The Murder Book
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In seventeen consecutive bestselling novels, Jonathan Kellerman has distinguished himself as the master of the psychological thriller. Now in Kellerman’s most compelling and powerful novel yet, L.A. psychologist-detective Alex Delaware confronts a long-unsolved murder of unspeakable brutality—an ice-cold case whose resolution threatens his survival, and that of longtime friend, homicide detective, Milo Sturgis.
The nightmare begins when Alex receives a strange package in the mail with no return address. Inside is an ornate album filled with gruesome crime scene photos—a homicide scrapbook entitled The Murder Book. Alex can find no reason for anyone to send him this compendium of death, but when Milo views the book, he is immediately shaken by one of the images: a young woman, tortured, strangled, and dumped near a freeway ramp.
This was one of Milo’s first cases as a rookie homicide cop: a vicious killing that he failed to solve, because just as he and his training partner began to make headway, the department closed them down. Being forced to abandon the young victim tormented Milo. But his fears prevented him from pursuing the truth, and over the years he managed to forget. Or so he thought.
Now, two decades later, someone has chosen to stir up the past. As Alex and Milo set out to uncover what really happened twenty years ago, their every move is followed and their lives are placed in jeopardy. The relentless investigation reaches deep into L.A.’s nerve-centers of power and wealth—past and present. While peeling back layer after layer of ugly secrets, they discover that the murder of one forgotten girl has chilling ramifications that extend far beyond the tragic loss of a single life.
A classic story of good and evil, sacrifice and sin, The Murder Book is a gripping page-turner that illuminates the darkest corridors of the human mind. It is a stunning tour de force.
sounded sad. Those comments he’d made about senility. All the apologies. Bert was a first-rate therapist, wise enough to know I hadn’t wanted advice. But he offered a parting shot, anyway. Try to season each day with a fresh perspective. Last words from an old friend facing deterioration? Taking a trip . . . a final journey? There I was again, off on some worst-case tangent. Keep it simple: The old man had always traveled, loved to travel. No reason to think his destination was anywhere but
reprieve. Milo said, “You didn’t really answer the question. Have you seen any of the other King’s Men since graduation?” Hansen’s muddy irises took yet another journey upward, and his mouth began to tremble. He tried to cover it with a smile. Crossed his legs, as if imitating Milo. The result was contortive, not casual. “I never saw Vance or the Cossacks or Brad Larner. But there was another boy, Luke Chapman—though we’re talking twenty years ago, for God’s sake. Luke was . . . what is it you
“for a dull guy like Chapman. You ever know him to be that imaginative?” Hansen remained mute. “Where’d they take her, Nicholas?” “I don’t know where—why the hell wasn’t it in the papers?” Hansen balled a hand into a fist and raised it chest high. Making a stab at assertiveness. Milo remained crouched but somehow increased his dominance. Hansen shook his head and looked away and cried some more. “What’d they do afterward?” “Had coffee,” said Hansen. “Some place in Hollywood. Coffee and pie.
him in his own digs, too, but this time he walked through it into the service porch nook that serves as his office: a cramped, dim space, sandwiched between the washer-dryer and the freezer and smelling of detergent. He’d set it up with a hideous metal desk painted school-bus yellow, a folding chair, and a painted wooden shark-face lamp from Bali. The blue book sat in an oversize Ziploc bag, on the top shelf of a miniature bookcase bolted above the desk. He gloved up, unbagged the book, flipped
estimated Garvey’s age and nailed it on the second try. His graduation picture revealed a full-faced, acne-plagued eighteen-year-old with long, wavy hair, wearing a light-colored turtleneck. Sandwiched between the top of the sweater’s collar and the boy’s meaty chin was a puka-shell necklace. His grin was mischievous. Listed under his picture were memberships in the Business Club, the “managerial staff” of the football team, and something called the King’s Men. But there was no mention of his