Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
Juliet Kipper, a gifted painter, is strangled in the LA gallery where her first solo show has opened to critical acclaim, and Milo Sturgis takes on the murder investigation as a favour to an old friend. He consults Alex Delaware, who, researching parallels with other deaths, looks for artists killed when on the verge of a breakthrough or comeback. And he finds two others.
The investigation points to a gruesome, sadistic pattern of death, taking Milo and Alex into the dark side of the art world, and Alex's ex-lover Robin into terrible danger.
Paperback -Juliet Kipper, a gifted painter, is strangled in the LA gallery where her first solo show has opened to critical acclaim, and Milo Sturgis takes on the murder investigation as a favour to an old friend. He consults Alex Delaware, who, researching parallels with other deaths, looks for artists killed when on the verge of a breakthrough or comeback. And he finds two others. A few weeks earlier, blues player Edgar Michael 'Baby Boy' Lee was stabbed just after finishing his set at The Snakepit. The remains of China Maranga, a punk singer, were found by the Hollywood sign a month after her disappearance three years ago. And Alex discovers both were clients of Robin Castagna, his ex-lover. The investigation points to a gruesome, sadistic pattern of death, taking Milo and Alex into the dark side of the art world, and Robin into terrible danger.
A gifted painter is strangled in the gallery where her first solo show has just opened to critical acclaim. The investigating officer discovers parallels with the deaths of two other artists killed on the verge of a breakthrough or comeback, one a singer and the other a musician.
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Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
"This one's a twister, isn't it?" Kellerman is at it again with number 17 in his highly successful series starring smooth L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware. In this latest installment, Delaware is called in (via Homicide pal Milo Sturgis) to consult on a string of bizarre murders of fringe artists on the verge of stardom. The victims-a bluesman out of rehab, a punk diva screaming her way toward a record deal, a rising young concert pianist and an abstract painter-seem utterly unrelated. Their only connection, as Delaware shrewdly notes, is that each is "[a] gifted, damaged soul snuffed out violently, during the first blush of comeback." Rounding out the investigative team is Det. Petra Connor (reprising her role from previous Kellerman books), this time paired with spooky, skinny Eric Stahl, a silent ex-soldier with a sweaty fear of hospitals. The clues appear in an underground zine covering art in absurdly pretentious tones ("This is DANCE as in paleo-instinctuo-bioenergetics") in articles signed by the "Faithful Scrivener," and lead the team to encounters with some of the weirder denizens of the City of Angels. Of course, Kellerman provides a meaty layer of interpersonal relationships beneath the surface of his plot, so that longtime fans can tune into the latest episode of Delaware's tense friendship with his ex, Robin, which is not where he hoped it would be, but which he handles with his usual aplomb ("When in doubt, ask about the dog"). That Robin's occupation places her squarely in the killer's crosshairs wraps things up nicely. Booksellers should have little trouble moving this along. Agent, Barney Karpfinger. Major ad/promo. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Winner of both Edgar and Anthony awards, Kellerman has hit on a formula that seems to guarantee his Alex Delaware mysteries a spot on the best-seller lists. By pairing up psychologist Delaware with LAPD cop Milo Sturgis, Kellerman not only makes possible a mix of police procedure and slam-bang action but he also is able to underscore the crime-solving thrills with enough psychological insight to engage more cerebrally inclined readers. This time, though, he throws in one formula too many, sending his shrink-cop duo on the trail of a serial killer with an inventive hit list--a genre staple that's losing its zip. After a gifted Blues guitarist and a promising painter are murdered, cops suspect that a serial killer with a penchant for the arts may be on the loose. The murders of a ballet dancer, a punk rocker, and a concert pianist follow. A nice touch is added with the inclusion of LAPD detective Petra Connor, who breaks up the usual byplay between Delaware and Sturgis. The eighteenth Delaware novel is not one of the best, but that won't stop the cash registers from ringing. --Connie Fletcher
Kirkus Book Review
The sleuthing shrink returns for a 17th session. This time out, psychotherapist Alex Delaware finds himself set against a serial killer who has serious issues with performers. The list of performers is generous, comprising a blues singer, a ballet dancer, a painter, a punk-rocker, a concert pianist, and a saxophone player. But where's the tie that binds? Of course, all of them, even the painter, succeed only when they satisfy their audiences, but Alex (The Murder Book, 2002, etc.) suspects a deeper, sicker bond. Accompanied by cast regulars Milo Sturgis and Petra Connor of LAPD homicide--with Petra's semi-mute new partner Eric Stahl as an added starter--Alex sets out to discover what the link among the late performers might be. Together they follow a corkscrew path to, then deep into, the twisted pathology of a ruthless killer who views murder as just a heightened kind of performance. Complicating Alex's sleuthing, however, is the manifest need for some self-investigation. Without his having planned or in any way prepared for this complication, the number of fetching ladies in his life has risen to two. It's a situation with a definite downside, since Alex finds to his dismay that if he can't be near the charmer he loves, he loves the charmer he's near. Detective fiction's best-loved shrink, handsome, intrepid, immeasurably sensitive, is in top form, even though the 400 pages of his latest case might have called for some shrinking themselves. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.