Cover Image: Unnatural History

Unnatural History

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Member Reviews

I love Jonathan Kellerman and Alex and Milo, but the latest books just feel like they are missing something. I was not blown away by this one and found the plot pretty standard. I'll never regret spending time in Alex Delaware's LA, though. The details are all there and I even when it feels formulaic, I still love it. It's a comfort to slide back into a Delaware story and this is a good one to spend some time reading.
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Unnatural History was one of the best Alex Delaware series books in recent years. It was an extremely interesting plotline with Kellerman getting back on the track of what makes this series interesting. Although I would have preferred a bit more about Delaware's personal life with Robin and Blanche, his use of the geography of Los Angeles, etc., made it engrossing. In addition, his emphasis on the fruitless problem of the homeless population raised many valid points for discussion.
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So after 38 books, Jonathan Kellerman proves that he can still draw you in and hold your attention while proving once again that Alex Delaware and Milo work well together. This time it explores the very sensitive, current topic of homelessness in and around the gritty Los Angeles area.  

Adonis "Donny" Klement, a handsome wealthy photographer, follows the lives of LA's homeless population until he is shot in his apartment. Homeless people share their history and what they really had wanted in life. Rave media reviews had been rolling in for his new project portraying images of street people in personal “dream” situations, dressed and enacting fantasies of their lives. There are some, however, who view the whole thing as nothing more than exploitation and become angered. After Donny finishes his series, he leaves them to their real life that they were living. Now he has been killed. Suspects are many so Detective Milo Sturgis calls in his longtime friend, brilliant psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware to help solve and understand a complex case. Who had motive to kill the photographer? Was it a relative wanting financial gain? Or was it one of the street people seeking revenge? As usual, this is packed with intrigue and funny one-liners from Milo which moves the story right along. 

If you are already an Alex Delaware fan, you will definitely enjoy it. If you haven’t read any of these books yet, why not?

Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House for an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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Disclaimer: Received this as an advance reader copy via Netgalley and Ballantine Books (Thank you!!!)

This 38th book in the Alex Delaware series does not disappoint!  You need not have read any of the prior 37 books to enjoy this murder mystery, Jonathan Kellerman does a great job of providing key elements of the series backstory to ensure first time readers know what they need to. Die hard fans like myself will appreciate seeing the continued evolution of characters we have come to love. And you lucky first time readers now have 37 books you can go back and read.

As per usual, LAPD Detective Milo Sturgis brings Alex, a psychologist who provides valuable insights, in to consult on his latest murder case, a trust-fund photographer shot dead in his bed. Saying more could ruin the story for readers, so I won't provide additional plot details, just that the reader will take delight in trying to solve the mystery along with Alex and Milo. 

It was also encouraging to see the author seamlessly weave the issue of homelessness into this story, educating the reader without being preachy on the topic. The only thing the bothered me a tiny bit, and this is something that appears in all Delaware novels, is the extremely detailed descriptions about driving in LA and it's environs. Not sure how much it really matters for us to know which streets they take to get from point A to point B, but its now just part of what I come to expect. 

And as always, much as I enjoyed this book, as I finished the last sentence I was saddened since I will now eagerly await for the arrival of the next book, whenever that may be...
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Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis return in Unnatural History, the 38th in the this unforgettable series. These is a lot of unnatural history here. The victim’s father is a reclusive billionaire who, in a series of brief marriages, has fathered five children, all of whom have been raised as only children. Adonis (Donny) was on the cusp of success as a photographer when he is murdered. Homeless men and women have confided their own histories and, using their past dreams of the lives they wanted, Donny has costumed them as though these were their actual careers. After this series was completed, he returned them to the their lives on the streets. Now Donny is dead. The suspects are many. Since the case is a psychologist’s dream, Milo relies on Alex’ intuition. Is the killer an unknown sibling who wants to increase his/her share of the fortune? Or was one of the vulnerable street people so angered after imagining what could have been that he/she returned to punish Donny? 

Expect the best from Jonathan Kellerman. You will get it. Unnatural History has the same mix of familiar and new characters, the gritty Los Angeles location and a complex, twisted plot. 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine,  and Jonathan Kellerman for this ARC.
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This book is the 38rh installment in the long and very successful Alex Delaware series. A young photographer with an unusual and wealthy family is murdered. His father rich and reclusive, has a marital history of love them, have a baby and leave them, five times. The victim had recently completed a picture shoot using people without homes, portraying them as they are and dressed in their dream roles., and now he is the victim of a homicide. Who does Milo call? Alex Delaware, friend and psyological consultant to work the case with him.  Exploitation of the vulnerable homeless population, a savage killer and here goes the Kellerman page turner, fast and furious. I have read several of the Delaware novels and always look forward to the clever and entertaining repartee between Mili and Alex as well as their suspenseful and cleverly written investigation. Unnatural History is a satisfying thrill ride. Thanks to Netgalley for telling digital copy in exchange for my review.
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Alex Delaware is back with his detective friend Milo Sturgis, trying to solve the murder of a wealthy photographer.  Adonis Klement chronicled the 'unnatural history' of LA's homeless population until he was shot in his apartment.  Delaware and Sturgis are like readers' old friends. Great read!
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Milo and Alex are at it again when a local photographer is murdered after he takes pictures of homeless people dressed up as their “wish” (what they wanted to do with their life). This was slow for me and I am getting a bit tired of this series.
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Just a quick word of thanks to both Ballantine Books/Random House as well as for an advanced digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

Unnatural History is the 38th novel in a series written by Jonathan Kellerman.  The series - set in the Hollywood area - teams a homicide detective (Milo Sturgis) with his psychologist friend (Alex Delaware).  I have read all of the Delaware series of novels and they continue to be an enjoyable read from start to finish.  The novels typically begin with a strange murder - in this case, the murder of a wealthy, young photographer.  The "whodunit" begins thus begins.  Milo is the main detective on the case, and due to the many unknowns about the victim and the case itself, Milo recruits his friend Alex for his psychological insight into the murder.

As the novel progresses, we learn of the eccentric Klement family.  Donny Klement, is the photographer who is murdered.  We come to find out that Donny was a naive and trusting individual whose major photographic project when we was murdered dealt with "The Wishers" - a group of homeless individuals who are cleaned and dressed up to be photographed as what they "wish" their lives would have been - maybe a doctor, a movie star, or a fighter pilot.  Between the possibility that one of the homeless in this project may be the murderer of Donny Klement, or, as the novel continues, a past issue with Klement's recluse father, Victor, we begin to see that maybe past problems with the Klement family may have, in fact, led to Donny's death.

The Alex Delaware series has always (and will continue to be) my favorite thriller series.  An enjoyable read for sure, and I truly enjoy the ideas and theories that both Delaware and Sturgis bounce off of one another.  This is a "must-read" for any Kellerman fan or any fan of psychological thrillers.
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Although we all wait for our favorite characters to return the moment we reluctantly close the most recent book, often the next one doesn't meet expectations. Fortunately this has not happened to Alex Delaware or Milo Sturgis - they are back and they are awesome again.  As always, this can be read as a stand alone, or you can call on your knowledge of the previous books to enhance the relationships, not just between Delaware and Sturgis, but also with the other police officers, as well as Delaware's partner Robin. But it is important that you genuinely do not have to have read the previous books. This particular one takes them into a strange situation where trust fund children of different mothers don't really know each other, there is only one child per mother, and simply have an awareness that their siblings are out there and can be contacted. The least successful one believes he is helping the homeless when he is murdered and we follow different directions, each taking us deeper into Los Angeles and Alex Delaware. It works. It always does.
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Another serviceable entry in the long-running series featuring LAPD detective Milo Sturgis and consulting psychologist Alex Delaware.

A billionaire's aimless son dreams up a career-boosting photographic project.  "Wishing Makes It So" will feature street people dressed up in order to fulfill their dreams.  Eight side by side color portraits display faces ravaged by grimy psychosis contrasted with their scrubbed up, aspirational makeover. Now the naive scion lies dead from three bullet holes in his chest, with eight potential suspects in the wind.

Kellerman uses this plot to explore the au courant topic of homelessness, specifically in the Los Angeles area. Vivid depictions of the residents of Santa Monica's squalid encampments draw in the reader.  Are the unhoused wretched victims or dangerous aggressors?  Milo, on behalf of discouraged observers everywhere, says to Alex, "Every year it gets worse.  Any ideas?"  The psych has a couple of pages worth of ideas but settles for "These are people and they deserve care."

Milo and Alex wrap up the case with a few more murders and a close call at the end to ensure that  justice prevails, although the social ills remain.  It's a good partnership.
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I always love me a good Alex Delaware, but wowser--this was a good one. 

In this entry, we join Alex and Milo as they investigate the  murder of a young man. From there the book grows in complexity as we find ourselves entangled with his very wealthy father and a complicated family tree. In addition, this entry brings the homeless community into sharp focus and makes us think about the way this topic impacts all of us. 

If you haven't read the Alex Delaware series, you can jump in here for sure. If you are a reader of this long series, you'll definitely want to get this one. Can't wait till the next one!
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As a long, years' long fan of Jonathan Kellerman, I was thrilled to receive the ARC of his upcoming bestseller, Unnatural History. In this episode, Dr. Alex Delaware is his usual professional, thoughtful self, accompanied by his friend, rough and gruff police detective Milo Sturgis. Interestingly, there is little to no reference to Milo's doctor husband, Rick, in this book, which is unusual. Alex and Milo are investigating the death of a young, wealthy photographer who is taking portraits of homeless men and women dressed as people they would like to be. Who did it? As usual, there are a number of likely suspects. Additional murders occur and Alex and Milo are caught in a deadly stand off. If you like Jonathan Kellerman and love Alex Delaware, you will love this one. Less focus on Alex and Milo's personal lives and more focus on the other characters, suspects, witnesses and victims. It is his best in recent years. I recommend it! Thank you Jonathan Kellerman and Random House for the ARC. I was thrilled to receive it! Publication date is February 7, 2023.
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Dr. Alex Delaware and friend Milo from the police force are searching for a murderer.  A young man is found shot in his home.  The young man has family but none of them really no each other since the father married, conceived a child with the wife and then divorced her.  With few clues, except the photographs that the deceased took of homeless people, Alex and Milo have their work cut out for them on this case.  All the usual characters appear in the story.  It could be read as a standalone. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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I love Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels.  I look forward to his new releases every year.   They're easy to follow with realistic investigative scenarios..  

 Alex & Milo are teamed up again to solve the unsolvable.  I was also educated on some of the struggles that the homeless face..
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I love the Alex Delaware series and this story does not disappoint. 

Having read every fiction book written, and Co-written, by Jonathan Kellerman, I’d call myself a fan or maybe a connoisseur. Mr  Kellerman remains my favorite author because even if his book isn’t a five star read for me, it’s still enjoyable. 

This story felt like Alex got a little bit of a redemption and that’s a good thing. I was starting to worry that Alex and Milo are getting ready to retire but this case puts them back in the muck. Although, after the end of the story, they may be ready to retire. 

If you’re an Alex Delaware fan, you won’t be disappointed. If you haven’t read any of these books yet, I recommend starting with When the Bough Breaks. It’s Alex Delaware #1 and I think you will fall in love with the writing and Alex.
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In this book, Milo and Alex go into the homeless community, trying to figure out who killed a young photographer, whose latest endeavor was to take photos of homeless dressed up in clothes to mimic what they wanted to be if they were not homeless. The biggest problem is that the pair do not know the persons they are looking for because, as is the case with homeless, they seldom go by full or real names. Milo relies on the psych expertise of Alex to help figure out who is who and where to go next, Alex while relies on Milo’s law enforcement experience and expertise as well as his team’s help and contacts. The story really brings out the cultural divide between the homeless community and the other communities that exist if that was not already obvious to the reader. Both sleuths meander through numerous red herrings in their search, usually figuring/finding out they need to move on rather quickly. In all, there are many people they interview, many roads they go down with no success. Still, the pair is their usual selves, managing to stumble upon the key to figuring out what has gone and is going on.

This was a bit different book, with Milo and Alex both playing a leading role in the mystery. Each contributes his own expertise to solve the problem. I enjoyed watching them go down various avenues in search of the answer. I also enjoyed watching move around the city’s homeless community. This is one more book in the series that is well worth the read. I received this from NetGalley to read and review.
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This was a great book. I loved every paragraph, every sentence and every word of this masterpiece! I read it in 12 hours, which is a lot for me to do! It had everything and more laid out in the novel! I sure hope he writes more! I am totally hooked!
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I am a longtime reader of the author's Dr. Alex Delaware Novels (38 books in the series to date!) and continue to enjoy the chronicles of psychologist Alex and LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis. As usual, Alex is the narrator, but Milo bears most of the burden of responsibility as the team faces another impossible challenge. 

After the shooting death of a wealthy young man, they must determine whether someone in his widely dispersed family is responsible. His billionaire father has been married five times (working on the sixth) and fathered one child with each wife, but he has purposely estranged himself from each of his children's lives. Or could the murder be related to the victim's recent photography project, highly praised by the media? After soliciting eight street people with the help of a "capper," he juxtaposed their "before" photos with makeover photos supposedly reflecting the person they say they wish to be, but now they are back on the streets and their unhappy lives. 

I love the differences between the two protagonists--one a dapper, prosperous, and, highly respected psychologist and the other a sloppily dressed gay detective who is largely disrespected by upper management but whose crack analytical skills and success record cannot be denied. It's also fascinating to follow along as they work together, with other detectives on the team, to investigate the case step by step and put the intricate pieces together to find the solution while dodging personal danger. Kudos to Jonathan Kellerman for maintaining the quality of the series for so many years.

My thanks to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book..
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Quintessential Alex Delaware. An enjoyable mystery for Alex and Milo to solve, all while highlighting their friendship. I look forward to very book that comes out!
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