Cover Image: City of the Dead

City of the Dead

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

City of the Dead
An Alex Delaware Novel
by Jonathan Kellerman
Pub Date 08 Feb 2022 
 Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine,  Ballantine Books
 General Fiction (Adult)  |  Mystery & Thriller

I am reviewing a copy of City of the Dead through Random House Publishing Group, Ballantine and Netgalley:

The city of Los Angeles is a city of sunlight, celebrity, and possibility.  But the L.A that is often experienced by by Homicide Lt. Detective Milo Sturgis and psychologist Alex Delaware, is a city of the dead.

One morning, while it’s still early the two of them find themselves in a neighborhood of pretty houses, pretty cars, and pretty people. The scene they encounter is anything but.  A naked young man lies dead in the street, the apparent victim of a collision with a moving van hurtling through suburbia in the darkness. But any thoughts of accidental death vanish when a blood trail leads to a nearby home.

Inside the home, a young woman lies dead, butchered.   The identity of the male victim and his role in the horror remain elusive, but that of the woman creates additional questions. And adding to the shock, Alex has met her while working a convoluted child custody case.  Cordelia Gannett was a self-styled internet influencer who’d gotten into legal troubles by palming herself off as a psychologist. Even after promising to desist, she’s found a loophole and has continued her online career, aiming to amass clicks and ads by cyber-coaching and cyber-counseling people plagued with relationship issues.

When they examine closely, Alex and Milo learn that her own relationships are troublesome, including a tortured family history and a dubious personal past. Has that come back to haunt her in the worst way? Is the mystery man out in the street collateral damage or will he turn out to be the key to solving a grisly double homicide?

If you’re looking for a book that’s full of Mystery, then you can’t go wrong with Jonathan Kellerman’s City of Dead.

Five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
Was this review helpful?
This book starts with a couple moving men trying to get a jump on traffic hitting a naked young man. It turns out not to be. My first read by the author, it won’t be the last. When Alex makes his appearance, things are seen in a different light.
What I liked was the walk through of possible scenarios and not as much detailed gore as some books. Enough to get the message through but not enough to totally be grossed out by it. 
What I didn’t like:  language, not as much as most like genres, but I am a prude I guess. Just don’t like it. I skimmed and went on.  That being said I can recommend this book if you enjoy murder mysteries. I found nothing to rate below the 5 star rating. 

Even though this was an uncorrected proof I think I might have only found one typo or grammar thing. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC introduction to this author. The review is my opinion.
Was this review helpful?
This was an interesting murder mystery. Two people are murdered in a strange and unusual circumstances. With a psychologist help the police investigate trying to know who done it. 
This was an easy read, kept you interested until the very end.
Thank you netgalley for complimentary copy.
Was this review helpful?
This most recent of the Alex Delaware/Milo Sturgis novels begins in an unusual way, unusual even for Los Angeles. In the early morning hours, a naked man was killed when hit by a moving van. Sturgis’s team drew the case and one of his team noticed an unusual bit of blood outside a nearby house, separate from the traffic accident, while checking the neighborhood.

And so begins a much larger case. A woman is then found in the house at this separate scene, brutally murdered. Now all decisions about what has happened on this street must be slowed down. All thinking must begin again. The detectives have a much larger canvas to work with and will need the coroner's input as well.

It's a confusing picture, made all the stranger by the fact that Alex recognizes the female victim from one of his past child custody trials. This case moves in many directions and keeps a readers attention throughout. Once again. Kellerman is writing at the top of his game.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The latest collaboration of Milo Sturgis and Dr. Alex Delaware finds them working on the case of a young man found dead and naked in the road. He is assumed to be a victim of a hit and run, but then why is he naked? And why was he in the road? Who hit him? The next scene they investigate sends them to a beautiful home and the dead body of Cordelia Gannett, a social media influencer who pretends to be a psychologist. Cordelia has a dark past that may have caught up to her.

I love a good mystery but I also enjoy reading about two of my favorite fictional characters. The friendship between Milo and Alex has developed over 37 novels, and we've seen them have personal ups and downs along the way. They feel like people I'd like to have over for dinner, and I think that's a mark of good characterization.
Was this review helpful?
I generally enjoy Jonathan Kellerman’s books and this is a good one.  Though I am sometimes put off by the gore associated with the murders, Alex Delaware is a favorite character.  Kellerman pieces this one together like a jigsaw puzzle.  A solid read.
Was this review helpful?
This book was so good! I want to see more from this author in the future!! I couldn't put this book down. What a page turner!!!
Was this review helpful?
City of the Dead is a crime novel featuring Detective Milo Sturgis and Psychologist Alex Delaware. The duo investigates a homicide in which they find a naked man in the middle of a street. Inside a nearby house, they also find a woman murdered. She is a well-known person, but the man is unknown, and they cannot seem to identify him. This is the 37th book in the Alex Delaware series, according to the author’s web site. The tale is set in Los Angeles, where Milo works for the LAPD. 

Jonathan Kellerman continues to write excellent crime novels set in Los Angeles. This series is one of the better ones I have read. The other one is the Bosch series. If you like detective novels set in Los Angeles, these are my top two recommendations.

The beauty of having the same characters in multiple novels is that the reader can come to know the characters on a deeper level and sees them as real people. Their backstories are thoroughly developed, and the characters show growth as individuals within each novel and throughout the series. In this book, we get to see both characters looking at their own lives and struggling with their own issues. I won’t give any spoilers, so you’ll have to read the book to find out. Kellerman is great at building suspense in a mystery/thriller novel like this. Once you start reading, you will have a hard time putting the book down. 

I recommend this for any fans of detective fiction, mysteries, thrillers, or suspense. You won’t be disappointed!
Was this review helpful?
This is my first read of Jonathan Kellerman.  I gave me 1920s cop show feels.  I was a bit confused, then again I did not realize that it was number 37 of a series.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book.. Jonathan Kellerman always keeps you interested and asking for more.. I will give this book a 4.5-5 stars.. I will be having this book for our book of the month club. It was very good.
Was this review helpful?
Jonathan Kellerman delivered another similar book in the Alex Delaware series.  While it was interesting, it was neither exciting nor compelling.  It was a typical procedural story with no surprising elements.
Was this review helpful?
City of the Dead
Jonathan Kellerman

Thank you to Net Galley and the author for the chance to read this novel in exchange for giving an honest review.

Having not read any previous books by Jonathan Kellerman I felt that in the beginning I was missing some key details that someone who had read the previous 36 books in this series would readily know but that didn't last long and I was pulled into the story.
I have mixed feelings about this book. Maybe it's because this is the 37th book in this series so everything about these characters personalities has already been “hashed” out in previous books but my feeling is that this book has no heart.  It's very well written and I am enjoying it it just feels like it's missing something.  The main character from my understanding is Alex Delaware and yet he seems so cut and dry. And Robin, is she his girlfriend, his wife? There is just no warmth to their interactions and it's seems like they are barely friends. Milo is the one character that seems to have any vitality in his demeanor and is very likable. Like I said there could have been a lot more to these characters from previous books in this series.  The actual murders and the details and trying to find out who and why these murders took place is very well written.  I am a person who enjoys character development so that is probably why this book feels like it is missing something. If you are a person who really just wants the plot and action to move along without much of character interaction that is superfluous this book is right up your alley. I would still recommend it and I think I would like to read the first book to see how this partnership began and maybe get some insight into the characters personalities and lives.
Was this review helpful?
The story begins with a moving van, and two drivers looking to beat that nasty Los Angeles traffic by starting early. They’re making their way through an upscale residential neighborhood when something hurtles toward them in the dark, and the van makes a sickening crunch as it rolls over it. It’s a man, clad in his birthday suit alone; nobody can see the face anymore, because that’s where the wheels went. Once it becomes clear that the man was already dead when he was tossed into the street, Detective Lieutenant Milo Sturgis is called in. Milo is a homicide cop; Alex Delaware, our protagonist, is a child psychologist as well as Milo’s best friend. Milo often consults with Alex—sometimes officially, sometimes not—when a case has tricky psychological contours.   The story unfolds fast, and it isn’t until about the 70 percent mark that the humor is interjected. Delaware and Sturgis are interviewing a couple of enormous bodyguards, and the scene makes me snicker out loud. The pacing never flags, and there is a lot of dialogue that crackles and makes the pages turn.  There is some graphic violence depicted, so just be aware if you're sensitive to that. One of my favorite things about City of the Dead was the history and details we learned about the detectives on Milo's squad. Moe, Sean, and Alicia are practically family. . As always, the city of Los Angeles itself is a major character in the novel. The L.A. in this book has myriad faces, many of them hideous and disfigured, but some so beautiful it moves you to tears. I have never been to Los Angeles, myself, but it comes alive for me in this book. 

Thank you to Ballantine Books, the author and Netgalley.
Was this review helpful?
This is a very good police procedural series and this installment did not disappoint. I enjoyed visiting with the characters again and following along on the investigation. The mystery was good and the plot was clever.  
Many thanks to Random House Publishing and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I've been a fan of this author for what seems like forever, though it had been many many years since I've read any of this books. I was thrilled when I was given the chance to read this one. And as usual he did not disappoint. 

I was hooked from the very beginning and found it hard to put down. 

So many twists and turns that I never knew what to expect from one page to the next.
Was this review helpful?
Jonathan Kellerman is probably one of my favorite writers , this one doesn't disappoint. Very fast pace . A few twists and as always good to see Dr. Delaware again . Thanks Netgalley.
Was this review helpful?
This is the 37th book is in the Alex Delaware series that features psychologist Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis.  The scene where a young naked man is found to have been hit by a van appears to be an accident at first until a blood trail leads to a nearby home where a woman is found murdered.  When I requested the book, I didn't realize it was part of a series, so I went in blind and not knowing the characters well.  However, the writing style flows well and it was clear they were used to working together.  The story unravels with some twists and surprises.  It was an engaging read and the mystery was not predictable.  I do wish I had known more about the characters and their pasts.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book by Jonathan Kellerman from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for the opportunity. 

Was this review helpful?
I have been a Kellerman reader for years and the newest addition does not disappoint. As always, a good mix of crime and relationships. Very little of Robin or Rick to the book - someday I’d like to see a book with them starring. But it’s classic Milo and Alex who take center stage. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC. Opinions as always are honest.
Was this review helpful?
Perhaps it is me not Kellerman but I am finding his Alex Delaware books to be getting tired. Each feels like the one before. There is no character development of Delaware or Milo and while Robin makes an appearance each book that is all it is. In this mystery the mystery is solved in such an unrealistic manner.  But perhaps I am just grumpy. The formula is the same as it has always been and if you have liked the prior books you will probably like this one.
Was this review helpful?
When I got the email to review City of the Dead from the publisher, I decided to wait on it for a little bit. I have heard of Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series, and I might have read a couple of books from it (my memory is very fuzzy on that). But that wasn’t why I was iffy about reading this book. My main reason was that this is book 37 of that series, and I don’t particularly appreciate reading books out of order. I ultimately decided to read City of the Dead because I like books that combine psychology with criminal investigations. I prefer (as most people do) to read a series in order. That way, I get a feel for the characters (main and supporting). I am glad that I read it because it was an excellent book.

City of the Dead had an engaging storyline. A pair of movers, eager to deliver their load, is driving down a side street when they are hit by something. Thinking it was a dog, they pull over and discover that they were hit by a naked man who is dead and very unrecognizable. Alex is called to the scene to assess it from a psychologist’s point of view, and while he is there, it is discovered that the man was killed by the moving truck. Instead, a trail of blood leads to a house, where a more gruesome crime is. A young woman is found dead in her bedroom. Alex is shocked to realize that he knows this woman. She is known to him as an expert called into a custody case and exposed as a fraud. As Alex and his friend, Detective Milo, dig deeper into her murder case (and try to figure out who her naked friend was), the more convoluted the case gets. Who murdered Cordy? What was the motive?

City of the Dead is book 37 in the Alex Delaware series. Thankfully, readers can read this book as a stand-alone. I suggest that the reader at least read the blurbs or reviews of the previous 36 books. That way, you can get a good feel for the characters and any secondary characters in the book.

City of the Dead did have a medium-paced plotline. I was a little surprised by the pacing. I did think it was going to be a bit faster than it was. Any books that I have read that mix this genre has been faster. But weirdly, it did work for me. I was able to take some time, digest what the author was throwing at me, and try to form who killed Cordy.

I liked Alex. I think he was pretty chill for being involved in a murder investigation. But, he is on call for the police department, and he does get called to do this type of work all the time, so he could afford to be chill. I also liked how he handled his clients and soon-to-be clients. That one scene with the slimy lawyer cracked me up mainly because he hit the nail on the head with his assessment of him. Talk about a steel backbone with the parents and gentleness with the kids.

The author very well wrote the mystery angle of City of the Dead. The author did a great job of drawing me in from the beginning and making me work on who killed Cordy and her friend. I had thought I had it figured out around the middle of the book. Then, a twist made me go “WHAT” and drop that person from my internal list like a hot potato.

The author did a great job of keeping the plotline on course with the book. The secondary characters that the author introduced didn’t take over the book. A couple of times, the book referenced events that happened in previous books that made me go “huh?” but they were few and far between.

I loved the twist in the plotline. It threw me for a loop when I realized I was wrong about who the killer was. After the twist, the author leaked the why and how very slowly and built up to a memorable end. He was able to tie everything that happened in the book (the killings) and add a few extras that surprised me.

The end of City of the Dead did make me a little sad. Mainly because I did wonder about the child involved and how everything was going to affect her. Alex did give some excellent advice, but still. I still wonder. But, reading this book has also made me want to read the previous 36 books. I do plan on reading them at some point in my life.

I would recommend City of the Dead to anyone over 21. There are language, violence, and graphic murder scenes.
Was this review helpful?