Thursday, December 24, 2009


Rage by Jonathan Kellerman
Alex Delaware Series #19
Mass Market Paperback, 391 pages
Ballantine Books, 2005
ISBN-13: 9780345467072

Synopsis from cover:
Troy Turner and Rand Duchay were barely teenagers when they kidnapped and murdered a younger child. While Troy died violently behind bars, the hulking, slow-witted Rand managed to survive his stretch. Now, at age twenty-one, he’s emerged a haunted, rootless young man with a pressing need: to talk–once again–with psychologist Alex Delaware. But when Rand's life comes to a brutal end, his words die with him.
LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis suspects that either karma or revenge caught up with Rand, but Delaware’s suspicions run darker. As Delaware and Sturgis retrace their steps through a grisly murder case that devastated a community, they discover madness, suicide, and even uglier truths waiting to be unearthed. And the nearer they come to understanding an unspeakable crime, the more harrowingly close they get to unmasking a monster hiding in plain sight.
My Thoughts:
Kellerman makes it clear in Rage that Psychologist Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis are starting to feel the strain of the many years they've been working cases together. They also, for some unfathomable reason, ate a lot of donuts in this 19th book featuring the two working a case. While the identity of the killer may not surprise many astute mystery fans, the motivation was interesting. Rage is basically a satisfying novel, ran on a bit too-long, and Kellerman fans will like it.


On a slow, chilly Saturday in December, shortly after the Lakers overcame a sixteen-point halftime deficit and beat New Jersey, I got a call from a murderer. opening

Three figures exiting the mall at the east end. Nothing more; no cameras scanned the parking lot.
The tape was replayed as the D’s scanned for details. The larger abductor wore a light-colored T-shirt, jeans, and light shoes, probably sneakers. Short, dark hair. From what the detectives could tell, he seemed heavily built.
No facial features. The camera, posted high in a corner, picked up frontal views of incoming shoppers but only the backs of those departing.
The second male was shorter and thinner than his companion, with longer hair that appeared blond. He wore a dark-colored tee, jeans, sneakers.
Sue Kramer said, “They look like kids to me.”
“I agree,” said Fernie Reyes.
They continued viewing the tape. For an instant, Kristal Malley had twisted in her captor’s grasp and the camera caught 2.3 seconds of her face.
Too distant and poorly focused to register anything but a tiny, pale disk. The lead detective, a DII named Sue Kramer, had said, “Look at that body language. She’s struggling.”
“And no one’s noticing,” said her partner, Fernando Reyes, pointing to the stream of shoppers pouring in and out of the mall. People flowed around the little girl as if she were a piece of flotsam in a marina.
“Everyone probably figured they were horsing around,” said Kramer. “Dear God.” pg 5-6

Five more hours of neighborhood canvass finally ID’d the two boys. Both of them lived in a low-income housing project set like a scar across the scrubby park that paralleled the rear of the mall. Two hundred shoddily built, federally financed one-bedroom units distributed among a quartet of three-story buildings, ringed by chain-link fencing in which dozens of holes had been cut. A scruffy, prisonlike place well known by uniforms who patrolled the area—415 City, they called it, after the penal code for disturbing the peace.
The manager of Building 4 watched the video for a second and pointed to the smaller boy. “Troy Turner. You guys been out here before on him. Last week, matter of fact.”
“Really,” said Sue Kramer.
“Yeah. He smacked his mother with a dinner plate, busted up the side of her face.” The manager massaged his own unshaved cheek. “Before that, he was scaring some of the little kids.”
“Scaring them how?”
“Grabbing and shoving, waving a knife. You guys shoulda locked him up. So what’d he do?”
“Who’s the bigger one?” said Reyes.
“Randolph Duchay. Kind of a retard but he doesn’t cause problems. He done something, it’s probably ’causea Troy.”
“How old are they?” said Fernie Reyes.
“Lemme see,” said the manager. “Troy’s twelve I think, maybe the other one’s thirteen.” pg. 8-9

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