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Compulsion: An Alex Delaware Novel    by Jonathan Kellerman order for
by Jonathan Kellerman
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Author Jonathan Kellerman has done it once again with Compulsion. After books almost too numerous to count, he has produced another novel that is fresh, up-to-date, suspenseful, thrilling, and intriguing, with new characters to love or hate and old characters who are like friends by now.

Clinical Psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware, sometime consultant to the LAPD, is drawn into a case involving a missing girl. No one has seen her or her car since she left a local watering hole early one morning. What ensues is a search through the privileged scions of Los Angeles, spiraling downward into the inner recesses of the less than socially acceptable denizens of dark nights. Delaware and his police detective friend Milo Sturgis trace the girl's last moments, and are not happy with what they find.

Kellerman takes his readers through a world unknown to most of us, peopled with transvestite hookers as well as commodities brokers. The moneyed, with all their glitz and glamour, vie for space on the pages with the hungry, the druggies, and those who haven't yet found their place in this world. And, as always, Kellerman presents an ending worthy of his skill with the printed word. Compulsion is a thriller that keeps the pages turning at a fast clip.

2nd Review by Hilary Williamson:

In Compulsion, Dr. Alex Delaware once again consults on the fringes of his oddball police detective friend Milo Sturgis's investigation. Jonathan Kellerman opens, 'Kat loved breaking the rules', going on to show us the bad choices that haunt her last hours alive. Soon she's 'Headed for a dark, cold, place.'

Milo is just back on the job after recovering from a shooting. Now he's called in by Sean Binchy, a young detective he's mentoring, on a 'Recovered car theft' - the Bentley came back with blood in it. Then an old woman is viciously stabbed, and investigators learn that the killer drove a Benz.

As always, Milo's thorough investigation - aided by Alex's keen psychological insights and research into similar cold cases - picks away at the puzzle until seemingly unrelated events come together into a clear picture of a helpful killer who likes luxury wheels, is skilled in the 'Art of the misdirect', and has 'developed a taste for playing God.'

Readers can always count on Jonathan Kellerman for well designed puzzles, unusual and intriguing characters and a rational progression towards solutions for both his main mystery and minor ones. The banter between Alex and his friend Milo only adds to our reading pleasure.

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