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review 2016-05-13 04:53
Breakdown by Johathan Kellerman
Breakdown: An Alex Delaware Novel - Jonathan Kellerman

 

Psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware meets beautiful and emotionally fragile TV actress Zelda Chase when called upon to evaluate her five-year-old son, Ovid. Years later, Alex is unexpectedly reunited with Zelda when she is involuntarily committed after a bizarre psychotic episode. Shortly after Zelda’s release, an already sad situation turns tragic when she is discovered dead on the grounds of a palatial Bel Air estate. Having experienced more than enough of L.A.’s dark side to recognize the scent of evil, Alex turns to his friend LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis for help in finding out who ended Zelda’s broken life.

At the same time, Alex is caught up in another quest: the search for Zelda’s missing son. And when other victims vanish from the same upscale neighborhood, worry turns to terror.

As Alex struggles to piece together the brief rise and steep fall of a gorgeous, talented actress, he and Milo unveil shattered dreams, the corruption of a family, and a grotesque betrayal of innocence. With each devastating revelation and damning clue, Alex’s brilliant mind is challenged as never before—and his determination grows to see a killer caged and the truth set free.

 

Liked it, very well done!

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review 2016-05-12 18:14
Breakdown
Breakdown: An Alex Delaware Novel - Jonathan Kellerman

#31 in the Alex Delaware series, Breakdown is a story of mental health issues, secrets, lies and murder.

 

Alex is called one day to treat a woman who was put on a mental health hold (5150).  He is told that she asked for him; Alex, however, never treated her, but did treat her son for a short period a few years prior.

 

Drawn into helping the woman, who later turns up dead from ingesting a poisonous plant, Alex, along with homicide detective Milo, works to solve her murder and find her missing son.

 

I couldn't put the book down, it was so good.  Usually, Kellerman novels get bogged down in the middle, but not so with this one.  The plot was steady through the book, and the ending was just right, apprehending the suspects through police work, not a car chase shoot 'em up climax. 

 

For me, the only detraction in this story is that a few of the themes have been used in earlier books in the series.  Which isn't really much of a criticism; after all, the main character is a psychologist so I'm not terribly surprised that some topics may be recycled.   Still, the plot was riveting and complex and very enjoyable.

 

Lots of characters in this one, but it's not difficult to keep them straight.  I loved the Chet Brett character ("You know the little mermaid statue? I made that.") made me giggle, In fact, the characters are what draws me to this series; always well-drawn, they are easy to relate to and likeable.

 

This book can be read as a stand-alone; there are a few references to prior books but would not confuse a first time reader.  This is one of my favorite series, though, so I do recommend reading the whole series.

 

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text 2016-05-11 04:20
Reading progress update: I've read 42%.of Breakdown
Breakdown: An Alex Delaware Novel - Jonathan Kellerman

Whenever I start a new Jonathan Kellerman book, it never fails to surprise me how engrossing they are. I started this book this afternoon and I'm already half way through.  Can't put it down!

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text 2016-02-25 03:51
Started Breakdown by Jonathan Kellerman
Breakdown: An Alex Delaware Novel - Jonathan Kellerman

 

I believe I've read a few of Kellerman's books in the past but it was so long ago that I really don't remember much.  So far I'm liking Breakdown.

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review 2016-02-23 13:23
Breakdown: An Alex Delaware Novel - Jonathan Kellerman

I received a copy of this book from the publishers via Bookbridgr and this is my honest opinion of the book.

 

Alex Delaware first met actress Zelda Chase 5 years ago when he was asked to evaluate her son, after she suffered what was believed to have been a psychotic episode. Years later he meets her again after she suffers another episode. This time Ovid, her son, isn't with and Zelda is in no shape to tell Alex where he might be. Caught up in trying to help her and locate Ovid things take a dramatic turn for the worse when Zelda is discovered dead. Alex and his best friend, Lieutenant Milo Sturgis investigate the circumstances surrounding Zelda's death and are soon drawn into a world glamour and money hide a seamier side and where long kept secrets are emerging with devastating results.

 

I am a huge fan of Jonathan Kellerman and having read the previous 30 novels featuring Alex Delaware I was eager to read number 31. I wasn't disappointed. It was like meeting old friends after some time apart. I loved getting caught up in the world of Alex, Milo and Robin. I raced through the book, all the while not wanting to read it too quickly knowing I would have at least another year to wait for the next one.

 

As can be expected with every long standing series, there have been ups and downs in the history of Alex Delaware tales, with some outings stronger than others. I think that with the most recent the dip has turned into a peak. I personally feel that Breakdown is one of the stronger books that Jonathan Kellerman has written in recent years. It was paced just right. There aren't many mad dashes around LA, with Alex getting himself into unnecessary danger. There is more thought that goes into his investigation, underlined all the time by his compulsion to do the right thing, this time the drive being a missing child and his poor tormented mother.

 

As for the mystery, I obviously don't want to go into too much detail for fear of spoiling it. There are tragic circumstances that lead to Zelda's death, ones that have far-reaching repercussions. There are no great reveals or Perry Mason moments. The information is laid out and the reader investigates as Alex and Milo do and the story is as much about proving the case against the murderer than it is determining who the perpetrator is.

 

I've commented in the past about the unique style of narration Jonathan Kellerman seems to have honed for Alex Delaware, making him seemingly think and speak in clipped tones, eliminating unnecessary words from his sentences. I doubt that Mr Kellerman will have read my previous reviews and altered his narrative accordingly but that style seemed less obvious in this book. Alex himself seemed more contained, more thoughtful and perhaps a little more reserved than usual. That said it did not make a jot of difference as to my enjoyment, I think it may have added to it, seeing the Alex of old.

 

If you haven't read this series I would recommend it to you wholeheartedly. I am also slightly jealous that you have them all to read. I can't wait for Alex Delaware number 32...

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