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Compulsion (Alex Delaware, No. 22)

Compulsion (Alex Delaware, No. 22) by Jonathan Kellerman

ISBN10: 0345509595
ISBN13: 978-0345509598
Author: Jonathan Kellerman
Book title: Compulsion (Alex Delaware, No. 22)
Publisher: Ballantine Books; Mass Paperback Edition edition (August 26, 2008)
Language: English
Size PDF: 1703 kb
Size ePub: 1159 kb
Size Fb2: 1573 kb
Rating: 4.7/5
Votes: 469

Compulsion (Alex Delaware, No. 22) by Jonathan Kellerman

Once again, the depths of the criminal mind and the darkest side of a glittering city fuel #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman’s brilliant storytelling. And no one conducts a more harrowing and suspenseful manhunt than the modern Sherlock Holmes of the psyche, Dr. Alex Delaware. A tipsy young woman seeking aid on a desolate highway disappears into the inky black night. A retired schoolteacher is stabbed to death in broad daylight. Two women are butchered after closing time in a small-town beauty parlor. These and other bizarre acts of cruelty and psychopathology are linked only by the killer’s use of luxury vehicles and a baffling lack of motive. The ultimate whodunits, these crimes demand the attention of LAPD detective Milo Sturgis and his collaborator on the crime beat, psychologist Alex Delaware.What begins with a solitary bloodstain in a stolen sedan quickly spirals outward in odd and unexpected directions, leading Delaware and Sturgis from the well-heeled center of L.A. society to its desperate edges; across the paths of commodities brokers and transvestite hookers; and as far away as New York City, where the search thaws out a long-cold case and exposes a grotesque homicidal crusade. The killer proves to be a fleeting shape-shifter, defying identification, leaving behind dazed witnesses and death–and compelling Alex and Milo to confront the true face of murderous madness.From the Trade Paperback edition.


I have read maybe 10 books in the Alex Delaware series, some really good, some that are just ok and this one which is flat out terrible. There are two story lines involved, first Milo is assigned a 17 year old murder case involving the murder of a young boy and secondly who is the perpetrator of what seem to be unconnected brutal murders taking place, with nothing to tie them together other than expensive cars used in two of the murders.

The cold case really takes a back seat in this story and once it is solved at the end of the book the solution comes right out of left field...really dumb! The current case is so disjointed it is hard to follow at times and the reader never really gets any sense about the perpetrator or why he is committing the murders. The resolution of this case really provides the reader with no reasonable explanation other than I guess we are supposed to be shocked by the behavior of the antagonist. In this story there really is no psychological reason why Alex is even involved, given he has nothing else to do so he just tags along after Milo. Alex has become really boring along with continual scenes telling us how much Milo can wolf down in a restaurant and how poorly he dresses. It will be quite awhile before I schedule another visit with the good doctor after wading through this mess. Jonathan Kellerman has become so predictable and boring I find it hard ti understand how he continues to be so popular....Unless you are a fanatic follower of this series skip this one and hope the next one is better!

Nothing personal
I've loved Jonathon Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels for many years now, and Compulsion continues his tradition of writing highly-involving and often moving psychological thrillers.

That being said, Compulsion is not his strongest effort. It actually reads very well till the end, when the payoff is not as rewarding as one would have hoped. Everything just kind of stops, or is wrapped up too quickly and conveniently to be truly satisfying. It's a shame, because the set-up is so good!

Still, Kellerman on an off day is better than most writers at their best. Kellerman sees his characters like a jeweler sees diamonds - every aspect, every flaw is brilliant highlighted and remarked upon. He's a master of illuminating the human psyche.

This book is full of vivid characters whom Kellerman is able to convey in their myriad complexities. His dialogue is always fresh and smart. A lot of this book took me by surprise - Kellerman's villians are always pretty twisted, and the bad guys in Compulsion are memorably creepy.

If you've read some of the other books in the Alex Delaware series, and enjoyed them, you'll want to pick up Compulsion, too. Just the interplay between Delaware and his crusty friend/partner-in-crime Milo Sturgis, are worth the price of admission.

If you're new to the Delaware books, you might want to check out some of the earlier books in the series first. Bad Love (Alex Delaware) and Self-Defense (Alex Delaware) are great places to start. Then, like me, you may find this a four or five star read, as you'll have come to love the recurring characters no matter what they do.

Scott Sherman, First You Fall: A Kevin Connor Mystery

Did J.K. get tired of writing this one part way through? Did he realize how much he was reaching to come up with the premise to begin with? Did he have a contract deadline and have to write a book, however bad?
I don't know, but "Compulsion" is not worth the money as far as I am concerned. Cross-dressing, killing for no particular reason sometimes, money sometimes, who know why othertimes, Kellerman's bad guy in this one is someone we don't even get the "joy" of getting to know. He/she is just a paper villain, and we are left at the end, wondering what the heck happened to make this person the way they were. No explanations were given.
The subplot with Robin and a customer who may or may not be starting to stalk her is thin, too.
And, oh, by the way, why don't Robin and Alex get married already?? Or something. Instead of drifting in and out on each other. Commit, you two!

Book was very good. Kept the mystery going so you did not want to put the book down. The descriptions got to be a little long but overall I enjoyed the book. I like the banter between Milo and Alex and how Mr. Killer an weaves in Robin to the story line.

Slow, boring, and predictable; with way too much "filler" narrative that fills pages and kills time but doesn't move the plot along. I finished it only because I've read all of Kellerman's previous Alex Delaware novels and gotten familiar with the characters, and I didn't want to break the series. But I really hope they've gotten better in the last few years; otherwise Alex Delaware and I may be parting ways.

mym Ђудęm ęгσ НuK
The mysteries are unrelated. New homicide(s) missing connections. Cold case broken on confession p of another kind. Perversion providing cover; perversion, of the worse kind.

Or detective shines once more while our shrink chauffeurs, conducts side investigations, and provides the sounding board for detection.

I, too, am a longtime Kellerman fan. Yet, like many others, I was disappointed in his latest effort. I was reading the book on my Kindle, and so didn't realize I was coming to the end until it was there. I was seriously shocked. Too pat, too neatly tied in a package, too . . . everything. I got the feeling that Kellerman's publisher wanted another book and he delivered, but his heart clearly wasn't in it. The "subplot" of Delaware's on-again lover, Robin, and the customer who made her nervous was entirely unnecessary and added nothing to the book. The other "subplot" involving solving the disappearance of a missing boy also seemed out of place. I don't want this series to end; I'd just like Kellerman to do more than "phone it in."

Number of other readers didn't seem to like this book but I sort of did. Delaware took off on his own a fair amount, traveling around SoCal checking out clues and potential witnesses. It was an interesting enough read, kept my attention span and had satisfactory ending.