Genre: Mystery, Thriller and Suspense
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: HAPPY RELEASE DAY! February 5, 2019
Print Length: 371 pages
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title and Cover: The Wedding Guest – (I prefer the other cover)
Psychologist Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis unravel a shocking crime at a raucous wedding reception in this gripping psychological thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense.
LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis is a fine homicide detective, but when he needs to get into the mind of a killer, he leans on the expertise of his best friend, the brilliant psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware. While Sturgis has a knack for piecing together the details of a crime, Delaware can decipher the darkest intents driving the most vicious of perpetrators. And there’s no better place for the doctor’s analytical skills to shine than a rowdy hall full of young men and women intoxicated on life and lust . . . and suddenly faced with the specter of death.
Summoned to a run-down former strip joint, Delaware and Sturgis find themselves crashing a wild Saints and Sinners–themed wedding reception. But they’re not the only uninvited guests. A horrified bridesmaid has discovered the body of a young woman, dressed to impress in pricey haute couture and accessorized with a grisly red slash around her neck. What’s missing is any means of identification, or a single partygoer who recognizes the victim. The baffled bride is convinced the stranger snuck in to sabotage her big day—and the groom is sure it’s all a dreadful mistake. But Delaware and Sturgis have a hundred guests to question, and a sneaking suspicion that the motive for murder is personal. Now they must separate the sinners from the saints, the true from the false, and the secrets from those keeping them. The party’s over—and the hunt for whoever killed it is on.
An unprecedented 34th in the series, The Wedding Guest brings in psychologist Alex Delaware to the scene of a shocking murder at a wedding reception. LAPD lieutenant Milo Sturgis avails himself of the insight that Delaware brings to the chaotic scene of a celebration that has suddenly turned graphically horrifying. The bride and groom are beside themselves and no one has a clue who the victim is as she was not a guest of either side.
In another of the successful series (and why mess with a formula that works) Delaware and Sturgis work the case, Sturgis firing off theories and ideas, and Delaware functioning as a consultant prodding the niggles in the theories. In this particular case, they run smack-dad into a wall just trying to identify the victim. The men have a camaraderie, comfortable relationship with each acknowledging the intelligence in the other and the dynamic that makes the two work so well together and they begin logically.
The author provides his philosophies and analogies and spices the scenes with biting bits of humor and thought-provoking analysis of the human condition. The prose flows with wit and wisdom.
“Bus-bench lawyers troll records.”
“…it felt like a party hat at a funeral.”
“…not saying high-level psychopaths can’t rise to the top. Look at politics.”
The hook has drawn you in immediately in this well-plotted device and as the red herrings are introduced, disseminated, or added to the list, it’s easy to get sent into left-center field, staring into the sun. The duo manages to follow the next logical lead or find one interspersed with bits regarding their personal lives, the horrendous negotiation of the LA freeway system, and the directions and surrounding topography that create the southern California mystique.
The dialogue is intelligent, plausible. The characters and persons of interest are drawn detailed enough to glimpse in the mind’s eye–persons short, tall, scruffy, or sleek. The scenes laid out smooth enough to smell the foliage or the smog from the traffic on the congested roadways. The detecting tedious at times as no doubt in real life as the two sift through the minutia to gain the next nugget.
The story keeps the engagement in an artfully crafted narrative that pulls in the loose ends in a conclusion you wouldn’t have guessed in an explosive but mostly satisfying climax (depending on how you like justice meted).
I was allowed this ebook download by the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended to all who enjoy a mystery, suspense thriller and fans of the author.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five of Five Stars
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.
©2019 V Williams