Saturday, December 19, 2009

Flesh and Blood

Flesh and Blood by Jonathan Kellerman
Alex Delaware Series #15
Mass Market Paperback, 437 pages
Ballantine, 2001
ISBN-13: 9780345508539
highly recommended

Synopsis from cover:
Lauren Teague is a beautiful, defiant, borderline delinquent teenager when her parents bring her to Dr. Alex Delaware’s office. Lauren angrily resists Alex’s help–and the psychologist is forced to chalk Lauren up as one of the inevitable failures of his profession. Years later, when Alex and Lauren come face-to-face in a shocking encounter, both doctor and patient are stricken with shame. But the ultimate horror takes place when, soon after, Lauren’s brutalized corpse is found dumped in an alley. Alex disregards the advice of his trusted friend, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis, and jeopardizes his relationship with longtime lover, Robin Castagna, in order to pursue Lauren’s killer. As he investigates his young patient’s troubled past, Alex enters the shadowy worlds of fringe psychological experimentation and the sex industry–and then into mortal danger, when lust and big money collide in an unforgiving Los Angeles.
My Thoughts:

Another satisfying Kellerman novel featuring Alex Delaware. This time Delaware is taking the missing of former patient, Lauren Teague, personally. There is plenty of intrigue and psychological insight to keep you interested and the novel is fairly fast paced. When you are reading a series featuring the same characters you have to keep in mind that the character development has happened over many novels, so some drawbacks to just jumping into the series can be alleviated by starting the series at the beginning. I have previously read several Kellerman novels so I feel comfortable jumping back into the series but new readers might want to start with an earlier novel. Highly recommended


Sad truth: Had she been just a patient, I probably wouldn’t have remembered her.
All those years listening, so many faces. There was a time I recalled every one of them. Forgetting comes with experience. It doesn’t bother me as much as it used to.
Her mother phoned my service on a Saturday morning soon after New Year’s.
“A Mrs. Jane Abbot,” said the operator. “She says her daughter’s an old patient. Lauren Teague.” opening

“What exactly did he tell you to accomplish here, Lauren?”
“Get my act together, be straight—be a good girl.” She laughed, arced one leg over the other, placed a hand on a calf and tickled.
“Be straight,” I said. “As in drugs?”
“They’re paranoid about that, along with everything else. Even though they smoke.” pg. 6

The look in her eye when she recognized me - stripper's flaunt degrading to... imbalance. The uncertainty she's never shown as a teenager.
Now she was twenty-one. Legal. That made me laugh out loud. pg. 22

"Lauren, once you came to me for help, I had a duty to be there for you. Like a surrogate parent. I felt my presence caused you shame too, but it was my own embarrassment that got me out of there." pg. 27

"The problem I've got now is that I can't find her. She's been living on her own for a while, but this - it just feels wrong. By the third day I called the police, but they say she's an adult and unless there's evidence of a crime there's nothing they can do other than have me come in and file a report. I could tell they weren't taking me seriously. But I know Lauren just wouldn't take off like that. Not without telling me." pg. 30

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