Self-Defense by Jonathan Kellerman

(Alex Delaware, #9)

Dr. Alex Delaware doesn't see many private patients anymore, but the young woman called Lucy is an exception. So is her dream. Lucy Lowell is referred to Alex by Los Angeles police detective Milo Sturgis. A juror at the agonizing trial of a serial killer, Lucy survived the trauma only to be tormented by a recurring nightmare: a young child in the forest at night, watching a strange and furtive act.

Now Lucy's dream is starting to disrupt her waking life, and Alex is concerned. The power of the dream, its grip on Lucy's emotions, suggests to him that it may be more than a nightmare. It may be the repressed childhood memory of something very real. Something like murder.

 All of us are like locks. No matter how strong the bolt, there’s always a key out there that opens it.”

As usual, Jonathan Kellerman writes a potent tale with his lead detective/psychologist sleuth team. Alex Delaware, renowned retired psychologist, is enlisted by his best friend, detective Milo Sturgis, to help recover a potentially hidden murder from the memory of Lucy Lowell. It's nice to see Delaware in personal clinical setting again, delving into intense emotional sessions to uncover a morbid mystery. Suspense is here as always, and some of the characters such as Lucy's father, are unearthly revolting. All of Kellerman's books featuring Alex Delaware have indepth characterization and intelligent dialogue that seems genuine.

One of the better parts of the books, especially if you've been a fan of the series, is that the witness/juror Lucy has a crush on Milo. I loved this awkward situation! Perfect! Alex shows a little more humor than he used to, although he still manages to get into hot water as much as ever. Twists abound and the ending will leave you gasping, impossible to guess in advance. I dropped this one a half star since it wasn't as captivating as some of his other novels, but still brilliant. If you haven't read Kellerman yet, what are you waiting for?

   Book Quotes:

“If you ask me, psychopaths are more talented than the rest of us... but they're still fucking psychopaths.”

“Just because others have it worse doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence.” 

“Sleep. The ultimate resistance.”  

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