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Book Review: Victims by Jonathan Kellerman

This is only the third Jonathan Kellerman book I’ve read and I intend to remedy that tout de suite (as Poirot would say). Victims is number 27 in the Alex Delaware series, so I am glad I have many more stories about this psychologist with a wicked sense of humour and fine capacity to read people and situations and his cop buddy, Milo Sturgis (the books recall to me Michael Robotham’Victims by Jonathan Kellermans sensational series) to delve into. Victims is one of the more gory books I’ve read in this oeuvre, the story opening with a really gruesome murder of a cantankerous old bitch who no-one liked and everyone is not-so-secretly glad is dead. If it wasn’t for the almost ritualistic and brutal slaying, Sturgis and Delaware would have numerous suspects.

But an interesting and dark psychopathology is at work here and as more bodies, are slain and in similar ways, but with no apparent connection, Delaware and Sturgis realise they have a very sick serial killer on their hands. The only way to discover the identity of the murderer is to uncover a link between the victims. At first, this seems an impossible task, but as more people are found and connections are made, not only do Delaware and Sturgis start to hone in on the killer, they start to realise he’s closer than they think…

A fast-paced, oft-times scary book, it delves into the capacity of humans for both cruelty and revenge and the sickness that resides inside. Dark, but laced with humour and really well-rounded characters, I couldn’t put it down, despite the fact I found the descriptions of the murders both brutal and graphic. I think because they didn’t feel gratuitous but built a profile of the killer, I was able to stomach it, to see it through Delaware’s eyes and thus be drawn into the narrative.


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