The Murder Book
In seventeen consecutive bestselling novels, Jonathan Kellerman has distinguished himself as the master of the psychological thriller. Now in Kellerman’s most compelling and powerful novel yet, L.A. psychologist-detective Alex Delaware confronts a long-unsolved murder of unspeakable brutality—an ice-cold case whose resolution threatens his survival, and that of longtime friend, homicide detective, Milo Sturgis.
The nightmare begins when Alex receives a strange package in the mail with no return address. Inside is an ornate album filled with gruesome crime scene photos—a homicide scrapbook entitled The Murder Book. Alex can find no reason for anyone to send him this compendium of death, but when Milo views the book, he is immediately shaken by one of the images: a young woman, tortured, strangled, and dumped near a freeway ramp.
This was one of Milo’s first cases as a rookie homicide cop: a vicious killing that he failed to solve, because just as he and his training partner began to make headway, the department closed them down. Being forced to abandon the young victim tormented Milo. But his fears prevented him from pursuing the truth, and over the years he managed to forget. Or so he thought.
Now, two decades later, someone has chosen to stir up the past. As Alex and Milo set out to uncover what really happened twenty years ago, their every move is followed and their lives are placed in jeopardy. The relentless investigation reaches deep into L.A.’s nerve-centers of power and wealth—past and present. While peeling back layer after layer of ugly secrets, they discover that the murder of one forgotten girl has chilling ramifications that extend far beyond the tragic loss of a single life.
A classic story of good and evil, sacrifice and sin, The Murder Book is a gripping page-turner that illuminates the darkest corridors of the human mind. It is a stunning tour de force.
You get thirty, forty thousand dollars for a painting. Who buys your stuff?” “Thirty thousand isn’t big-time in the art world,” said Hansen. “Not compared to—” “It’s a lot of money for a painting,” said Milo. “Who buys your stuff?” “Collectors, but I don’t see what that has to—” “Yeah, yeah, people of taste and all that. But at forty grand a pop not just any collectors.” “People of means,” said Hansen. Milo turned suddenly, grinning. “People with money, Nicholas.” He cleared his throat.
used to lead.” “About Pierce’s photography.” “No,” she said. “Please. No more questions. I showed you Pierce’s darkroom and his pictures and everything else the first time you were here.” “I was going to say he was talented, but one thing struck me. There were no people or animals in his shots.” “Is that supposed to be some big psychological thing?” “No, I just found it curious.” “Did you? Well, I didn’t. Didn’t bother me one bit. Those pictures were beautiful.” She reached around me and
around his body and the chair, at nipple and waist levels. What was left, I used to bind his ankles together. He offered no resistance . . . how old was his kid? I said, “Where’s the phone?” Bert shuffled over to a corner, bent behind another chair, retrieved an old, black dial phone, and handed it to me. He hadn’t said a word since the shooting. I lifted the receiver. No dial tone. “Dead.” Bert took the phone, jabbed the receiver button, dialed O. Shook his head. “Do you generally have
“Hitched. I’m not going to tell him. Even if I could reach him in Turkey, he’d just start in with the accusations . . . and that bitch of his.” “Second wife?” said Schwinn. “His whore,” spat Waters. “Melinda hated her. Melinda will come home.” Further questioning was futile. The woman knew nothing more about the “fancy Westside party,” kept harping on the downtown murder site as clear proof Melinda hadn’t been with Janie. They pried a photo of Melinda out of her. Unlike Bowie Ingalls, she’d
The office was off to the right—a cubicle that smelled of gym sweat manned by a young skin-headed Hispanic man wearing an aqua blue cowboy shirt with bloodred piping. Spangling on the yokes, too, but oily splotches in the armpits and ketchup-colored freckles across the front mitigated the garment’s charm. Resting on the pleat was a heavy iron crucifix attached to a stainless-steel chain. My entry rang a bell over the door and the clerk shot a look at me then glanced under the counter.