Evidence (Alex Delaware Series #24)

Evidence (Alex Delaware Series #24)

3.5 137
by Jonathan Kellerman

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In a half-built mansion in Los Angeles, a watchman stumbles onto the bodies of a young couple—murdered and left in a gruesome postmortem embrace. Veteran homicide cop Milo Sturgis is shocked at the sight: a twisted crime that only Milo and psychologist Alex Delaware can hope to solve. While the female victim’s identity remains in question, her

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In a half-built mansion in Los Angeles, a watchman stumbles onto the bodies of a young couple—murdered and left in a gruesome postmortem embrace. Veteran homicide cop Milo Sturgis is shocked at the sight: a twisted crime that only Milo and psychologist Alex Delaware can hope to solve. While the female victim’s identity remains in question, her companion is ID’d as eco-friendly architect Desmond Backer, notorious for his power to seduce women. The deeper Milo and Alex dig for clues, the longer the list of suspects grows. But when the investigation veers suddenly in a startling direction, it’s the investigators who may wind up on the wrong end of a cornered predator’s final fury.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Jonathan Kellerman’s novels are an obsession; once started it is hard to quit.”—Orlando Sentinel
“Kellerman really knows how to keep those pages turning.”New York Times Book Review
“Kellerman doesn’t just write psychological thrillers—he owns the genre.”—Detroit Free Press
The double murder could not have been more grisly; a young couple slaughtered in the midst of sex and posed grotesquely. From the first, psychologist Alex Delaware and LAPD detective Milo Sturgis are convinced that they are confronting a twisted madman incapable of resting on his grisly laurels. Before long, however, they begin to suspect that there might be more than one madman lurking in the wings…. Jonathan Kellerman's Evidence builds suspense like a Hitchcock thriller.
Publishers Weekly
L.A. police lieutenant Milo Sturgis investigates a double homicide at the site of an unfinished, obscenely large mansion in bestseller Kellerman's nerve-tingling 24th Alex Delaware novel (after Bones). Construction halted on the house two years earlier, and ownership can be traced only to a defunct holding company in Washington, D.C. The male victim is easily identified—Desmond Backer, who worked for an odd little architectural firm—but the female victim's identity isn't immediately apparent. Alex serves as a sounding board while Milo pursues assorted rumors and false leads: the site owners are Arabs, Asians, Muslims; the killings were vengeance; the victims were eco-terrorists; the deaths are linked to the disappearance of a Swedish or Swiss woman years before. Without magic, just steady, inspired police work, including horse-trading with the FBI and skillful interrogations, Milo uncovers the unsavory truth. (Oct.)

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Alex Delaware Series, #24
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.28(w) x 7.52(h) x 1.07(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I tell the truth. They lie.
I'm strong. They're weak.
I'm good.
They're bad.

This was a zero job but Doyle was getting paid.

Why anyone would shell out fifteen bucks an hour, three hours a day, five times a week, to check out the empty shell of a rich-idiot monster-house was something he'd never get.

The look-see took fifteen minutes. If he walked slow. Rest of the time, Doyle sat around, ate his lunch, listened to Cheap Trick on his Walkman.

Thinking about being a real cop if his knee hadn't screwed up.

The company said go there, he went.

Disability all run out, he swallowed part-time, no benefits. Paying to launder his own uniform.

One time he heard a couple of the other guys talking behind his back.

Gimp's lucky to get anything.

Like it was his fault. His blood level had been .05, which wasn't even close to illegal. That tree had jumped out of nowhere.

Gimp made Doyle go all hot in the face and the chest but he kept his mouth shut like he always did. One day . . .

He parked the Taurus on the patch of dirt just outside the chainlink, tucked his shirt tighter.

Seven a.m., quiet except for the stupid crows squawking.

Rich-idiot neighborhood but the sky was a crappy milky gray just like in Burbank where Doyle's apartment was.

Nothing moving on Borodi Lane. As usual. The few times Doyle saw anyone it was maids and gardeners. Rich idiots paying to live here but never living here, one monster-mansion after another, blocked by big trees and high gates. No sidewalks, either. What was that all about?

Every once in a while, some tucked-tight blonde in Rodeo Drive sweats would come jogging down the middle of the road looking miserable. Never before ten, that type slept late, had breakfast in bed, massages, whatever. Laying around in satin sheets, getting waited on by maids and butlers before building up the energy to shake those skinny butts and long legs.

Bouncing along in the middle of the road, some Rolls-Royce comes speeding down and kaboom. Wouldn't that be something?

Doyle collected his camouflage-patterned lunch box from the trunk, made his way toward the three-story plywood shell. The third being that idiot castle thing-the turret. Unfinished skeleton of a house that would've been as big as a . . . as a . . . Disneyland castle.

Fantasyland. Doyle had done some pacing, figured twenty thousand square feet, minimum. Two-acre lot, maybe two and a half.

Framed up and skinned with plywood, for some reason, he could never find out why, everything stopped and now the heap was all gray, warping, striped with rusty nail-drips.

Crappy gray sky leaking in through rotting rafters. On hot days, Doyle tucked himself into a corner for shade.

Out behind in the bulldozed brown dirt was an old Andy Gump accidentally left behind, chemicals still in the john. The door didn't close good and sometimes Doyle found coyote scat inside, sometimes mouse droppings.

When he felt like it, he just whizzed into the dirt.

Someone paying all that money to build Fantasyland, then just stopping. Go figure.

He'd brought a good lunch today, roast beef sandwich from Arby's, too bad there was nothing to heat the gravy with. Opening the box, he sniffed. Not bad. He moved toward the chain-link swing gate . . . what the-

Stupid thing was pulled as wide as the chain allowed, which was about two, two and a half feet. Easy for anyone but a fat idiot to squeeze through.

The chain had always been too long to really draw the gate tight, making the lock useless, but Doyle was careful to twist it up, make it look secure when he left each day.

Some idiot had monkeyed with it.

He'd told the company about the chain, got ignored. What was the point of hiring a professional when you didn't listen to his advice?

Sidling through the gap, he rearranged the chain nice and tight. Leaving his lunch box atop raw-concrete steps, he began his routine. Standing in the middle of the first floor, saying, "Hel-lo," and listening to his voice echo. He'd done that first day on the job, liked the echo, kinda like honking in a tunnel. Now it was a habit.

Didn't take long to see everything was okay on the first floor. Space was huge, big as a . . . as a . . . some rooms framed up but mostly pretty open so you had clear views everywhere. Like peeking through the skeleton bones of some dinosaur. In the middle of what would've been the entry hall was a humongous, swooping, double staircase. Just plywood, no railings, Doyle had to be careful, all he needed was a fall, screw up some other body part.

Here we go, pain with every step. Stairs creaked like a mother but felt structurally okay. You could just could imagine what it would be like with marble on it. Like a . . . big castle staircase.

Nineteen steps, each one killed.

The second floor was just as empty as the first, big surprise. Stopping to rub his knee and take in the western treetop view, he continued toward the rear, stopped again, kneaded some more but it didn't do much good. Continuing to the back, he reached the smaller staircase, thirteen steps but real curvy, a killer, tucked behind a narrow wall, you had to know where to find it.

Whoever had paid for all this was some rich idiot who didn't appreciate what he had. If Doyle had a hundredth-a two-hundredth of something like this, he'd thank God every day.

He'd asked the company who the owner was. They said, "Don't pry."

Climbing the curvy staircase, every step crunching his knee,

the pain riding up to his hip, he began counting out the thirteen stairs like he always did, trying to take his mind off the burning in his leg.

When he called out "Nine," he saw it.

Oh Jesus.

Heart thumping, mouth suddenly dry as tissue paper, he backed down two steps, reached along the right side of his gear belt.

Touching air.

Now he was the idiot, there'd been no gun for a long time, not since he stopped guarding jewelry stores downtown.

Company gave him a flashlight, period, and it was in the trunk of the Taurus.

He forced himself to look.

Two of them.

No one else, one good thing about the turret, it was round, mostly open to the sky, nowhere to hide.

Doyle kept looking, felt his guts heave.

The way they were lying, him on top of her, her legs up, one hooked around his back, it was pretty clear what they'd been doing.

Before . . .

Doyle felt short of breath, like someone was choking him. Struggling to regain his air, he finally succeeded. Reached for his phone.

Right in his pocket. At least something was going okay.

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Evidence (Alex Delaware Series #24) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 136 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't recommend this book. In it, Alex Delaware acts as if he's Milo's assistant. He seems always at Milo's beck & call. There is no feeling that he has a private practice (even though he mentions that he turned down an offer of full-time work with the LAPD because his own practice was so much more lucrative and in one scene he tends to his billing). There's no real reason for Alex, the ostensible protagonist of Jonathan Kellerman's series, to even be involved in this story--he makes little contribution except to drive Milo around and occasionally provide him with food to eat. Please bring back the plots where this child psychologist uses his training & expertise--and maybe interactions with his current or previous patients--to help solve the case.
docsid More than 1 year ago
The narrator and main character of the story is a psychologist. The author is a psychologist. So, where's the psychology? Evidence reads like a typical police procedural without any real reference to psychology. I have always enjoyed Kellerman's earlier works, but his recent books have lost the psychological aspect that separated his works from the myriad other crime stories; and, unfortunately, he is not as good a writer as some other crime writers. Without his unique perspective as a psychologist, there is no real reason to read this work. Quite frankly, it was tedious and dull in style. In other words, boring. Notably, and most irritatingly, he left numerous threads unexplained. And, Kellerman's method of getting away with unanswered questions? Get rid of the villians. In the end, Evidence was a shallow story and I had hoped for better from Kellerman.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Los Angeles Doyle is hired to watch over the Borodi property where a mansion remains empty. It is a tedious job as nothing ever occurs until he finds the corpses of a man and woman posing as if they were making love when they died. LAPD homicide cop Milo Sturgis accompanied by consulting psychologist Alex Delaware look at the crime scene. The woman remains a Jane Doe, but her companion possesses an ID in the name of Desmond Backer. The pair tracks down Des' boss Helga Gemein, the head of a disbanding architectural firm. She states that the late Becker was promiscuous; a fact backed up by his sister who says he left $50,000 in her rented storage room. They also discover that the Borodi property belongs to Prince Tariq Asman who went by the name Teddi and is the brother of the island nation Sranil. There are rumors that Teddi fled to his island home after killing a woman. The body of the Jane Doe is identified by Des' sister as her late brother's friend Darlene Fredd. When the mansion they were killed in is torched, Miles and Alex easily theorize that the homicides and arson are linked, but neither can figure out by who or what while a deadly predator watches them connecting the dots one at a time. This is one of Jonathan Kellerman's best works in the long running series as Alex narrates so that the audience sees the investigation through his filter, but Milo is actually the star. He fights the stereotypical uncooperative toads in the road (his superiors, the FBI and foreign VIPs) to obtain the information he needs to solve the case. EVIDENCE is a cerebral entertaining police procedural in which the hero's approach seems credible leading to reader satisfaction as Milo and Alex work an enthralling complex whodunit. Harriet Klausner
SusanReads More than 1 year ago
Alex Delaware is Jonathon Kellerman's best character. The suspense keeps coming. I love the love between him and Milo Sturgis.
justjoanJP More than 1 year ago
One of those books you can't put down. Jonathan Kellerman's intense writing style and well written characters keep you intrigued throughout the book.
NoraJean More than 1 year ago
I love Alex Delaware, but the "evidence" here is a bit thin. Stock characters set the stage for the investigation, and the stereotypes are a bit lame. It's a quick read and a good story, though. Another beach read.
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
Alex Delaware is back in Jonathan Kellerman's new book "Evidence". But he is more like Milo Sturgis' sidekick after Milo takes on the case of a double murder in an abandoned and unfinished mansion. Tracking down the owner of the property and the connection between the dead couple seems to be the main theme of the story. Why Delaware is tagging along, as the narrator of the story? We don't get to delve into the psychology of the individuals but more into how Milo solves the case. Kellerman is a superb author and I enjoy the Delaware novels, but this was not as intense as his earlier books.
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I liked the part where Milo turned down dinner with Alex and Robin because Rick wanted him to come to the hospital and have dinner there.
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Good series, but need to space books in series out.
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Kelleerman has a style you can't beat!
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