With its haunting images and riveting pace, Self-Defence is superb entertainment from today's most darkly imaginative, consistently surprising author of psychological suspense.
Jonathan Kellerman was a child psychologist before becoming a full-time novelist. He is married to the writer Faye Kellerman and they live in Los Angeles with their four children.
Psychologist and amateur sleuth Alex Delaware, who saved the day in last year's best-selling Bad Love (LJ 10/15/93), helps a woman whose repressed memories may solve a murder.
Returning in top form, Kellerman's semi-retired psychotherapist, Dr. Alex Delaware, who was introduced in When the Bough Breaks (1985), traces a young woman's dreams back to crimes committed 20 years earlier. A few months after serving on an L.A. jury that finds a landscape laborer guilty of a series of grotesque mutilations and killings, Lucy Lowell is beset by a recurring nightmare in which she, as a youngster, watches three men bury a young woman in the woods. Referred to Alex by Milo Sturgis, the LAPD detective in charge of the serial killer case, Lucy proves a game and eager patient, leading the psychologist into a past that centers around her father, a monumentally egotistical literary lion who had sponsored the writing career of a notorious ex-con at a California art colony in the '70s. Still warmhearted and earnest, Alex, in his ninth appearance, has lightened up some as he has aged, showing a readier humor and more chutzpah (e.g., posing as a writer-named Sandy Del Ware-to infiltrate closed Hollywood circles) as he facilitates Lucy's exploration of the past. With its nicely orchestrated twists, Kellerman's plot will keep readers guessing right up to the well-prepared resolution. BOMC selection. (Jan.)
Simply too good to miss STEPHEN KING good twists and a wicked portrait of Hollywood and Californian mores make this a return to top form for Kellerman TIME OUT Absorbing thriller in which Kellerman steers deftly round blind alleys and false clues to arrive and intolerable truths. THE LITERARY REVIEW Wholly absorbing EVENING STANDARD