Saturday, October 25, 2008

Review: Compulsion by Jonathan Kellerman


This is #22 in an ongoing series of which I am a long-time reader. I have to say, the series is showing its age. Alex Delaware, the psychologist who helps the LAPD solve crimes, has scaled back the clinical work which in past novels was the connection which drew him into the cases. So all he's dealing with in this story is a random killing of a not very sympathetic party girl, and a decades-old cold case which might have been more interesting as a present-day procedural than as a fait-accompli from long ago.

The Detective Sturgis character has gotten more interesting, which is nice, but even he is getting a bit stale. Success in a previous novel has elevated him to untouchable 'do whatever I want and work on whatever cases I want' status within the LAPD. Couple that with the only potentially compelling plot in the book being a cold case, and there is no immediacy, nothing to lose, nothing really at stake here.

I miss seeing Alex do therapy. I miss the work with children which was his specialty. Kellerman's writing was good enough to keep me reading for the most part, but by the last third of the book, I was just waiting for it to be over.

I give this one a C- and I am not particularly motivated to buy future installments, even int he relatively cheaper e-form. He's going on my library list. Only time will tell if he stays there or gets demoted further.

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