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Obsession

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Obsession

Alex Delaware Series, Book 21
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Victims.With scores of millions of books in print, translation into two dozen languages, and one of the most popular heroes in...
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Victims.With scores of millions of books in print, translation into two dozen languages, and one of the most popular heroes in...
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Description-
  • BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Victims.

    With scores of millions of books in print, translation into two dozen languages, and one of the most popular heroes in contemporary fiction to his name, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman is the unequivocal "master of the psychological thriller" (People). In his newest novel Kellerman delivers a tour de force--poignant, dark, and chilling--that illuminates a shadowy world where impulse rules.

    Tanya Bigelow was a solemn little girl when Dr. Alex Delaware successfully treated her obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Now, at nineteen, she still seems older than her years-- but her problems go beyond hyper-maturity. Patty Bigelow, Tanya's aunt and adoptive mother, has made a deathbed confession of murder and urged the young woman to seek Delaware's help. The doctor recalls Patty as a selfless E.R. nurse struggling to raise a child on her own--a woman seemingly incapable of the "terrible thing" she has admitted. But for Tanya's peace of mind, Delaware agrees to investigate, and he enlists LAPD detective Milo Sturgis in the search for the phantom victim of a crime that may never have occurred.

    Armed with only the vaguest details, psychologist and cop follow a trail twisting from L.A.'s sleaziest low-rent districts to its overblown mansions, retracing Patty and Tanya's nomadic and increasingly puzzling life to the doorsteps of a sullen heroin addict; a randy real-estate broker; and a brilliant, enigmatic physics student. Suddenly a very real murder tears open a terrifying tunnel into the past, where secrets--and bodies--are buried. As the tension mounts, Delaware and Sturgis uncover a tangled history of desperation, vengeance, and death--a legacy of evil that refuses to die.

    Dramatic, action-packed, and filled with the psychological detail that only Jonathan Kellerman can provide, Obsession is a whodunit, a whydunit-- and something unique: a did-it-even-happen? This is Kellerman at his heart-racing best.

Excerpts-
  • Chapter 1 Patty Bigelow hated surprises and did her best to avoid them. God had other ideas.

    Patty's concept of a supreme being wavered between Ho-Ho-Ho Santa and a Fire-Eyed Odin thrusting thunderbolts.

    Either way, a white-bearded guy bunking down in the clouds. Depending on his mood, dispensing goodies or playing marbles with the planets.

    If pressed, Patty would've called herself an agnostic. But when life went haywire why not be like everyone else and blame A Greater Power?

    The night Lydia surprised her, Patty had been home for a couple of hours, trying to wind down after a tough day in the E.R. Mellowing out with a beer, then another, and when that didn't work, giving in to The Urge.

    First, she straightened the apartment, doing stuff that didn't need doing. She ended up using a toothbrush on the kitchen counter grout, cleaned the toothbrush with a wire brush that she washed under hot water and picked clean. Still tense, she saved the best for last: arranging her shoes--wiping each loafer, sneaker, and sandal clean with a chamois, sorting and re-sorting by color, making sure everything pointed outward at precisely the same angle.

    Time for blouses and sweaters . . . the doorbell rang.

    One twenty a.m. in Hollywood, who the heck would be drop- ping in?

    Patty got irritated, then nervous. Should've bought that gun. She took a carving knife to the door, made sure to use the peephole.

    Saw black sky, no one out there . . . oh, yes there was.

    When she realized what Lydia had done, she stood there, too stunned to blame anyone.

    Lydia Bigelow Nardulli Soames Biefenbach was Patty's baby sister but she'd crammed a lot more living into her thirty-five years than Patty wanted to think about.

    Dropout years, groupie years, barmaid years, sitting-on-back-of-the-Harley years. Vegas, Miami, San Antonio, Fresno, Mexico, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana. No time for postcards or sisterly calls, the only time Patty heard from Liddie had to do with money.

    Lydia was quick to point out that the arrests were chickenshit, nothing that ever stuck. Responding to Patty's silence when she collect-called from some backcountry lockup and wheedled bail money.

    She always paid the money back, Patty granted her that. Always the same schedule: six months later, to the day.

    Liddie could be efficient when she wanted to, but not when it came to men. Before, in between, and after the three stupid marriages flowed an endless parade of pierced, inked, dirty-fingernailed, vacant-eyed losers who Liddie insisted on calling her "honeys."

    All that fooling around, but miraculously only one kid.

    Three years ago, Lydia taking twenty-three hours to push the baby out, alone in some osteopathic hospital outside of Missoula. Tanya Marie, five pounds, six ounces. Liddie sent Patty a newborn picture and Patty sent money. Most newborns were red and monkeylike but this kid looked pretty cute. Two years later, Lydia and Tanya showed up at Patty's door, dropping in on the way to Alaska.

    No talk about why Juneau, were they meeting anyone, was Liddie clean. No hints about who the father was. Patty wondered if Lydia even knew.

    Patty was no kid person and her neck got tight when she saw the toddler holding Liddie's hand. Expecting some wild little brat, given the circumstances. Her niece turned out to be sweet and quiet, kind of pretty with wispy white-blond hair, searching green eyes that would've fit a middle-aged woman, and restless hands.

    "Drop-in" stretched to a ten-day stay. Patty ended up deciding Tanya was real cute, not much of a pain, if you didn't count the stink of dirty diapers.

    Just as suddenly...

About the Author-
  • Jonathan Kellerman is one of the world's most popular authors. He has brought his expertise as a clinical psychologist to over two dozen bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher's Theater, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, and Twisted. With his wife, the novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored the bestsellers Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. He is the author of numerous essays, short stories, scientific articles, two children's books, and three volumes of psychology, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards, and has been nominated for a Shamus Award. Jonathan and Faye Kellerman live in California and New Mexico. Their four children include the novelist Jesse Kellerman. Visit the author's website at www.jonathankellerman.com.

Reviews-
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "The denouement accelerates to breathtaking, heart-pounding speed."
  • Entertainment Weekly "Sharply written and well-paced."
  • Saint Paul Pioneer Press "[Kellerman is] a master of the grab-the-reader contest . . . The chills start within the first two pages."
  • Orlando Sentinel "A perfect whodunit--a tale told with gusto . . . a thrilling, engrossing pace from the first page to the last."
  • Los Angeles Times "Delivers full measures of suspense, humor, and sleuthing."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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Alex Delaware Series, Book 21
Jonathan Kellerman
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Jonathan Kellerman
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