’s Joe Friday and Morgan’s Bill Gannon. (And, indeed, the old TV show was mentioned, buried in the story–sly–very sly.) As the plot progressed and the characters deepen, the comfortable exchanges become complete conversations, familiar sparring between men, love and respect just under the surface. Dr. D being the major protagonist with (unofficial) partner Milo a close second. Lots of supporting cast, developed or not as the story requires specifics to explain the person’s involvement. Descriptions of characters often include personal details such as weight, tattoos, or clothing down to the labels. There are LOL flashes of humor that highlight the banter and a significantly unique writing style that include sketches such as “A starless sky sagged like a rain-soaked tarp, a malnourished moon cast anemic light.” Yes, I know–don’t have to roll your eyes–but I enjoyed them!
As the plot progresses, red herrings abound, and suspicion waxes and wanes. Tiny little glimmers of information flare into new avenues of interest. Milo has his contacts. He can get, or knows who can help him get, information.
The climax doesn’t come suddenly but is dribbled out by drop and everything explained–eventually. While the narrative doesn’t have you hanging on the edge of your seat or reading until the sun breaks the horizon, it is still a compelling read–and the characters take center stage in this one. I downloaded a copy of the uncorrected ebook from Ballantine Books and NetGalley and can recommend as a thriller, crime, and murder mystery you’ll enjoy and look for more.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four of Five Stars
The Author: (From Amazon Author page ) Jonathan Kellerman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than three dozen bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher’s Theater, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, Twisted, True Detectives, and The Murderer’s Daughter. With his wife, bestselling novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. With his son, bestselling novelist Jesse Kellerman, he co-authored The Golem of Hollywood and The Golem of Paris. He is also the author of two children’s books and numerous nonfiction works, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children and With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards and has been nominated for a Shamus Award. Jonathan and Faye Kellerman live in California, New Mexico, and New York.
(Excerpt from Goodreads Author page) Like his fictional protagonist, Alex Delaware, Jonathan received at Ph.D. in psychology at the age of 24, with a specialty in the treatment of children. He served internships in clinical psychology and pediatric psychology at Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles and was a post-doctoral HEW Fellow in Psychology and Human Development at CHLA. ©2018 V Williams