Cover Image: Serpentine

Serpentine

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

They're back! The crime fighting, mystery solving "Odd Couple" are in very fine form in Jonathan Kellerman's latest in the Dr. Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis series. For this devoted fan (Full Disclosure: I have read every single book in this long-running series *36* and done so in order!), this soon to be released installment focuses on what is, for me, the heart of Kellerman's novels...the relationship between Alex and Milo. These two are quite similar in thought, banter, and focus, but in personality, style, and food choices (lol!) they couldn't be more opposite! To be fair, there is often a degree of predictability within the scope of a Delaware/Sturgis crime-fighting novel, but with all honesty that is not at all a negative. Kellerman always infuses enough originality in other aspects of the story to keep the reader highly engaged and quite willing (to quote Dickens' Oliver) to say  "More please, sir. More. Please?"

I whole-heartedly recommend this the 36th installment in the series to long time fans, as well as to the novice Kellerman reader! It will be a satisfying read for either to be sure! Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and Jonathan Kellerman for allowing me to read this novel in advance of its publication. It has been my pleasure...looking forward to number thirty-seven, Mr. Kellerman!

#NetGalley 
#Serpentine
Was this review helpful?
This was my first Alex Delaware novel and I really enjoyed it,  i am a little late to the game, but I did not have any trouble following along.  Alex and Milo are an interesting pair.  I really enjoyed how Milo is so different from what you would expect. 

I am a fan of mysteries and police procedurals, so this what right up my alley.  The plot moved along at a good pace and the ending is a bit of a surprise,  You will not be disappointed.  


Thank you Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Jonathan Kellerman and NetGalley for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
One of my very favorite Jonathan Kellerman books — and I’m pretty sure I have read them all! The story was violent but without the gore. And there were plenty of red herrings. Classic Kellerman. If you are already a fan you’ll love it. And new readers won’t feel left out. Although I always recommend reading the books in order. My only gripe is that we never get to see much of Robin. And as always Milo eats too much. Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Just wow!
I loved “everything” about this book.
So much going on within the story.  A decade old cold case full of unusual and intriguing twists and turns.  You have to keep reading to find out where it’s heading.
The interaction between Milo (police detective) and Alex (psychologist) is so engaging and fun to see play out.  Their friendship is just heartwarming.  
You find yourself completely immersed with the plot and where it’s going.  
Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest opinion.  All opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Ah, a new Jonathan Kellerman book. I appreciate an advanced reader copy from NetGalley so very much!

I’ve read all of the Alex & Milo books. I’ve actually read pretty much everything Kellerman has written including books he’s written with his wife and at least one child. If he’s written a graphic novel, I may have missed that. But otherwise.

After the last one I wondered if I read them out of habit, or laziness. Or if it’s just an LA thing.

But this one reminds me why I read them. I love them. 

Then I read this article by the author and he described his two characters as anti-heroes. Perfect. Read it here: https://crimereads.com/jonathan-kellerman-wants-to-know-why-crime-fiction-has-such-a-hard-time-with-mental-health-professionals/

Extra points for a Highland Park reference (he so seldom gets that far east)! 

Full five stars * read and enjoy!
Was this review helpful?
Another winner from one of my all-time favorite authors

I have been reading Jonathan Kellerman books since he first started publishing fiction in 1985. SERPENTINE is the 36th offering in his Alex Delaware series and I have read them all - . and enjoyed them all. I have also read some of his other fiction but have never ventured into his non-fiction world. Before becoming a novelist, Kellerman was a child psychologist and has written some non-fiction books based on that time in his life. These books look interesting but - you know - so many books and so little time.

I feel like I'm catching up with old friends every time I read an Alex Delaware book. I love Delaware, his wife, his dog, his lifestyle, and the partner he helps out - LAPD Homicide Detective Milo Sturgis.

In this book, Sturgis is told to find out what he can about an ancient "cold case." He's not thrilled to be doing this especially because someone higher up in rank than him is doing a favor for someone.

But soon Milo and Alex find themselves not just with one "cold case" but many along with a whole slew of secondary characters.

These books always ring true to me, maybe because author Kellerman is also a child psychologist like Dr. Alex Delaware plus the stories are usually based in the Los Angeles area, which the author is very familiar with.

I highly recommend this newest. Alex Delaware book - and if you've never read the series and love psychological thrillers like I do, start at the beginning and work your way through them (it doesn't have to be expensive. I don't know of any library system that doesn't carry this best-selling author's books).

I received this book from Random House through Net Galley in the hopes that I would read it and leave an unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
This was an entertaining, well-written book. The book was fast-paced, held my attention and I didn't want to put it down. I enjoyed this book and this author is a must-read for me.
Was this review helpful?
I always like Kellerman's books with Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis.  It's like checking in to see what old friends are doing.  The writing in this book - as with all the previous ones - is concise, witty, and interesting.  I liked the story of the cold case and how they went about solving it.  I hope Kellerman never stops writing this series!
Was this review helpful?
Milo Stugis, experienced LAPD detective is back with his good friend, psychologist, Alex Delaware to solve a loser of a case: a body found thirty years ago in a burned up car with very little evidence and no DNA. Revived by the alleged victim’s daughter, who is mega rich and connected, Milo digs up the past to solve this crime, unearthing and resolving additional crimes along the way.

Never disappointing, I thoroughly enjoyed this 36th installment of Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series. Suspenseful, unusual, and entertaining, but still the same comfortable mystery you expect from Milo and Alex.
Was this review helpful?
I'm always eager to read another installment of the Alex Delaware series by Jonathan Kellerman. I've been a fan for nearly two decades. In Serpentine, Alex is back with his best friend, Lt. Milo Sturgis, assisting him with a case that has been foisted upon Milo by the powers that be. A wealthy young woman with connections wants an investigation into the death of her estranged mother, and Milo's boss has decided he's just the guy for the job. At first resentful and pessimistic, as more facts about the mysterious death emerge, Milo is hooked by his own drive to know, and he will not stop until all is revealed. As for my thoughts, Serpentine was very middle of the road for me. A cold case story often has that challenge, all the action happened years ago. I enjoyed the journey through the L.A. of the past, and of course catching up with Alex, Robin, Milo, Blanche and the gang. I just wasn't all that invested in the plot. The book is still a pleasant read, especially for long time dedicated fans. 3 stars. Thank you to Ballantine Books and Netgalley for this review copy.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 STARS

Detective Milo Sturgis and Psychologist Alex Delaware team up again when Milo is assigned to look into a cold case ...

The powers that be have ordered Milo to investigate the death of a woman who's wanting to know what happened to the mother she never knew. Thirty-five years ago a woman was found in a torched car with a bullet in her head. The case was never solved.

The more Milo and Alex dig, the more questions they have. Over the years several detectives have been given the file, but with no witnesses, no DNA, no suspects, it's remained unsolved.

Does anyone believe in coincidences? As they go back in time, they find several other "accidents" that have taken the lives of people who knew the original victim... and the killing still goes on today. Who is killing ... and why? While digging up the past, the present becomes much more dangerous for the duo.

It's another winner for Jonathan Kellerman! Although 36th in the series, it is easily read as a stand alone. This series just never gets old. The plots are intricate with plenty of suspects to follow. The characters are solidly drawn amid a background of suspense and mystery. Fans of Alex Delaware will eagerly grab this book. For newcomers, this is a great place to start.

Many thanks to the author / Penguin Random House - Cornerstone / Random House - Ballantine / Netgalley for the digital copy of this exceptional crime fiction. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author, for an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
Serpentine is #36 in Mr. Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series and I have been a fan of this series for many years.
As I have stated before, I love this series because I love the relationship that exists between the 2 main characters, Alex and Miles, and I love how all of the murder mysteries that they are involved in are very complex, original and well thought out.
This book had so many twists and turns that kept me very interested and entertained that I couldn’t wait to find some free time everyday to be able to continue reading it.
I can’t wait for book #37.
Was this review helpful?
This is the 36th outing for Alex and Milo and I still find them entertaining. They have a unique and close friendship. Milo is assigned a cold case. Ellie Barker, a wealthy young woman, is searching for answers regarding the disappearance of her mother when she was three years old. A body was found in a burned out car that went over the cliff that was presumed to be her, Dorothy Swoboda, but there was no DNA findings. It was assumed to be a suicide but could it be murder?

It's not a fast paced mystery. A couple of things thrown in that seemed to add to the mystery were then dismissed. I felt like I needed a street map of California because there seemed to be a large amount of time dedicated to the traffic in LA, what detours they took, where the back ups were and how long it took to get places. Also Robin just seems like a fixture in Alex's life. He comes home and she is fiddling with a mandolin. I understand that she is an artisan but after 36 books I wish she was involved more in the process.

Overall I liked the story. With not a lot of clues to go on in a 36 years old cold case there were plenty of interviews with interesting people and I was kept guessing to the end. I am looking forward to Alex Delaware #37.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley and Random House Ballantine.
Was this review helpful?
Lieutenant Milo Sturgis is back seeking the help of his long-time friend, psychologist Alex Delaware. But this case is quite different from his usual ones. Sturgis has been specifically sought out to solve a cold case, over 30 years old. A young woman, with lots of money and friends in high places, has gotten Milo assigned to her mother's long-unsolved case. Dorothy Swodoba was shot before her car burnt to a crisp off Mulholland Drive. While multiple detectives had looked at it, nothing was ever found, except for the bullet in the body proving it wasn't merely a car accident. But no evidence nor witnesses is no problem for the ornery detective, right?!

I have read almost all of the Alex Delaware novel and enjoyed them, and this was no exception. Milo was a bit more ornery than usual, unhappy about the crap assignment. But otherwise, the boys were up to their old tricks. I don't know why, but this series does not get old. Looking forward to the next, as usual!
Was this review helpful?
No book report-read the cover. This book is part of a series but can easily be read as a stand alone. Great dialogue and storyline and it is one of those  "hard to put down" books. The story is fluid,full of twists and turns  and holds your interest to the very end. Read and enjoy! 
I was provided an advanced reader copy but was under no obligation to provide a review. The opinions expressed are my own. Thanks to the author. publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
Was this review helpful?
This is a terrific installment in an incredibly long running series- and it will be perfectly fine as a standalone.  Ellie has never understood what happened to her mother Dorothy Swoboda, who died over thirty years ago when she was three and now, thanks to a chance encounter at a benefit, she's got LAPD Lt. Milo Sturgis and psychologist Alex Delaware looking for answers.  They start from nowhere- there isn't even a file- and find more than anyone could have expected.  One of the great charms of this series is the relationship between Milo and Alex (as well as with Alex's wife Robin who works with stringed instruments).  They're distinct characters with wonderful hearts.  Milo loves to eat; Kellerman takes the reader on a tour of LA restaurants as well as Alex's refrigerator.   Heck, it's also a love letter to LA.  Equally importantly, Kellerman doesn't neglect the other characters, in this case Ellie, the family of the man Dorothy lived with, the widow of a police detective and so on.  It's a complex one and don't be surprised if you're a little confused near the end- know that it all works out.  I admit to having read every single book in the series; this is one of the best.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  Great read.
Was this review helpful?
Very well developed characters and an extremely engaging story. Well thought out and very suspenseful story line that keeps the reader  guessing until the final twist! This is the book to read this year! Highly recommended!
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars

In this 36th book in the 'Alex Delaware' series, the psychologist helps his friend, Lieutenant Milo Sturgis, investigate a cold case. The book can be read as a standalone.

*****

Thirty-nine year old Ellie Barker is thriving and wealthy, having recently sold off her exercise wear company for gazillions. Ellie feels a lack in her life, however, because her mother, Dorothy Swoboda, was murdered in Los Angeles 36 years ago, and the crime was never solved. The homicide was investigated by a series of LAPD detectives, and Ellie recently hired private investigators, but no one was able to identify the perpetrator.

Ellie happens to mention her situation at a ritzy fund raiser, and a Hollywood mover and shaker named Andrea Bauer takes up Ellie's cause. Bauer calls a state assemblyman, who calls a mayor, who calls a police deputy chief, who hands the VERY COLD case to LAPD Detective Milo Sturgis....and tells him not to argue and look into it.

As usual when Sturgis has a difficult case he calls on his friend, LAPD consulting psychologist Alex Delaware, and the duo mount a fresh investigation into Dorothy Swoboda's death. When Milo and Alex speak to Ellie, they learn that Dorothy took off when Ellie was a toddler, leaving her in the care of a stepdad in northern California. Dorothy apparently prospered after that, because she was driving a Cadillac when she was shot and immolated on a ritzy part of Mulholland drive. Milo and Alex speculate that Dorothy may have found a sugar daddy, and proceed to investigate using that theory.

As the investigators delve into Dorothy's homicide, they find many fatal accidents and missing persons that seem connected to Dorothy's case, and things get more and more curious.

A good part of the narrative consists of Milo and Alex traveling around Los Angeles and its environs; interviewing people in homes and restaurants; looking up information on the internet; brainstorming about data they uncover; meeting with additional LAPD detectives; and so on.

In addition to helping Milo investigate, Alex spends time doing his day job as a child psychologist, hanging out with his girlfriend Robin, and playing with his dog Blanche. As always in this series, Milo - who's a big guy with a hearty appetite - frequently drops in on Alex and Robin, raids the refrigerator, and makes himself enormous sandwiches and omelets with everything. We also see a little more of Milo's boyfriend, Dr. Rick Silverman, and it's nice to get to know the surgeon a bit better.

Milo and Alex's investigation spooks someone, and the book has plenty of twists and surprises.

This is a fine addition to the Alex Delaware series, recommended to fans of thrillers.

Thanks to Netgalley, Jonathan Kellerman, and Ballantine Books for a copy of the book.
Was this review helpful?
Serpentine is the next installment in Jonathan Kellerman's long running Alex Delaware series. 

In Serpentine, Delaware's best friend, LAPD Lt. Milo Sturgis, is tasked with solving the cold case mysterious death of a young mother. 

Ellie Barker, the daughter of the victim, Dorothy Swoboda, never really knew her mother, but her desire to learn the truth sets in motion an investigation that will take Milo and Alex on a trip back to the days of LA's decadent past. 

As the two unwrap the mystery of Dorothy Swoboda's death, armed with old photographs and a missing persons website,  it becomes clear that Dorothy's history is more than that of a young innocent mother who got mixed up with the wrong crowd. 

And while the trail of bodies left behind leads them closer to discovering the truth, it also takes them right into the hands of a murderer. 

••••••••••••••Review••••••••••••••

I have been reading this series since the beginning. I have been with Alex, Milo, and Robin through everything. 

Delaware and Sturgis are a perfectly matched crime solving duo.  When one lacks insight, the other picks up the slack and excels. 

Serpentine is classic Kellerman with a plot that is fast paced and deeply woven like a fine tapestry. From the first pages the reader is intrigued with the cold case murder and is compelled to keep on reading to learn the truth. 

Never disappointed with an Alex Delaware novel, I know that I will continue to read this series for as long as Mr. Kellerman continues gift them to us. 

3.7☆
Was this review helpful?
Thanks Netgalley for a copy of Serpentine, by Jonathan Kellerman , for an honest review.
What can I say Alex Delaware is probably my favorite reoccurring character, so it's like visiting an old friend. Great story nice twists.
Was this review helpful?