Cover Image: Serpentine

Serpentine

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Member Reviews

I'm a longtime Kellerman fan and have read every book in the series. That said, there's a reason I keep coming back, and this book was flawless Kellerman. The story was twisty but believable, and continued the legacy of his beloved characters. If you like any of the Alex Delaware books, you'll enjoy this one!
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Psychological Thriller

I have read enough Jonathan (and Faye) Kellerman mysteries to recognize a consistent formula.  Narrated by Alex Delaware, a psychologist, Alex sets up the whodunit in his usual unfolding of the facts.  In this book he is approached by his friend and colleague, Milo Sturgis, who is working on a cold case.  This 36-year-old case involved the death of Dorothy Swoboda, who was found burned to death in a car on famous Mullholland Drive.

Years have passed and now her daughter, Ellie Barker, wants to know how her mother died and who she was. Ellie, is a rich young woman, who has sold her own business for millions.  Ellie is a bit weird, showing nervous gestures and hesitations.  She is blunt and often bossy – not always the nicest, but she is the client and most curious character.

The thriller provides us with the methodical search for evidence and a possible murderer.  Kellerman brings in a slew of diverse characters who are distinctive and some have interesting quirks.  No other detectives have been able to solve this case but, of course, Alex and Milo will not accept failure and pursue this cold case with a vengeance.

The book is heavy on detail and descriptions of places: homes, restaurants, and topography of Los Angeles to give the reader a feeling for the past over three decades ago.

Kellerman’s books are tight, loaded with forbidding places and facts.  His writing usually follows certain blueprints to solve a crime, and this one is no different. 
3.5 stars

My gratitude to NetGalley and Ballantine for providing me with this pre-published book for an honest review.
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It's like seeing an old friend again!  I love reading Jonathan Kellerman books because, as in this one, the same characters appear again and again to solve the crime.  The settings are the same in all the Dr. Delaware books too.  An interesting mystery that stretches more than thirty years, this book utilizes Detective/friend Milo who is an LAPD cold case super solver to bring forth the details.  A super rich woman whose mother was killed/died when she was three asks higher ups in the department to find out what happened.  There are too  many coincidences happening in the present for Detective Sturgis to let the case rest.  Since it's a thirty year old case, there are no clues or witnesses.  Between them, Dr. Delaware and his best friend Detective Sturgis are able to trace back and discover details that lead them from the past to the present where a violent killer is still around.
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Milo Sturgis is pressured to take on a 36 year old case and asks Alex Delaware for help.
The case has been investigated previously , but with no evidence, no witnesses and no motive how can they solve it.  We’re talking Mila and Alex, who better to figure it out.  Entertaining reading from the first pages, this is a great addition to the Alex Delaware series.  Thank you to net galley for a copy.
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I am a big fan of Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series; I have read all of them.
I always enjoy joining old friends and colleagues Milo Sturgis  and Alex, detective and psychologist, as they drive and eat together, uncovering information, sharing and revising theories. I think Serpentine might be one of my favorites. 

The case this time is a cold one.  Milo is tasked with finding what happened to a woman shot and burned more than thirty years ago.  The case resurfaces because her daughter, wealthy and with influential connections, wants to know more about her mother.  

Kellerman writes true police procedurals, albeit a little different due to Milo being unconventional and Alex along to provide psychological insight.  True, they do tend to be a bit formulaic, as Alex and Milo chase down leads, generate and discuss different theories, interview persons of interest, enjoy a few good meals. Kellerman’s descriptions are particularly picturesque and entertaining and he always seems to put a fresh spin on cases. 

Yes, this can be read as a standalone, but if you are familiar with this series,  it is always enjoyable to meet up with these familiar characters.
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Serpentine (Ballantine Books 2021) is the thirty-sixth in Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware series and another excellent story starring Dr Alex Delaware, psychologist, and Detective Milo Sturgiss of the LAPD. Together they are clever, analytical, and inspired to solve crimes. This crime is a thirty-nine-year-old cold case that many detectives have tried and failed to solve. It starts as a simple missing person and ends up with multiple murders. I can’t say much more without spoiling the plot but if you wonder if the author's smart voice is intact, read these few quotes:

"A charging bull if a bull could find an aloha shirt that fit [this is Milo]"

"...make a living creating beauty [Delaware's live-in girlfriend]"

Kellerman has lost nothing of his writing skills since the last thirty-five books in this series. If you like those, you’ll love this. It may even be your favorite.
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⭐⭐⭐⭐+ 
This is Alex Delaware #36. I have read less than a 1/3 of the novels in this series. I usually like Alex although there were a few that were only okay. I went into this is so so expectations!

Awww this was an unexpected treat. Certainly one of my favorite Kellerman reads!  
 
This story starts with our old friend Milo Sturgis asking for assistance from Alex Delaware (as we know) is a psychologist and police consultant. 
Milo has a near perfect rate of solving cases so isn’t happy about having this 30 year old cold case thrown his way.
When Ellie Barker was three years old her mother Dorothy Svoboda was killed in a car accident that resulted in a car fire ~ therefore little evidences as to what caused the accident and fire so ruled an accident.
She was raised by her step father who adopted her. However, she didn’t know until she was 15 years old that he isn’t her biological father nor was he and her mother married.

Now at 39, Ellie is a wealthy woman and sets out to find the hidden truths about her mother.
Police investigations have not been successful in the past. Additionally Ellie hired private investigators also with no results.  Now with her wealthy she seems to know people in high places so the case has gotten opened again ~ Milo isn’t happen about how she pulled strings to reopen this case.  

Milo is stuck with cold case and best friend Alex is willing to help solve this mystery. It is truly a mystery as there is next to no information and they need to starts at the beginning.  They find only one living detective Du Galloway ~ they set out to question him. He seems cooperative.

This totally worked for me. ~ The mystery as twists and turns that I so enjoy in my readings. The interaction of these two is totally enjoyable. Additionally I live near LA, so following their leads all around the familiar streets and locations in the LA area was great! ~Oh Yes! Love the cover.

Curious where Kellerman got his idea for this~ typically “Author’s Note” give that insight. However this is an ARC so perhaps will be in the published novel.   

Want to thank NetGalley and Randon House Publishing Group - Ballantine for this early release granted to me in exchange for an honest professional review. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. 
Publishing Release Date scheduled for February 2, 2021
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Jonathan Kellerman is my favorite author and I make no secret about it. However, I feel like his Alex Delaware novels are starting to get strained. The cases are getting stranger and it feels like Milo and Alex are ready to call it a day and retire. I’d hate to see that day, but I’d rather that happen than the storylines deteriorate into mush. 

Sitting here writing this review and I can’t even tell you what case was about this time because I don’t even remember. 

I feel bad saying all of this but, this is my honest opinion. If he keeps writing, I’ll keep reading in hopes of getting that adrenaline spark I’d normally getting when reading these.
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Dr. Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis return in one of Kellerman's best in years.  Milo is forced by Police Department politics to investigate a cold case of murder in the mid-eighties.  Milo's connection with the victim's daughter adds a nice personal element to the investigation.
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My two favorite characters back again!!! Alex and Milo, I would read the phone book if these two were in it. I have been a huge fan since the beginning of the Alex Delaware series. As a reader I am in constant awe at the story lines that come up and the way the author keeps readers guessing outcomes. I hope Mr Kellerman never runs out of ideas for this series! It is a pleasure to look forward to reading each and every one. 

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by NetGalley.
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Excellent book. I love Jonathan Kellerman.
In Serpentine, he brings back Lt Milo Sturgis who desperately needs the help of Alex Delaware. Those of you who know Kellerman will recognize Dr Delaware, who is now happily married and living in a storybook romance.
Together, the policeman and the psychologist tackle a decades-old cold case, in which nothing is what it seems. It is un-put-down-able.
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I’m a HUGE Jonathan Kellerman fan, and thinking to another reason I love mysteries would include his books. Thank you so much to @netgalley and @penguinrandomhouse for the ARC of his newest book. I’ve loved Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware’s friendship throughout the series, and these almost feel like cozy mysteries because they make me go “Ahhh yes I’m with friends” even though the topics are certainly not cozy.  This book was a solid addition to the series, and once it picked up I couldn’t stop reading. I read these for the characters and the way they debate theories that evolve with the evidence, and this delivered. The mystery kept me guessing FOR SURE - it started slow but when the twist came I hadn’t seen it coming.
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I love the pairing of Dr. Alex Delaware and Lt. Milo Sturgis.

The crime they are investigating happened years ago, but is given to Sturgis because of a request from an extremely rich woman who wants the department to reopen the case of the death of her mother.  The case has been worked by detectives over the years, with no result.  

Sturgis and Delaware have little to go on, but together they use their skills to solve this old mystery in their usual complementary fashion.
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Detective Milo Sturgis is pressured into taking a thirty six year old cold case after the victim’s wealthy daughter pulls some strings with a L.A. politician.  Milo immediately includes psychologist Alex Delaware in their dive into the past.  The duo, Milo and Alex are best friends and enjoy a very high solve rate.  The victim, Dorothy Svoboda died with a bullet in her head and was burned to a crisp in a borrowed Cadillac along treacherously curvy Mulholland Drive.  Thirty six years and three homicide detectives later, her murder is still unsolved.  Intuition and investigative probing soon reveal that someone still alive today wants the murder to remain unsolved.  Many of Dorothy’s known associates both dead and alive led unscrupulous lives and several could easily have had motive to wish her dead.  This is a formidable challenge even for Milo and Alex.

A thirty six year old crime in the thirty sixed Jonathan Kellerman novel featuring his two favorite protagonists… probably coincidental.  But after so many books these characters have taken on such a familiarity both with themselves and with the reader that only the tiniest bit of character development is necessary.  Makes for a fast paced linear plot…just the way I like it.

Thanks to Netgalley for the early read.
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One of the best Alex and Milo stories I've read in awhile. There's been a few where recently where I would swear that Jonathan Kellerman didn't actually write it, but he was back to his old form in this one and I couldn't be happier. The story was engaging, Alex and Milo were classic Alex and Milo, and the plot kept moving. If you stepped away from the Delaware series, go back to it, pick this one up.

Thank you Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3655114529
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It’s amazing that Alex Delaware fans can enjoy the 36th installment of the Alex Delaware series by Jonathan Kellerman; most fans have read them all, and it seems that Kellerman can’t write a bad novel. In Serpentine we are reminded that money yields power, and Milo Sturgis, who calls Alex in on some of his cases, is assigned to a cold case where a very rich girl wants answers on her mother’s death more than 30 years prior. This girl’s mother was found with a gunshot wound to her head in a Cadillac owned by a rich boyfriend. The case was never closed, but it wasn’t solved either. As Milo (one of the best LA homicide detectives on record), with the help of his best friend, Delaware (a brilliant psychologist), they began chasing clues that may have relevance to the case and may lead them to solving it. Alex and Milo find they and some of the characters are put in danger when this case is opened, and it may not be seem worth solving due to the ramifications on the rich who are involved, what they entail and who they expose.

Kellerman fans know these characters and they are beloved and considered real people with flaws like real people have. Milo Sturgis is a gay, overweight man who dresses in atrocious attire; he is almost opposite of Alex who is in shape and is about as opposite to Milo as he could be. They work well together, and have solved dozens of cases in the past. This one is different though because most of the people who could help are dead and most clues have long disappeared. 

While not a classic, this is a great novel for fans of the Alex Delaware series and is definitely worth reading.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.
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I'm never disappointed by this series! Alex and Milo are tackling a cold case. Its full of twists and is much faster paced than I expected. The characters are interesting and intriguing. The who dunnit had me dropping my jaw! I was completely immersed in the plot and read this one straight through.
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I have been reading Kellerman's books for years.  I love the relationship that Dr. Delaware has with Milo they know each other so well you would think that they were married since they can complete each other's sentences.  Alex and Milo are thrown a cold case when I say cold it's a freezing case since it's over 30 years old.  So who will they ask since most of the players are long gone and the past detectives aren't around except for you.  As they dig deeper in the case they are determined to solve and like all Kellerman's books good triumphs evil.  What a great read.
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Serpentine is another sure fire best seller by master crime novelist Jonathan Kellerman. Serpentine aptly describes a winding, turning plot. And serpentine is the name of a necklace worn by Ellie Barker, the woman at the center of a thirty-six year old cold case.

A random dinner party conversation leads to this case being assigned to Milo Sturgis. Ellie is an incredibly wealthy woman, raised by her stepfather after her mother died in a suspicious  car accident when Ellie was three. Milo relies on his friend, psychologist Alex Delaware, for advice because there is little physical evidence to review. As he reads the limited police reports from the long ago accident and subsequent investigation, he realizes that much is missing. Why? That question leads Milo and Alex to search for answers in the dark, seamy side of Los Angeles in the 1980s. Colorful characters are introduced and the many plot twists and surprises lead to a satisfying conclusion.

Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware are memorable characters who have become friends to Kellerman’s many readers. Their easy rapport, how they pair up to solve cases and the way that they rely on each other’s strengths add to the storyline. All the characters and locations in Serpentine are vividly described. Kellerman has lifted the lid iff the glamour of old Hollywood. 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Ballantine Books and Jonathan Kellerman for this ARC.
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I've read every one of the Alex Delaware series by this author, and they never disappoint.  In this book, Milo Sturgis, LAPD detective, who works closely with Dr. Alex Delaware when he needs a psychologist's opinion on cases, gets assigned a 36 year old cold case.  A wealthy constituent with connections high up in the department puts pressure on to solve the case of Ellie Barker's murdered mother.

The case investigation takes multiple twists and turns, uncovering threads of clues that ultimately get sewn together into the conclusion.  I always feel like these books are exactly the right length and detail for the reader to get drawn in, without being too wordy or drawn out, and I appreciate that.  I don't do spoilers, so you'll have to take the journey with Milo and Alex yourself to find the ending...but I will say that even at 90% I had no idea how it would end, its a great one.

Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for giving me this ARC to review, but my opinions are my own.
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