Dr. Death (Alex Delaware Series #14)

Dr. Death (Alex Delaware Series #14)

4.1 24
by Jonathan Kellerman

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Who killed the killer? In his brilliant and startling new novel, Jonathan Kellerman, perennial bestselling author and premier proprietor of the psychological thriller, gives a sharp and timely twist to homicide's central question.

Someone has murdered euthanasia champion Dr. Eldon Mate--a self-styled Dr.See more details below


Who killed the killer? In his brilliant and startling new novel, Jonathan Kellerman, perennial bestselling author and premier proprietor of the psychological thriller, gives a sharp and timely twist to homicide's central question.

Someone has murdered euthanasia champion Dr. Eldon Mate--a self-styled Dr.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A series of well-publicized gentle deaths are the work of self-appointed angel of mercy Dr. Eldon Mate, who attends to the terminally ill in cheap hotel rooms or in the back of his van. Now Mate himself is dead, carved up and found by two joggers and their dog on a high road above Los Angeles. Like Kellerman's previous bestsellers, this title features psychologist Alex Delaware, whose self-righteous pomposity blends neatly, as it has before, into a narrative liberally dosed with psycho-angles and agreeably warped murder motives. This time out, Delaware works with cop Milo Sturgis and counsels Stacy and Eric Doss, two teenage children getting over their mother Joanne's death, which Dr. Mate seemingly helped to hasten. In his dual role, Delaware encounters a rogue FBI agent tracking a killer obsessed with Mate; Mate's disturbed son; and Richard Doss, the kids' father, who by slipping cash to a shady character in a dark bar is marked as a prime murder suspect. Joanne's illness too proves mysterious. But Kellerman isn't in top form here. Most annoyingly, the FBI guy does the bulk of the sleuthing legwork, while Delaware spends much of the book either making love or pontificating on motivations for characters all very similarly flawed. The ending is agreeably tricky, but by then great gobs of Delaware have either delighted Kellerman's faithful or else turned readers' stomachs in a way that serial deaths, gentle or otherwise, may have somehow failed to do. Kellerman's rep and the book's strong, geometric cover will send this one on to the lists. (Dec. 5) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Kellerman has come up with another very enjoyable mystery. The crime-solving team of LAPD detective Milo Sturgis and psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware are back to attempt to solve the murder of Eldon Mate Dr. Death who had attended more than 50 assisted suicides. In death, Mate is found in the rear of a rented van, hooked up to his own suicide machine. Read by John Rubinstein, this engaging story works very well on several levels, as it discusses psychology, dysfunctional families, and Southern California lifestyles, in addition to the ethics of euthanasia. The book has a remarkably contemporary feel about as up-to-date as tomorrow's headlines, yet it may also inspire repeat listening. Highly recommended; essential for detective and mystery collections. Cliff Glaviano, Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
Praise for Monster

"Kellerman is in peak form. . . . A surprising and complex story of festering evil—a tale that snakes its way to a stunningly dramatic conclusion."
People (Page-Turner of the Week)

Praise for Billy Straight

"Billy Straight is everything a thriller ought to be. The writing is excellent. The plotting is superior. The characters ring true. . . . A taut, compelling story."                  
USA Today

Praise for Jonathan Kellerman

"Jonathan Kellerman doesn't just write psychological thrillers—he owns the genre."
Detroit Free Press

"Often, mystery writers can either plot like devils or create believable characters. Kellerman stands out because he can do both. Masterfully."
USA Today

"Kellerman excels at plotting, dialogue, procedural detail and insight into abnormal states of mind."
Los Angeles Times

"Kellerman is the acknowledged king of the psychological thriller."
The Dallas Morning News

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Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Alex Delaware Series, #14
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Irony can be a rich dessert, so when the contents of the van were
publicized, some people gorged. The ones who'd believed Eldon H. Mate to be
the Angel of Death.
Those who'd considered him Mercy Personified grieved.
I viewed it through a different lens, had my own worries.
Mate was murdered in the very early hours of a sour-smelling, fog-laden
Monday in September. No earthquakes or wars interceded by sundown, so the
death merited a lead story on the evening news. Newspaper headlines in the
Times and the Daily News followed on Tuesday. TV dropped the story within
twenty-four hours, but recaps ran in the Wednesday papers. In total, four
days of coverage, the maximum in short-attention-span L.A. unless the corpse
is that of a princess or the killer can afford lawyers who yearn for Oscars.
No easy solve on this one; no breaks of any kind. Milo had been doing his
job long enough not to expect otherwise.
He'd had an easy summer, catching a quartet of lovingly stupid homicides
during July and August--one domestic violence taken to the horrible extreme
and three brain-dead drunks shooting other inebriates in squalid Westside
bars. Four murderers hanging around long enough to be caught. It kept his
solve rate high, made it a bit--but not much--easier to be the only openly
gay detective in LAPD.
"Knew I was due," he said. It was the Sunday after the murder when he phoned
me at the house. Mate's corpse had been cold for six days and the press had
moved on.
That suited Milo just fine. Like any artist, he craved solitude. He'd played
his part by not giving the press anything to work with. Orders from the
brass.One thing he and the brass could agree on: reporters were almost
always the enemy.
What the papers HAD printed was squeezed out of clip-file biographies, the
inevitable ethical debates, old photos, old quotes. Beyond the fact that
Mate had been hooked up to his own killing machine, only the sketchiest
details had been released:
Van parked on a remote section of Mulholland Drive, discovery by hikers just
after dawn.
I knew more because Milo told me.
The call came in at 8 P.M., just as Robin and I had finished dinner. I was
out the door, holding on to the straining leash of Spike, our little French
bulldog. Pooch and I both looking forward to a night walk up the glen. Spike
loved the dark because pointing at scurrying sounds let him pretend he was a
noble hunter. I enjoyed getting out because I worked with people all day and
solitude was always welcome.
Robin answered the phone, caught me in time, ended up doing dog-duty as I
returned to my study.
"Mate's yours?" I said, surprised because he hadn't told me sooner. Suddenly
edgy because that added a whole new layer of complexity to my week.
"Who else merits such blessing?"
I laughed softly, feeling my shoulders humping, rings of tension around my
neck. The moment I'd heard about Mate I'd worried. Deliberated for a long
time, finally made a call that hadn't been returned. I'd dropped the issue
because there'd been no good reason not to. It really WASN'T any of my
business. Now, with Milo involved, all that had changed.
I kept the worries to myself. His call had nothing to do with my problem.
Coincidence--one of those nasty little overlaps. Or maybe there really are
only a hundred people in the world.
His reason for getting in touch was simple: the dreaded W word: whodunit. A
case with enough psychopathology to make me potentially useful.
Also I was his friend, one of the few people left in whom he could confide.
The psychopathology part was fine with me. What bothered me was the
friendship component. Things I knew but didn't tell him. COULDN'T tell him.
From the Hardcover edition.

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