When the parents of deathly ill five-year-old Woody Swope vanish with their child, psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware and his friend, homicide detective Milo Sturgis, begin an investigation into their disappearance. Their search, however, leads them into an amoral underworld, where drugs, dreams, and sex are all for sale and where fantasies are fulfilled -- even at the cost of a young boy's life.
Topics: Series, Psychologists, Los Angeles, California, Gay Sleuth, Psychological, Small Town, Murder, Cancer, Child Abuse, Drugs, Incest, and First Person Narration
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Alex Delaware has been asked by a friend, a pediatric oncologist, to speak with a family who is considering refusing cancer treatment for their son. Before he gets a chance to connect with them, they disappear. A local cult called the Touch comes under suspicion, as well as the flaky, lady-killer resident at the hospital. Alex delves deeper into the mystery, taking a lot of the investigating upon himself, (which I still find unlikely) and putting himself in direct danger again. I've been reminded that this is fiction, and that it's a mystery/thriller, and that I shouldn't expect characters in books to just do their jobs and leave the police work to the actual police. I still have a hard time with it, and it lessens my enjoyment with what is actually a very well-plotted and intriguing mystery. I agree with Alex's take on psychology and I like how he pays attention to people's body language and couches his own reactions to the situation based on what he needs to portray in order to manipulate suspects. I did not guess who the "bad guy(s)" were halfway through, which is a bonus. I appreciate that the action and the threads of the tale are well-concluded at the end. Really, my only complaint is that it's a little far-fetched. But it's fiction! I know. Okay.more
Dr. Alex Delaware is back in action, this time to save a boy dying of cancer. His parents are both obsessed with fruits (they have a farm), and have some serious issues. Nona Swope, the boys brother, is a twenty year old wild child with a serious act to grind with her parents. Then there is The Touch, a cult like group who operates a commune in the same town as the Swope family. And although they preach that they are sincere, and are just trying to get away from the rat race and get back to nature, it becomes more than obvious that they are not what they claim to be.Although this book has a good bit of drama and suspense, it loses its punch because basically every character in the story besides Alex Delaware, his gay detective friend Milo, and the sick boy, everyone else is a complete deviant. When you have basically every person, either being a child molester, drug dealer or killer, it lacks any real sense of believability or credibility. After a while, it's hard not to lose interest after yet another character is revealed to be an evil fiend. It just becomes too much. This is definitely a case where more is less. This overshadows a decent plot and solid writing skills by Jonathan Kellerman.Carl Alves - author of Two For Eternitymore
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