Private Eyes (Alex Delaware Series #6)

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Overview

The voice belongs to a woman, but Dr. Alex Delaware remembers a little girl. It is eleven years since seven-years-old Melissa Dickinson dialed a hospital help line for comfort?and found it in therapy with Alex Delaware. Now the lovely young heiress is desperately calling for psychologist's help once more. Only this time it looks like Melissa's deepest childhood nightmare is really coming true ... Twenty years ago, Gina Dickinson, Melissa's mother, suffered a grisly assault that left the budding actress ...
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Private Eyes (Alex Delaware Series #6)

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Overview

The voice belongs to a woman, but Dr. Alex Delaware remembers a little girl. It is eleven years since seven-years-old Melissa Dickinson dialed a hospital help line for comfort—and found it in therapy with Alex Delaware. Now the lovely young heiress is desperately calling for psychologist's help once more. Only this time it looks like Melissa's deepest childhood nightmare is really coming true ... Twenty years ago, Gina Dickinson, Melissa's mother, suffered a grisly assault that left the budding actress irreparably scarred and emotionally crippled. Now her acid-wielding assailant is out of prison and back in L.A.—and Melissa is terrified that the monster has returned to hurt Gina again. But before Alex Delaware can even begin to soothe his former patient's fears, Gina, a recluse for twenty, disappears. And now, unless Delaware turns crack detective to uncover the truth, Gina Dickinson will be just one more victim of a cold fury that has already spawned madness—and murder.

The Edgar Award-winning author of Silent Partner offers a gripping tale set in the the old-money bastion of San Labrador, home to L.A.'s ultra-privileged. Unless Alex Delaware can uncover the truth behind the disappearance of of a reclusive woman, she will just be one more victim of a cold fury that has already spawned madness--and murder. "(Kellerman has) shaped the psychological mystery novel into an art form."--Los Angeles Times Book Review.

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Editorial Reviews

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
But my goodness! What a very dry meal of cliche without cream or sugar Mr. Kellerman does serve up in the process. His psychobabbly dialogue has the pace of a 78 r.p.m. record played at 33. There isn't a setting in the book that isn't overdescribed or a character who isn't overdetailed. . . maybe the point of "Private Eyes" is simply to entertain? Well, if the mere unscrambling of a complicated scramble is to your taste, then this novel is a multi-course banquet. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kellerman devises a psychologically complex, highly satisfying plot in this latest mystery (after Time Bomb ) to feature child psychologist Alex Delaware, although we wait too long for the best parts and although Delaware, his love life on hold, seems less emotionally present than in previous cases. Harvard-bound, 18-year-old heiress Melissa Dickinson, whom Delaware had successfully treated for anxiety 10 years earlier, calls him with concerns about leaving her wealthy mother, an agoraphobe. Years before Melissa's birth, Gina Dickinson Ramp had been disfigured by acid thrown for never-revealed reasons by a former lover, now out of prison and back in town. Widowed for many years, recently remarried and making progress in her own intensive therapy with a noted husband-and-wife team of behaviorial psychologists, Gina is still fragile. When she disappears, Melissa enlists Delaware's help and that of his friend, Milo Sturgis, on leave from the LAPD (for having slugged, on TV, a homophobic superior). Kellerman deftly handles the strings of his plot, keeping in question the plight of Gina and the identities of those wishing her ill, until final events make what came before seem inevitable. A brief reunion with his former lover Robin will leave readers hoping for a reconciliation in Delaware's next appearance. 150,000 first printing; major ad/promo. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
“Vividly realistic . . . explores the subject with haunting emotional power.”—Playboy
 
“Spellbinding suspense . . . unforgettable.”—Houston Chronicle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553299502
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/1992
  • Series: Alex Delaware Series , #6
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 4.17 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Kellerman

Jonathan Kellerman is one of the world’s most popular authors. He has brought his expertise as a clinical psychologist to more than thirty bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher’s Theater, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, Twisted, and True Detectives. With his wife, the novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored the bestsellers Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. He is the author of numerous essays, short stories, scientific articles, two children’s books, and three volumes of psychology, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children, as well as the lavishly illustrated With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards and has been nominated for a Shamus Award. Jonathan and Faye Kellerman live in California, New Mexico, and New York. Their four children include the novelists Jesse Kellerman and Aliza Kellerman.

Biography

"I like to say that as a psychologist I was concerned with the rules of human behavior," Jonathan Kellerman has said. "As a novelist, I'm concerned with the exceptions." Both roles are evident in Kellerman's string of bestselling psychological thrillers, in which he probes the hidden corners of the human psyche with a clinician's expertise and a novelist's dark imagination.

Kellerman worked for years as a child psychologist, but his first love was writing, which he started doing at the age of nine. After reading Ross MacDonald's Lew Archer novels, however, Kellerman found his voice as a writer -- and his calling as a suspense novelist. His first published novel, When the Bough Breaks, featured a child psychologist, Dr. Alex Delaware, who helps solve a murder case in which the only apparent witness is a traumatized seven-year-old girl. The book was an instant hit; as New York's Newsday raved, "[T]his knockout of an entertainment is the kind of book which establishes a career in one stroke."

Kellerman has since written a slew more Alex Delaware thrillers; not surprisingly, the series hero shares much of Kellerman's own background. The books often center on problems of family psychopathology—something Kellerman had ample chance to observe in his day job. The Delaware novels have also chronicled the shifting social and cultural landscape of Los Angeles, where Kellerman lives with his wife (who is also a health care practitioner-turned-novelist) and their four children.

A prolific author who averages one book a year, Kellerman dislikes the suggestion that he simply cranks them out. He has a disciplined work schedule, and sits down to write in his office five days a week, whether he feels "inspired" or not. "I sit down and start typing. I think it's important to deromanticize the process and not to get puffed up about one's abilities," he said in a 1998 chat on Barnes & Noble.com. "Writing fiction's the greatest job in the world, but it's still a job. All the successful novelists I know share two qualities: talent and a good work ethic."

And he does plenty of research, drawing on medical databases and current journals as well as his own experience as a practicing psychologist. Then there are the field trips: before writing Monster, Kellerman spent time at a state hospital for the criminally insane.

Kellerman has taken periodic breaks from his Alex Delaware series to produce highly successful stand-alone novels that he claims have helped him to gain some needed distance from the series characters. It's a testament to Kellerman's storytelling powers that the series books and the stand-alones have both gone over well with readers; clearly, Kellerman's appeal lies more in his dexterity than in his reliance on a formula. "Often mystery writers can either plot like devils or create believable characters," wrote one USA Today reviewer. "Kellerman stands out because he can do both. Masterfully."

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Jonathan Kellerman:
"I am the proud husband of a brilliant novelist, Faye Kellerman. I am the proud father of a brilliant novelist, Jesse Kellerman. And three lovely, gifted daughters, one of whom, Aliza, may turn out to be one of the greatest novelists/poets of this century. "

"My first job was selling newspapers on a corner, age 12. Then I delivered liquor, age 16 -- the most engaging part of that gig was schlepping cartons of bottles up stairways in building without elevators. Adding insult to injury, tips generally ranged from a dime to a quarter. And, I was too young to sample the wares. Subsequent jobs included guitar teacher, freelance musician, newspaper cartoonist, Sunday School teacher, youth leader, research/teaching assistant. All of that simplified when I was 24 and earned a Ph.D. in psychology. Another great job. Then novelist? Oh, my, an embarrassment of riches. Thank you, thank you, thank you, kind readers. I'm the luckiest guy in the world.

"I paint, I play the guitar, I like to hang out with intelligent people whose thought processes aren't by stereotype, punditry, political correctness, etc. But enough about me. The important thing is The Book."

More fun facts:
After Kellerman called his literary agent to say that his wife, Faye, had written a novel, the agent reluctantly agreed to take a look ("Later, he told me his eyes rolled all the way back in his head," Kellerman said in an online chat). Two weeks later, a publisher snapped up Faye Kellerman's first book, The Ritual Bath. Faye Kellerman has since written many more mysteries featuring L.A. cop Peter Decker and his wife Rina Lazarus, including the bestsellers Justice and Jupiter's Bones.

When Kellerman wrote When the Bough Breaks in 1981, crime novels featuring gay characters were nearly nonexistent, so Alex Delaware's gay detective friend, Milo Sturgis, was a rarity. Kellerman admits it can be difficult for a straight writer to portray a gay character, but says the feedback he's gotten from readers -- gay and straight -- has been mostly positive.

In his spare time, Kellerman is a musician who collects vintage guitars. He once placed the winning online auction bid for a guitar signed by Don Henley and his bandmates from the Eagles; proceeds from the sale were donated to the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas.

In addition to his novels, Kellerman has written two children's books and three nonfiction books, including Savage Spawn, about the backgrounds and behaviors of child psychopaths.

But for a 1986 television adaptation of When the Bough Breaks, none of Kellerman's work has yet made it to screen. "I wish I could say that Hollywood's beating a path to my door," he said in a Barnes & Noble.com chat in 1998, "but the powers-that-be at the studios don't seem to feel that my books lend themselves to film adaptation. The most frequent problem cited is too much complexity."

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    1. Hometown:
      Beverly Hills, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 9, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A. in psychology, University of California-Los Angeles; Ph.D., University of Southern California, 1974
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    I enjoyed reading this book and the ongoing tale of Alex Delaware.

    Yes, I would highly recommend this book. I love how you almost feel that you know the people within the book and can picture them in your mind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2002

    Another Nail Biter!

    Jonathan Kellerman does not disappoint. This novel is exceptional Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis. When a former patient comes to see Delaware with concerns about her mother, and whether the fragile woman can bare the daughter's eminent departure for college, Alex is drawn in again into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. The mother is a former actress turned recluse. A terrible attack, years before, left her scarred, emotionally and physically. Unfortunately before the good doctor can check it all out-the woman disappears. Vintage Kellerman. I was on the edge of my seat, turning pages as fast as I could, unable to put it down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Another good one.

    I liked the part where Aalex was reunited with Meissa and they got caught up on everything that had happened.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2012

    Highly recommend

    I just finished reading Private eyes. Kellerman's style is to be overly discriptive of people and places he's writing about but I've learned to skip over some of that and find it hard to put down his books. I would definitely recommend his books.

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    It was okay....

    AUDIO/ABRIDGED: First, John Rubinstein did a great narration, he always does. This one is part of the Alex Delaware series, very early on. A teen, who was Alex's patient 11-years earlier for anxiety, comes to see Alex when she dreads going off to school. He mother has a phobia of leaving the house and soon disappears. It was only three discs and I did feel like I was missing a few things. Milo is wonderful, as usual and you hear the first of Alex and Robin briefly getting together. I did have problems with how Alex finds the murderer's lair, but I was listening to it in my car. The end was far-fetched and I was glad it ended quickly. Otherwise, it was okay.

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    Posted January 28, 2010

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