Valyruh #CBR5 Review #80: Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman

I’ve been reading Kellerman’s Alex Delaware novels for years now, and most of them are pretty good but I must say this one left me shaking my hard at the scattered plot, the uninteresting characters and, worst of all, the trite and predictable ending.  Even Delaware’s buddy, colorful homicide cop Milo Sturgis, has only a minor role to play in the story—Delaware’s too-cute dog has a larger role– and it all falls to psychiatrist Delaware to pull the threads together and solve the mystery. He does so, of course, but at a snail’s pace that fails to capture the imagination along the way.

The story opens with Holly Ruche, a pregnant lady in an uninteresting marriage who has invested a great deal emotionally in her newly-purchased home, only to discover the bones of a dead infant buried in a box in her garden. However, the infant is many decades old and probably died a natural death. Until the very last insipid page of the book, Holly doesn’t add anything further to the plot, and so I couldn’t figure out why Kellerman keeps her in the first four chapters of the novel? The story finally gets underway when another infant’s bones turn up in a nearby park, but these are much fresher and indeed, appear to have been deliberately de-fleshed before burial.  Aha! Finally, there’s a villain to hunt down! Delaware starts piecing together the mystery from woefully insufficient evidence, and a couple of bodies turn up that keep him on the right path—a path that appears to lead to the underbelly of Hollywood glitz.

 I’ll stop there for fear of giving away too much to die-hard Delaware fans, but I must say that this novel left me sorely disappointed. Perhaps if Kellerman stayed away from Hollywood and went back to the real-world dramas which Dr. Delaware has proven so good at dealing with over the years.

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