Monday, January 21, 2013

bad love

bad love
alex delaware series #8
jonathan kellerman
random house publishing
published 1994

It came in a plain brown wrapper, no return address - a tape recording of a horrifying, soul-lacerating scream, followed by the sound of a childlike voice delivering the enigmatic and haunting message: 'Bad love. Bad love. Don't give me the bad love...'

For Alex Delaware the tape is the first intimation that he is about to enter a living nightmare. Others soon follow: disquieting laughter echoing over a phone line that suddenly goes dead, a chilling act of trespass and vandalism. He has become the target of a carefully orchestrated campaign of vague threats and intimidation rapidly building to a crescendo as harassment turns to terror, mischief to madness. With the help of his friend LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, Alex uncovers a series of violent deaths that may follow a diabolical pattern. And if he fails to decipher the twisted logic of the stalker's mind games, Alex will be the next to die.

1994 doesn't feel that long ago to me.  Maybe because I graduated from high school only a year prior to that, but it has been 19 years.  The thing I love the most, or maybe just the thing that makes me chuckle throughout the book are instances when we're shown just how far technology has come since 1994.  Alex doesn't own a computer or a cell phone.  When he wants to find something he drives himself over to the college library and looks stuff up.  In my head I say, why doesn't be Google it?!?!

Maybe because Kellerman's professional life is mirrored so perfectly in Alex Delaware or maybe because he's written so many books in the series.  Either way, Delaware is a fully fleshed out character.  He acts kind of hokey sometimes, but it's 1994.  Wasn't everyone hokey in the 90's?

He writes the psychology mumbo jumbo without making you feel like you're at a boring lecture or like you're a dummy.  The clinical aspects of the story are brief yet thorough.  You understand the psychosis discussed, the methodology of the treatment and it's not boring.  The story is suspenseful and intriguing.  You can't wait to get to the end to see how it all plays out, how it's all connected.  And you're taken by surprise at times.

A really, really good book.  Having taken a break from Alex Delaware for a little more than 3 years (because the last book I read, Devil's Waltz was so boring I could hardly stand it) this was a good book to start my journey back into his world.  He still does the weird navigation commentary that I don't enjoy, but I've learned to skim over those parts quickly!

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