Jonathan Kellerman


"" good as it gets..." "


In a half finished mansion in the wealthy Holmby Hills district of LA a security guard makes a gruesome discovery. The bodies of a young couple have been left still locked in a passionate embrace. The only identification is on the young man who has been shot, but the strangled woman's identity remains a mystery.

For LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, who is charged with investigating the case, the murder is puzzling on a number of levels. What was an eco-friendly architect doing having a romantic tryst in a skeleton of a house - and who is his mystery partner?

With consultant psychologist Alex Delaware by his side, Milo digs deeper into the man's past and discovers a history of seduction and intrigue. They also lock horns with the victim's former boss, the cold and distant Helga Gamein who shows little interest in bringing the perpetrator to justice. Only when they delve into the eco-terrorist roots of some of the people involved does the case begin to unravel - with violent consequences.

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Jonathan Keller has for over twenty years been the master of the American crime thriller. His duo, Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware, have legions of fans and despite his recent forays into novels with different characters, these two remain firm favourites. So, it is wonderful to see a new novel with the pair as lead characters. Milo apparently has lost weight but in this book his appetite for food and murder seems undiminished. Alex, fortunately, is still with his partner Robin, so the book doesn't dwell too much on the private life of the psychologist. Instead, we get a complex crime thriller which takes in wealthy LA and the world of eco-terrorism. Like the best of Kellerman's writing, the book moves between the different LA oeuvres with ease. He writes particularly well when depicting how the rich live, with their huge mansions and fractured lives. But he is also good at portraying the underbelly of LA, in this case how teenagers can be distracted by their peers and get sucked into alternative lifestyles. It is good to have Milo and Alex back and this is about as good as it gets for Kellerman. An excellent addition to his works.

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