Publication: 13th February 2018 from Headline
Even with all his years of experience, LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis knows there are crimes his skill and savvy cannot solve alone. That’s when he calls on brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware to read between the lines, where the darkest motives lurk. And if ever the good doctor’s insight is needed, it’s at the scene of a murder as baffling as it is brutal.
There’s no spilled blood, no evidence of a struggle, and, thanks to the victim’s missing face and hands, no immediate means of identification. And no telling why the disfigured corpse of a stranger has appeared in an upscale L.A. family’s home. Chet Corvin, his wife, and their two teenage children are certain the John Doe is unknown to them. Despite that, their cooperation seems guarded. And that’s more than Milo and Alex can elicit from the Corvins’ creepy next-door neighbour–a notorious cartoonist with a warped sense of humor and a seriously antisocial attitude.
As the investigation ensues, it becomes clear that this well-to-do suburban enclave has its share of curious eyes, suspicious minds, and loose lips. And as Milo tightens the screws on potential persons of interest–and Alex tries to breach the barriers that guard their deepest secrets–a strangling web of corrupted love, cold-blooded greed, and shattered trust is exposed. Though the grass may be greener on these privileged streets, there’s enough dirt below the surface to bury a multitude of sins. Including the deadliest.
It has been a while since I dipped into a Joanthan Kellerman Alex Delaware novel, so I was keen to find out what has been happening to Alex and his Lt sidekick Milo Sturgis in the meantime.
I’m happy to report that Alex hasn’t changed a bit – he is still that cool, calm and collected child psychologist and Milo, well, if anything, Milo has got even bigger as he eats his way through this complex murder case.
Called out late at night by Milo, Alex arrives at a crime scene to find a body with no hands and a severely destroyed face. The house is home to Felice and Chet Corvin and their two children, Chelsea and Brett. The family claim to have no idea who the victim is, but there’s something ‘off’ about them all and Milo wants Alex’s take on the situation.
It is soon clear that something is up in this suburb of L.A. but whether it’s the odd and reclusive punk artist next door, or further afield, it is not going to be too long before another dead body appears and a host of other characters begin to have connections to this murder, though the dark motive behind it will take longer to reveal.
There are nice layers of complexity to Kellerman’s books and this one is no exception. I like the way he draws his characters even when they are not required to be fully fleshed out, you catch glimpses of what drives each and every one, and Kellerman is extremely good at building in the human element to even the most psychopathic of his killers.
Milo has a great team around him and the characters of Petra Connor and Moses Reed are amongst the best of cops in the precinct.
Alex and Milo are constantly working through theories, seeing what best fits the knowledge they have and this enables them to find new angles to investigate and new characters to question.
In Night Moves, we meet a host of unsavoury, twisted and disappointed characters and each of their stories leads to a new angle to explore. In a series of twists and turns, this plot will lead up mountains, to the beach and back again to suburbia, until the final twist when all is revealed.
I really enjoyed meeting up with Dr Delaware and Milo Sturgis again. Kellerman has lost none of his storytelling magic and I look forward to more from this great friendship.
About Jonathan Kellerman
Jonathan was born in New York City in 1949 and grew up in Los Angeles. He helped work his way through UCLA as an editorial cartoonist, columnist, editor and freelance musician. As a senior, at the age of 22, he won a Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award for fiction.
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.
He 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, and True Detectives. 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 first book of a new series, The Golem of Hollywood.