Serpentine

by Kellerman, Jonathan

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Summary
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Psychologist Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis search for answers to a brutal, decades-old crime in this electrifying psychological thriller from the master of suspense.LAPD homicide lieutenant Milo Sturgis is a master detective. He has a near-perfect solve rate and he’s written his own rule book. Some of those successes—the toughest ones—have involved his best friend, the brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware. But Milo doesn’t call Alex in unless cases are “different.” This murder warrants an immediate call. Milo’s independence has been compromised as never before, as the department pressures him to cater to the demands of a mogul: a hard-to-fathom, megarich young woman who is obsessed with reopening the coldest of cases—the decades-old death of the mother she never knew. The facts describe a likely loser: a mysterious woman found with a bullet in her head in a torched Cadillac that has overturned on infamously treacherous Mulholland Drive. No physical evidence, no witnesses, no apparent motive. And a slew of detectives have already worked the case and failed. But as Delaware and Sturgis begin digging, the mist begins to lift. Too many coincidences. Facts turn out to be anything but. And as they soon discover, very real threats lurking in the present. This is Delaware/Sturgis at their best: traversing the beautiful but forbidding place known as Los Angeles and exhuming the past in order to bring a vicious killer to justice.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Money talks, leaving L.A. homicide detective Milo Sturgis forced to investigate the 36-six-year-old murder of an athleisure mogul's mother. It's a case that begs for Alex Delaware's expertise, as much for helping Milo deal with the mogul, Ellie Barker, as for his insight into murder. Ellie doesn't remember much about her mom besides her father's lingering resentment, and now she wants answers about her mother's death. Ellie's mother, Dorothy Swoboda, was shot, and her body dumped off a Hollywood cliff in a mysterious playboy's car. According to the retired detective whom Milo and Alex track down, there isn't much to the case besides dead ends. But as they dig into 1970s Hollywood, ties to a wealthy doctor's harem of young women and the disappearances of two more women in Dorothy's circle emerge. Alongside the enduring allure of Milo and Alex's partnership (36 novels strong), Kellerman's portrayal of older, wealthy men playing on aspiring starlets' desires is compassionate but unflinching, and the final twist is masterful."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In Edgar winner Kellerman's top-notch 36th Alex Delaware novel (after 2020's The Museum of Desire), a cold case preoccupies the L.A. consulting psychologist and his friend and colleague, Lt. Milo Sturgis of the LAPD: the death of Dorothy Swoboda, whose burned body was found in a car below Mulholland Drive 36 years earlier. Dorothy's 39-year-old daughter, Ellie Barker, who recently sold her lucrative exercise wear business for millions, remains haunted by the loss of her mother, who abandoned her when she was three. Now Ellie wants an explanation for what one report at the time called a murder and another a one-vehicle accident. Armed with the thinnest of case files, Milo and Alex uncover a disturbing number of murders that seem related to Dorothy, and they realize that the killing spree might not yet be over. Kellerman maintains pace and suspense through the interactions of the characters--witnesses, detectives, relatives of the victims--all of whom are rendered in striking and precise detail. This entry is pure pleasure, intelligently delivered. (Feb.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Thriller
Mystery
Suspense
Fiction
Publisher Random House Publishing Group2021
Language English
ISBN 9780525618560